|Vol. III, No. 33 April 10, 1950 Annas Four – Air Mail-/4/6|
“But what kind of Bharat will they leave behind, what stark misery? When the stream of their centuries’ administration runs dry at last, what a waste of mud and filth they will leave behind them!” thus wrote Tagore on his death bed.
I saw the liberation of my country. Bharat is awakening. But where does she find herself today? What filth and squalor lie accumulated under the surface? Bengal is in agony. She lies tormented — both the Bengals. How can Bharat live if Bengal dies? If Bengal dies what remains? Where is that dream of peace abounding when freedom is achieved? Where is My Bengal, where is my Bharat? In the history of Bengal and in the history of Bharat there never was an occasion when Bengal lay so much humiliated, tormented, and agonized. Bengal is writhing in pain abounding.
Writers and poets sing the song of divine womanhood. Where is that divinity of womanhood in Bengal gone? Where, oh where is that divinity of our mother and sisters gone? On the east of that artificial serpentile boundary, the Radcliffe Lien, our pride amongst pride, the sanctity of womanhood lies today in dust torn asunder. Her children, the Children of the soil that is ever so green, where the rivers broad and mighty run like a song celestial, are today harassed, haunted and hounded from place to place. They are living in a hell, each day lived is a day of shame and agony for them. Thousands are butchered in the process, thousands fall victims to the blood thirsty knives of the assassins.
Unhappy wretched Bengal! Unhappy wretched Bharat: Freedom came. What did Bengal have? PARTITION! Her limbs were torn and they were measured in terms of “so many” for Bharat and “so many” for Pakistan. Bharat thought the dispute was over. She thought that once a settlement was arrived at it would be honoured by the leaders of Pakistan. Minorities in Pakistan would, she thought, be treated as respected citizens. But what did atually come out of this belief, this faith in Pakistane leaders. How have the Pakistan leaders treated the Bharat-Pakistan treaties? How have they treated our numerous protests to their violation of pacts?
A pact here, and a pact there. A. joint declaration here and a joint declaration there. But what has happened with those pacts anp joint declarations? Where are they?
Many people outside Bengal wonder what is wrong with Bengal. It is called the “problem province”. There seems to be trouble in Bengal always. There have been great men in Bengal, giants among men, who have tried to lead the province when it needed some leading. In freedom’s battle Bengal has led the country. Bengal has given the country her very best, the choicest of sons in freedom’s fight. Many is the flower that have been crushed in this fight, many is the home that have been ruined thereby. Many a mother have smiled in pride as her son went to kiss the hangman's rope singing BANDE MATARAM. But the soul of the province, the very core of it, was sparkling honest with pride. But what is the picture today? The foreigners are gone; freedom is ours; but where is peace? Where is the song of Freedom that should smile in every home and hearth?
What use is there talking of Socialism, Communism and Congressism when human values have been brought to nothingness? The white masters who ruled us for centuries are gone beyond the seas but what have they left behind? Gurudeva Tagore was a seer and a prophet. When he lay on his death bed he must have foreseen the picture that would be Bharat today. In an agony that must have been burning him to the end, he wrote, “But what kind of Bharat will they leave behind, what stark misery? When the stream of their centuries, administration runs dry at last, what a waste of mud and filth they will leave behind them!” Bengal is in pain. She is sinking deep while we look on. Will she raise again? Will Bharat rise to protect in time her limb that is so important? Will she? Shibdas Banerji