A book by IPS officer Dr Nazrul Islam creates a storm
Asim Kumar Mitra
AN IPS officer of the State Dr. Nazrul Islam, who was to be promoted to the post of Director General of Police, West Bengal, had been shunted out. He was served with a show cause notice and was subsequently suspended. The reason was that he wrote two books on the problems of Muslims and other minorities and their solution which was, according to the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, not only provocative but also inciting communalism and might even culminate into communal riots. Apart from sidelining Dr. Islam, Mamata asked the Home (Press) Department to review the said books.
Of late, the report of the Home (Press) Dept. has been submitted to the government. In this report the Home department had exonerated the said IPS officer Dr. Islam of all such allegations which were put against him by the chief minister. Even the Registrar of Publications, in its report on the books said that whatever the writer of these two books had mentioned in his books were based on facts and information gathered from different sources including government and private.
Taking advantage of this situation, Dr. Islam had taken offensive by asking the government to withdraw the 8-point charge sheet slammed against him. In this connection, bureaucrats attached to the department of Chief Minister, have been apprehending that a criminal case could also be slammed against the government by the aggrieved party. Why this apprehension? Because of Mamata’s autocratic behaviour towards one and all had been, at times, illogical and intolerable which enraged people of all sections. On the other hand Dr. Nazrul Islam, as a police officer all through his career was known as a very upright officer. It was he who went to the court of law against the erstwhile Left Front government charges against him for his alleged misbehaviour and irregular dealings and compelled them to pay him a sum of rupees fifty thousand as compensation.
But that does not mean that whatever he has written in his said books are all very innocent in motives or unassailable in the court of law and public in general. In fact through his books he did not conceal his desire to rouse a kind of minorityism among his fellow religious comrades to fight against the so called misdoings of the majority section of the people. The line of judging the righteousness of the arguments put forward by him was very thin. Minute consideration of facts with a comprehensive outlook is necessary for reaching out to a correct and acceptable judgment.
Some points from the said two books have been quoted here just to give an idea of the writer’s mind. On the one hand he is saying that Bengali Muslims had been converted from the low caste Hindus namely Shudras to Muslim and on the other he has commented virulently against Hindu nationalism and propagators of Hindutva. It is an accepted fact that the abuse of our caste system was at the root of so many malaise in our society. But as Swami Vivekananda said “If one is having headache, one does not prescribe for cutting down the head. As if Na rahega baans, na bajegi baansuri.Instead we should go for a thorough treatment.”
Dr. Nazrul Islam did not show any such mindset. Instead he had prescribed a tit-for-tat solution which would create only an atmosphere of disaffection. It is good that Mamata did not ban the said books written by Dr. Islam. But she should start and entertain dialogue on this subject so that the atmosphere of disaffection withers away. Another pertinent question in this connection, could be asked: Can an IPS officer who is guided by “service rules” which are binding on him, write such a book?