Shyamaprasad Mukherjee and the mask over a real face

Asok Chattopadhyay

The political stance of Shyamaprasad Mukherjee is less surprising than that of Mahammad Ali Jinnah. At a stage Jinnah was non communal, patriot and anti-British.[1] The roles of Shyamaprasad were much enduring and worth humanitarian during the days of his attachment to the politics of pre-Hindu Mahasabha bubble. Although his Hindu consciousness was alive and active in those days, he was then more humane and a sensitive leader of the people. He started his political innings throughout the line of Congress activism, but his favor for Hindu interest remained nothing undercurrent ever. In spite of it, he was not hesitant to share his political activism alongwith Abul Kasem Fazlul Haq. But never was he noticed to act any role that might hamper the interest of the British rulers of this then dependent country. Even he, for some time, was attached to the Bangabani, the family journal coming out from their house. Pather Dabi, the great grand novelof Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay began serializing in this Bangabani since March 1922. After a lapse of seven years Shyamaprasad became a Congress nominated Bengal Legislative Council member of the Calcutta University. He was then twenty-eight years of age. Five years had passed and he became the Vice Chancellor of the Calcutta University.

In his memoirs he wrote that in spite of earning a lot not unlike that of a then Judge, his father Asutosh was eager of getting the assignment of the Vice Chancellor of the Calcutta University.[2] Does it indicate Asutosh’s longing for entering into the corridor of power and to serve the interest of the foreign government? In the days of his youth Asutosh was a firebrand student leader and led a students’ protest move when injustice poured down on Surendranath Banerjee.[3] Later he left the past rest in peace and became serving the rulers’ interest in the British regime.

       Shyamaprasad followed the suit and became the VC of the Calcutta University when he was only thirties. It might be unfurled that a University training corps was formed for teaching military training of the students and parade used to have taken place and exhibited on the foundation day of the University. Shyamaprasad, being the VC of the University, ordered the students to salute the Union Jack i.e. the British emblem during the ongoing parading ceremony. But the students lodged protest against such an order. Denied to salute the Union Jack, a student of the Vidyasagar College was flogged in a cruel manner, resulting all the students of the Vidyasagar college joined a strike. And Shyamaprasad expelled two students namely Dharitri Gangopadhyay and Umapada Majumder because of their joining the strike! And to its retortion, students led by Viswanath Mukherjee, rallied for a wider course of strike.[4] Moreover, Shyamaprasad in his foundation day address in 1935 said:

From every corner of this great province there rises today the anxious question, shall we live or shall we die, shall we rise or shall we fall, shall we unite or shall we divide, shall we strive to reconstruct or shall we follow the barren path of destruction. Let me gather in my own the voice of you all who are assembled here today and of those whom you represent and send back the response, we shall live, we shall rise, we shall unite and shall accept the truth and service as the motto of our lives (Italics mine.—AC).[5]

He even asked the students —
to develop them into men, Strong and Self—reliant, hard-working and fearless, proud of their national culture, but not narrow in their outlook, anxious to promote peace and happiness, filled with a lofty idealism, but not swayed by class hatred or unthinking emotion—men who will be the worthy leaders of a new Bengal, who will carry the torch of learning and freedom to the lasting glory of their beloved motherland (Italics mine.—AC).[6]

His view of national culture remained unexplained, but his message to the students keeping themselves away from class hatred or unthinking emotion envisaged of his fear-haunting communism indeed! And hisloyalty to the British Government is well exposed here.

       In the leaves of his diary Syamaprasad repeatedly voiced for serving the interests of the Hindu community. The more he was attentive to serve the interests of the Hindus, the lesser to the non-Hindus! He was vexed with Congress politics because of their inattention to the interests of the Hindus! And it was the cause in fine he left Congress! Even he was disheartened in spite of asking Sarat Chandra Basu and Subhas Chandra Basu to ponder over the Hindu cause and stand by his views! He specially tried his best to win Subhas Chandra Bose over his view of Hinduism. But was in vain!  Subhash Chandra, on the other hand, wrote:

That a long time ago, when prominent leaders of the Congress could be members of the communal organizations like Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League. But in recent times, the circumstances have changed. These communal organizations have become more communal than before. As a reaction to this, the Indian National Congress has put into its constitution a clause to the effect that no member of a communal organization like Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League can be a member of an elective committee of Congress.[7]

Even Subhas Chandra was so pestered with the activities of the Hindu Mahasabha that once he ‘with the help of his favorites’ thought to ‘intimidate the Mahasabha by force’. Subhasites broke up the Mahasabha meetings and even beat the mahasabhaites that caused Shyamaprasad worry and he decided to stage a protest-meet where he became the prey of pelted stones![8]

And yet Shyamaprasad was untired of collecting materials of the tortures of the Hindus by the Muslims and placed them many a departments and corners to have a feedback and did have a gift of displeasure!  At this juncture Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the president of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, came to Calcutta in the year 1939, eighty years back. He landed in the house of the renowned legal practitioner Nirmal Chandra Chattopadhyay, father of Somnath Chattopadhyay a CPIM leader in the last decades passed by, at the Theatre Road. Therefrom he set out for Khulna to attend the Bengal Hindu Mahasabha conference.  Shyamaprasad refused to divulge his effulgence to this effect and stated in his diary that Savarkar went among the ‘tortured Hindus’ in Khulna and by dint of his propaganda works was able enough to bag up the huge support base of the Hindus there. —All these caused him to be one with Savarkar! He wrote that at the request of Nirmal Chattopadhyay, Ashutosh Lahiri, S N Banerjee etc. he joined Hindu Mahasabha in that very year 1939 and within a one year   he took the assignment of the president of Bengal Hindu Mahasabha and the executive president of AIHM (All India Hindu Mahasabha) respectively. At the same time, he was unhesitant to accept the assignment of the ministry of finance of the coalition ministry led by Fazlul Haq in the year 1940! It is the matter of active consideration whether it was his liberal outlook or just his lust for entering into the power corridor having his command over.

The Hindu zemindars, landowners and the usurious money lenders were this time leaning to the Hindu communal politics for their own interests. And knowing it very well Savarkar continually attempted to decry the ‘class contradiction’ between the zemindars and the peasantry and got to have had the sympathy of these people. On the other hand, in Punjab, the Hindu communal force endeavored their best to have untrammeled the commercial interests of the usurious money lenders! Besides, this Hindu Mahasabha and the other Hindu and Sikh communal organizations stood unanimously for the British Government during the tumultuous period of the Second World War.

Shyamaprasad was infatuated with Savarkar’s political ideas, philosophy, communalistic outlook and loyalty to the Britishers. He became the staunch disciple of Savarkar. But this veer Savarkar and the Hindu Mahasabha ‘actively collaborated with the British’ as it was widely known that the ‘Hindutva groups regarded Muslims, and not the British, as their primary enemies.’ Even— When the Congress leaders were arrested during the Quit India movement, the Hindu Mahasabha, still presided over by Savarkar, entered into a coalition with the Muslim League to run the governments in Sindh and Bengal–a move Savarkar justified as ‘practical politics’ which calls for ‘advance through reasonable compromises.[9]

Interestingly when Subhas Chandra Bose was busy at raising his Indian National Army to confront the British in India—  

Savarkar helped the colonial government recruit lakhs of Indians into its armed forces. He further destabilised the freedom movement by pushing his Hindutva ideology, which deepened the communal divide at a time when a united front against colonial rule was needed. Post-independence, Savarkar was also implicated in Mahatma Gandhi’s murder.[10]

The shrewd politics of communal divide played an active role behind the open scene of the partition in 1947. And this happened in Bengal and Punjab. A destructive communal game was turned into a burning question having no immediate solution but to partition Bengal and Punjab frying into a firing pan for the years to come. Almost all the then political parties of the land were at one with each other to accept the colonial and imperial policy of divide and rule and indulged to bifurcating   the land and even the culture too. The land got divided, culture got divided. Enmity between the Hindus and the Muslims cropped up de novo to become an inhuman playing game of communal politics shedding blood having no other colour than red.

This partition caused to have about fourteen million people razed from their homestead and about two million lost their lives. It was the first grand gift of the ‘independent’ country to its ‘independent’ countrymen! Just a one year back in 1946, the ruler and their lackeys trading vested interest had been at glee to have seen the numerous corpses murdered in the communal massacre. The riot of 1946 took of more than five thousand lives in Calcutta only in between three and four days! 170 people were murdered and one thousand injured on the 16th August.[11] On the day after it reported to have 270 people dead and 1600 injured.[12] On the 19th this number augmented to 2000 and 3000 respectively. Sumit Sarkar wrote that 4000 people were murdered and 10000 injured up to the 19th August 1946 in Calcutta only.[13]

Calcutta had to witness another riot in between March 26 to April 1, 1947 again.[14] The heinous riot of 1946 did have no instance of loot and rape, inebriation of bloodshed as if made the rioters mad! After the 1946-riot of Calcutta, it put up its poisonous head in Noakhali on the 10th October 1946 causing 5000 lives dead. But unlike Calcutta-riot, Noakhali witnessed the incidences of bon-fire, misappropriation and rape! And not before getting this streak of blood sere came the partition and ‘independence’ among the people at bay.

Rajagopalacharya, the Congress leader of Madras and having close affinity with Birla, directly pleaded for partition along with Bengal-divide proposal in the year 1942. Two years have passed K M Munsi, Congress leader of Madras being closed to Gandhiji and Patel, wrote to Gandhiji demanding partition of Bengal and Punjab. And Gandhiji played a biased and cunning referee in the flaming field. Sometimes he supported the proposal of partition and sometimes again called it a crime! He actually acted villainy. It was such a background what the British ruler had been waiting for long. And at last they did the worse than the worst to have a map bleed, country bleed, humanity bleed and dreams bleed forever.

In his prison letter on the 20th December 1941, Sarat Chandra Bose wrote that the amity and friendliness between the Hindus and Muslims was unendurable to the British rulers and as such they started a heinous and dirty game in which almost all the then political party leaders donned jerseys to come down into the playground having patrons by the capitalists like Bilrla and so on. Again, on June 2, 3 and 14 Gandhiji himself informed Mountbatten of his acceding to Pakistan proposal! And the next day he pleaded to the AICWC for partition and simultaneously used his influence over the AICWC to get up with the partition proposal into action!

Shyamaprasad did the best of his efforts to affect the Bengal partition into real. On and from February 20, 1947 Shyamaprasad led a movement for partition of Bengal and this movement enjoyed support from the Congress leadership! On May11, Shyamaprasad wrote to Patel requesting him to keep vigilance so that the proposal for Bengal partition might not be shelved in case Jinnah agreed to die down to the cabinet mission proposal, any way! He left no stone unturned to keep the proposal for Bengal partition actively alive. He was ardent pleader for partition of Bengal in spite of Pakistan divide! It was just but an ‘echo’ of Birla and Jawaharlal Nehru towards their out swing to Bengal divide politics.

Sarat Chandra Bose, the Congress leader, was averse to partition of Bengal. But he was quite in dark of Nehru-Gandhi accomplish initiating proposals for partition of Punjab and Bengal. Gandhiji on April 3, 1946 apprised the cabinet mission of his approval of partition on the basis of religion! And 56 days ago, on January 27, Jawaharlal Nehru demanded to the Stafford Crips to divide Bengal and Punjab if it happens Pakistan coming into existence!

Suhrawardi pleaded for unified independent Bengal. When Mountbatten informed Jinnah of Suhrawardi’s opinion and asked to opionate, Jinnah played a cunning leader’s foxy role and signalled for the same.[15] During his discussion with Mountbatten, Liyaquat Ali, the then general secretary of Muslim League, averred that hardly he believed in Bengal divide and as such he patroned to no such a question of anxiety! Rather he was confirmed that in case partition happened Bengal would take a safe side beyond the borders of India and Pakistan. And yet the higher bosses of the Congress were busy at partitioning Punjab and Bengal! In the mid-April 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru affirmed partition of Punjab and Bengal! Even he subscribed not to the concept of Independent Bengal!

At last partition came into being. Punjab got divided. Bengal got divided. Six crores of Bengali witnessed tearfully that their motherland got divided into two. And this divide got Shyamaprasad elated and stated that Congress partitioned India and he himself did Pakistan![16] And this Shyamaprasad had been certified as a ‘great leader of the people’ by no other than a ‘Marxist’ minister like Buddhadeb Bhattacharya of the Left Front Government in West Bengal in course of time![17]

This partition left behind incessant bloodshed, cries, agony and nightmares of the people being the prey of divide. Bengalis too had to undergo such an embittered and nightmarish experience for long. Punjab partition gave birth to riot that took lives of ten thousand people. And on the other hand, one million Hindu had to leave East Bengal for ever to India between August 1947 and March 1948.

When such bloodshed was kept on and thousands of people had been the helpless prey of riot, Patel was busy at playing his violin not unlike Nero. He apathetically said ‘Ah, this had to happen’![18] And Birla, the Gandhiji’s favored pet, called this partition an essential process to get them away of their disadvantages! In reality, this partition was a well-planned sport gamed by the capitalist and the majoritarian Hindu leaders. Congress, Muslim League and the British Government acted the priesthood of such a heinous enactment.

It was the calculated time, when the people of India assembled on the road to struggle for independence, the conspiracy game of partition mapped into being at the shake-hand unity of the then party leaders and the British Imperialist Government itself. The anti-imperialist patriotic struggle of the people of India had been axed to divide and the planned riot, partition, bloodshed and so on all the omens auto-acted serially.

Abul Kalam Azad was dubious enough as to partition might bring forth riot and more problems to come. He wrote:

I also asked Mountbatten to take into consideration the likely consequences of the partition of the country. Even without partition, there were riots in Calcutta, Noakhali, Bihar, Bombay and Punjab. Hindus had attacked Muslims and Muslims attacked Hindus. If the country was divided in such an atmosphere there would be rivers of blood flowing in different parts of the country and the British would be responsible for such carnage.[19]


 But he was paid unheeded to. Azad latter informed that the army kept mum and acted a silent spectator of the riot-ridden inhuman incidents taking places at the borders of the two new countries in the post 15th August (1947) episode! Moreover, sometimes the Jawans actively took part in riot![20] Azad branded Patel to be the most nefarious conspirator of partition.[21]

When it was the dire necessity of unity of the race, caste and creed of the people of India in the crucial period of struggle for independence against the British Imperialists, Shyamaprasad addressed to his endeared ‘Hindus’ that now Muslims are the fiery crater of danger because they were demanding  separate land in connivance with their foreign brethren! All the ‘Hindus’ had to be alert to fight them back! —Thus, he tried worst to infuriate the ‘Hindu’ public to play with fire of communalism. He even attempted to rally Subhas Chandra Basu again and again in his line of communal thought but failed.

On June 2, 1943 Shyamaprasad pleaded, in the conference of Hindu Mahasabha in Madura, the ‘Hindu’ youngsters for joining the Government army to serve the country! During the ‘Quit India’ movement in 1942, Hindu Mahasabha kept consciously them away from the anti-British move and rather helped the Britishers with their imperialist cause. They had played no role in the popular struggle for independence against the British Government. Savarkar, this time, directly bowed to the British Government with all out servitude![22]

In December 1943, Shyamaprasad explained, in the conference of the AIHM in Amritsar, as to why he joined Hindu Mahasabha. He joined Hindu Mahasabha in 1939 and after a lapse of four years his self-styled explanation is much more surprising. In his explanation he heightened the Muslim League ‘anti-national and anti-Hindu’! But from his ‘Leaves from a Diary’ it revealed that during his assignment in the Fazlul Haque Ministry he left Congress and joined Hindu Mahasabha in protest of Congress’ failure to flag positive role to protect the endangered Hindu-interest!

During the relief work in the gory days of Calcutta riot in 1946, Shyamaprasad threatened the members of Muslim League that they should in no way forget who had sustained the worst loss in that riot![23] One of his biographers advocated for his uproaring Bengal divide in order to save Bengal from the aggression of the Muslim League! He even called strike in demand of Bengal divide! On the March 15 and April 4, Shyamaprasad endeavored to stage conventions at Calcutta and Tarakeshwar respectively to Bengal divide acting into force! A few renowned intellectuals then rallied behind Shyamaprasad!

During the worst famines of 1943 (panchasher manwantar) Shyamaprasad took relief as a frolic of politics and formed a separate relief committee led by the Hindu Mahasabha which came into public as consequence of ‘public demand’! The renowned artist Chittaprasad went this time to the village stead of Shyamaprasad Mukherjee to witness the plight of the people there. What he found there?

I, a humble Bengali artist went, on a pilgrimage to Jirat in Hooghly district—the home of Ashutosh and Shyamaprosad. One day, early in June, I took a train to Kharnargachi (only 40 miles from Calcutta) and walked the last few miles to Jirat. On the way, I cut across six or seven villages in the Balagor area and what I saw was terrible. It is one whole year since the terrible river—the Behula—which cuts this area into two, flooded its banks and left almost all the villages caked in fertile mud from the river-bed. Huts were swamped and bodily blown off in the storm. Dhan-golas (paddy-stacks) were ruined in every village. Six villages were under water for 12 days and 7,000 villagers had become destitute. That was last year. Had last year’s curse become this year’s blessing? Had this rich, fertile soil from the river’s bed been dug up this year to make the area into a garden filled with tall paddy-stacks? Not at all! The peasants didn’t get a chance to dig up the soil. Soon after the flood-havoc, famine gripped all Bengal, and Balagor had to import rice at fantastic rates because the floods had destroyed her own rice. So, the peasant used up the Rs. 10 Government loans he got for rebuilding his hut to buy a handful of rice. When the Rs. 10 went, there was nothing left even to buy rice with, let alone seeds and ploughs for the new crop.[24]

He could see no ‘smiling paddy-fields,’ rather ‘barren earth, scorched in the sun, cracking up—dotted with tufts of grass and weeds.’ The well-off peasants planted jute but the monsoon coming late that year, the planted jute got scorched in the sun. The villagers informed him that   the late rains ‘finished off the rabi crops’ costing them harder to get on with. The people of the Balagor families had been living on ‘mangoes and mango stones’ as flood failed to make harms to the mangoes.  But it followed by cholera, malaria, smallpox and skin-diseases ‘playing havoc’. In A village like Rajapur witnessed only 6 out of 52 families left consequent upon sufferings from ‘malaria and food and cloth shortage’ under this circumstances Chittaprasad wanted to know ‘how much had Dr. Shyamaprosad done to help these villages next door to his own’? ‘But the plain fact’ was that he had ‘never heard a good word said about him in these villages’! The government indeed started ‘gruel kitchens’ in a village ‘where 400 people were fed daily for two months.’ Moreover, the government—

had given 15 annas to each family and a handful of chura (chira?) per head in the same village. After this the Union Board also gave 14 pice to every man, 10 pice to every woman and 5 pice to every child. They spoke well of the Students’ Federation and the Muslim Students’ League, which gave cloth, 12 maunds of seeds, plenty of vegetables and a donation of Rs. 5 per family in some villages, just after the flood. The Communist Party, too, had twice given out a pao (1⁄4 seer) of rice and a pao of flour per head. The Dumurdaha Uttam Ashram distributed Rs. 2 per household and 8 seers of atta at controlled rates for three months. In short, everyone had tried to help, except the biggest man and the strongest organization in the district—Dr. Mukherjee and his Hindu Mahasabha.[25]

Quarried to a ‘prominent villager’ in Srikanti village, Chittaprasad came to know that he ‘had not heard of the Bengal Relief Committee or of Shyamaprosad’ but he knew of Ashutosh Mukherjee and admitted with no hesitation that they ‘got nothing from them’! Jirat shared the same dismal fate. The people’s so-called ‘natural leader’ Shyamaprasad did not help them! [26]    

       In the year 1945 his security was forfeited in the last Central Legislative Assembly election and yet he was unhesitant to take part in the berth of ‘midnight independence’ in Congress Ministry.[27] So was his lust for power. In the post ‘independence’ period he accused Pakistan to violet the condition of partition and demanded that the India Government should wage war against Pakistan!

       Shyamaprasad expressed his deep grievance in the pages of his diary on January 3, 1946 and wrote that Muslim League had been nurtured by both the Congress and the English! In his opinion the ‘Hindus’ of this country had long been tortured and oppressed by the Muslim and the English. Owing to their ‘pleasing’ policy to the Muslims, the acceptance of the Muslim had   widely been accepted. Then he wrote: Let India become independent but we were not prepared to be a new slave of the Pakistan—we must not approve the flag of Pakistan in any part of India flying in the gentle breeze!

       In an article it has been written:
SP Mookerjee was a religious fundamentalist despite being academically accomplished and the son of the famous educationist Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee, SP Mookerjee was a far-right religious conservative. During the debilitating Bengal Famine of 1943-’44, one of the major concerns of the Mookerjee-led Hindu Mahasabha in Bengal was that government canteens, employing Muslim and lower caste cooks, made it impossible for many Hindus to eat without breaking caste—an amazingly petty consideration to have during a disaster in which around three million Bengalis died of hunger.[28]

So was Shyamaprasad! He alongwith his men occupied the stage of a meeting to have been held in the University Institute Hall convened by the organizers like Manikuntala Sen etc. in favor of Hindu Code Bill and foiled the meeting where Sarojoni Naidu was the chief addressor.[29] 

Even he was not at all hesitant to brand the Muslim League as the ‘destructor of the Hindus’! His diary witnessed that he was convinced that but for a civil war the problem of the Hindus and the Muslims would not be solved! And this very Shyamaprasad questioned if the 25% Muslims disagreed to stay in India, why, then, 44% Hindus should stay with the 54% Muslims?

Following the assassination of Gandhiji by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu Mahasabha activist, on January 1948, just on completion of five and half a month of ‘independence’, somehow jeopardized Shyamaprasad. Nathuram shot thrice to finish off Gandhiji in public! The report of the assassination of Gandhiji went   as below:

The assassin was seized by Tom Reiner of Lancaster, Mass., a vice consul attached to the American Embassy and a recent arrival in India. ... Mr. Reiner grasped the assailant by the shoulders and shoved him toward several police guards. Only then did the crowd begin to grasp what had happened and a forest of fists belabored the assassin...[30]

After this heinous incident the leaders of Hindu Mahasabha actually perplexed as to stand by their views. Gandhi-murder was branded by Abul Kalam Azad a ‘tragedy’. He wrote:

For two or three weeks after the tragedy, the leaders of the Hindu Mahasabha or the RSS could not come out and face the public. Dr Shyamaprasad Mookerjee was then President of the Hindu Mahasabha and a Minister in the Union Government. He dared not come out of his house and after some time resigned from the Mahasabha.[31]

After tendering resignation from the Hindu Mahasabha he was not of view with thinking other side of the moon. Rather he consulted with MS Golwalkar of the RSS and founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh on October 21, 1951 in Delhi and became the first President of this newly born organization. And this Jana Sangha is the mother of the BJP of these days.

And this Shyamaprasad is the golden eyeball to the Hindu religio-fascists, their emblem of great Hindu icon worth be remembered ever with no prejudices lagging behind! This Bengali Hindu Shyamaprasad     with his all-out miscreancies is the golden tool of hating Muslims to lodge a politics of religio-fascism on to the traumatic days to come.

July 11-14, 2019  


1. Even Shyamaprasad, in a mass meeting held at Calcutta on August 21, 1936, eulogized Mahammad Ali Jinnah to be a true patriot and a helmsman of his religion.

2. Umaprasad Mukherjee: Shyamaprasader daiyeri o mrrityu prasanga. Mitra O Ghosh Publishers. Kolkata. 1421 BS. edn  P-37

3. Asok Chattopadhyay : Unish sataker ekti bismritppray chatra andolan prasange. Aneek, December 2014
But neither Shyamaprasad noted it in his life sketch of Ashutosh Mukherjee nor Ashutosh did it in the pages of his diary, It’s surprising enough. —See, The Diary of Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee. Ashutosh Mookerjee Memorial Institute. Koikata.1998 edn

4. Goutam Chattopadhyay : Bharater chhatra andoloner itihas. Mnisha Granthalay. Kolkata. 1978 edn

5. Anathbandhu Chattopadhyay : Mahajivan Shyamaprasad. Natonal Book Trust, India. New Delhi.
2016 edn. P- 38

6. Ibid

7. Forward Block Weekly, May 4,1940

8. Balraj Madhok : Portarait kof a Martyr: A Biography of Dr Shyamaprasad Mookherjee. Rupa.
Calcutta. 2001 edn

9. The Wire, May 28, 2019

10. The Wire, May 28, 2019

11. The Statesman, August 17, 1946

12. Ibid. August 20, 1946

13. Sumit Sarkar : Modern India 1885-1947. Macmillan India Ltd. New Delhi. 1984 edn p- 432

14. Ibid. p-433

15. Constitutional Relations between Britain and India: The Transfer of Power 1942-1947. Vol-X.

16. SP Sen (ed) :Dictionary of National Biography. Vol-III. Calcutta. 1974 edn.p-173

17. Suniti Kumar Ghosh : Bangla Bibhajaner Arthaniti-rajniti. Jatiya Sahitya Prakash. Dhaka. 2012
edn. P-289

18. Larry Colins and Dominoque Lapierre : Freedom at Midnight. P-304 (Quoted in ibid. p-300).

19. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad : India Wins Freedom. Orient Black Swan. New Delhi. 2016 edn. P-207

20. Ibid.p-220

21. Ibid.p-225

22. This time Shyamaprasad was the Finance Minister of the Fazlul Haq Ministry. During this ‘Quit India’ movement Matangini Hazra was shot dead  by the Police in Tamluk on September 29. Shyaprasad opposed this anti-Government movement harshly. The martyrdom of Matangini Hazra failed neither to enthuse nor encouraged to denounce the heinous police act. Rather he wrote to Sir John Herbert, the then Governor of Bengal on July 26, 1942 : 
The question is how to combat this movement in Bengal? The administration of the province should be carried out in such a manner that in spite of the best efforts … this movement will fail to take root in the province.” (Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Leaves from a Diary,OUP, 1993, p.183)

23. ‘More Muslims seemed to have died than Hindus, a point made not only by Wavell…but also Patel (‘In Calcutta the Hindus had the best of it. But that is not comfort’, letter to Cripps, 19 October)’— Sumit Sarkar : ibid. p-432. Shyamaprasad actually threatened the Muslims with dire action through such riots in  the times to come, if necessary!

24. 'Painful Sights': Chittaprosad on BJP Icon S.P. Mookerjee's Bengal Village. The Wire, July 4,                2016

25. 'Painful Sights': Chittaprosad on BJP Icon S.P. Mookerjee's Bengal Village. The Wire, July 4,

26. Ibid.

27. It should be kept in mind that Shyamaprasad was so much closed to and trustworthy person of B M Birla. This Birla wrote to Patel on June 5, 1947 that ‘we’ should render ‘our’ Hindusthan to be a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and ‘Hindutva’ should there be state religion! Even he pleaded for Shyamaprasad to be the Chief Minister of the forthcomimg West Bengal!

28. June 30, 2019

29. Manikuntala Sen : Sediner Katha. Nabapatra Prakashan. Kolkata. 1359 BS. P-237-240

30. The New York Times, 31 January 1948. Robert Trumbull wrote : 
Mr. Gandhi was picked up by attendants and carried rapidly back to the unpretentious bedroom where he had passed most of his working and sleeping hours. As he was taken through the door Hindu onlookers who could see him began to wail and beat their breasts. Less than half an hour later a member of Mr. Gandhi's entourage came out of the room and said to those about the door: "Bapu (father) is finished." But it was not until Mr. Gandhi's death was announced by All India Radio, at 6 pm that the words spread widely.

31. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad : ibid. p-245

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Jul 18, 2019

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