Minorities and the State discusses the plight of two numerically significant religious minority groups: Hindus in Bangladesh and Muslims in West Bengal, India.
The political vicissitudes in India and Bangladesh have stirred up questions relating to citizenship, nationality, and identity. In this volume, academics from India, Bangladesh, and Japan examine the formation of minority identity at the time of partition of India in 1947 and in subsequent decades. The articles emphasize the crises and coping strategies, migration, and state- and local-level politics affecting minorities.
By utilizing data from varied sources like field work, archival research, and secondary sources, this volume explores deprivation and different dimensions of minority life from political, economic, civil society, gender, and literary perspectives.
Chapter 1: The Minorities in Post-Partition West Bengal: The Riots of 1950
The Minorities in Post-Partition West Bengal: The Riots of 1950
The brutal communal violence which vitiated public life in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and the districts since August 1946 stopped almost like magic on 15 August 1947, as on the day of Independence the Hindus and the Muslims with national flags in their hands hugged each other on the streets in a public display of reconciliation (Anandabazar Patrika 16 August 1947). This pleased Mahatma Gandhi who was then stationed in Calcutta to stop the rioting, and he left for Punjab soon (Tan and Kudaisya 2000: 38–43; also see Anandabazar Patrika 8 September 1947). Even though refugees started pouring in from East Pakistan in the subsequent months, there ...