Delivering a riveting public addressing in Thiruvananthapuram on the occasion of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s martyrdom day on June 23, 2016, BJP national president Shri Amit Shah, while discussing the multifaceted personality of Dr Mookerjee, made an interesting observation. He said Dr. Mookerjee made three epochal interventions in the history of modern India that altered the trajectory of the flow of national events for good.
The first was his intervention which ruptured Jinnah’s plan of greater Pakistan and the retaining of Calcutta and West Bengal in India as a place where the Bengali Hindus could live and also find refuge after being pushed out of East Pakistan, the second was the formation of Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) as a nationalist alternative to the faction ridden and Nehru beholden Congress, which in the early days after independence, especially after the demise of Sardar Patel, had already begun degenerating into a one-man driven sycophantic conglomerate. And the third was Dr Mookerjee’s intervention in Kashmir, which eventually ensured that the State remained in the as integral part of the Indian union.
The question thus, that comes to mind is, had Dr Mookerjee not been there, or had he not existed what would have happened to India? The first of course is self-evident, the entire Bengal and Punjab would have gone to Pakistan. Over the years, jihad would have a larger area from which to breed and spread poison. The Bengali Hindus would have, without a home state, migrated to various parts of the country as a dispossessed and displaced people clinging to memories of a homeland and an identity. The Communists and Trinamool Congress would have no space or the luxury to practice their brand of violent and communal politics sans West Bengal.
In Pakistan and East Pakistan and later in Bangladesh, the Communist variety of politics has been thrown out and its leaders either chased out or co-opted within the framework of vastly different political framework. Proletarianism, Dialecticism and Class War or Secularism have no place in the Pakistan, whose formation the Indian Communists so wholeheartedly supported and facilitated. While the Indian Communists were actively colluding with their colonial sponsors to sabotage the Quit India movement, Dr Mookerjee, then Finance Minister of Bengal, resigned with this words, “The reign of repression that we have witnessed in India since August last (August 1942) has been directed not only against a so-called subversive movement but against every form of nationalist activities, calculated to mobilise the will-powers of Indians to throw off a foreign rule that they intensely dislike.”
Dr Mookerjee’s second intervention was when he created BJS. Realising early the unilateralism of Congress and the dictatorial tendencies of its leadership in the absence of a viable alternative, Dr Mookerjee launched this alternate political narrative. He argued through the first manifesto of the BJS that “[India] is beset with a horde of problems, internal and external, old and new, which instead of nearing solution after independence are daily getting aggravated. Her common people are being ground down under the weight of economic distress, social security and political repression. Her production is falling, black-marketing and profiteering are rampant and charges of corruption and favouritism against the administration, which is top heavy, are being openly made. As a result of all this an atmosphere of general demoralisation and frustration has developed in every sphere. This state of affairs, if allowed to grow unchecked, would spell disaster for the country.
“The mistaken policies and ‘Abharatiya’ and unrealistic approach to the national problems by the party in power”, argued the first manifesto of the BJS thus, “is primarily responsible for this state of affairs in the country. Had Dr Mookerjee not created BJS, Congress unilateralism would have dominated pushing India into a one family rule.
Dr Mookerjee’s last intervention was in the affairs of J&K which, he argued, had to be more completely integrated with India in order to ensure India’s well-being and her security and integrity. Had Dr Mookerjee not made this final – and for him fatal because he never emerged out it alive – intervention, the entire J&K would have perhaps gone into the control of those forces who wish to see India fragmented. His sacrifice ensured that the civilisational bonds between this portion of India and the rest were further strengthened and cemented.
(The writer is Director of Dr SP Mookerjee Research Foundation)