Thursday, October 11, 2012

Speech of Haripada Chatterjee

Hon’ble Deputy Speaker Sir, the Government of Bengal is seated here. We make arrangements of the administration and judiciary of Bengal from here. So, in one respect we Opposition are also responsible for the acts of governance.

What are we doing at present on behalf of the Government of Bengal is really pathetic. We have already set some remarkable precedents – in case of building, boats, wastage and pilferage of food grains, in controlling famine and starvation, in mishandling the civil supplies department. However what we had done in maintaining the law and order of the state is unparallel in the history of the world e.g. the communal riot in Calcutta. I don’t want to be bothered about the fact who started it – the Hindus or the Muslims. Every government have the primary duty to give security to the people, to protect the weakest from the strongest. We failed to deliver that. After that what had happened in Noakhali and Tipperah only put us in further shame. Communal violence is a national scandal.

The incidents of violence in Noakhali, Tipperah, Bihar, North Western Frontier Province, Garmukteshwar etc. have failed us. Only the third party reaped benefits. Those who have read the letters of Morley, Minto etc. have already understood how much elated is the third party today. The day when they made us to gulp the bait of separate electoral system, they made no efforts to hide their elation. If we can truly unmask the ulterior motives of the third party and make people aware of them, then we can justify our position. The Hindus and the Muslims are the ‘same-boat-brothers’. When we have almost crossed the ocean and reached the shore of freedom, we have resorted to infighting and violence. But if the Government himself is communally inclined, then who will exorcise the ghost of communal feelings? Whatever happened in Bihar is surely regrettable. But how can we overlook our faults? The Bengal Government has become a puppet in the hands of the third party. The last weapon of the imperialist is the venom of communalism. Their weapon is far more lethal than atom bomb or bacterial warfare. Atom bomb or bacteria can kill severals at a place at a particular time. But this poison of communalism which the imperialists have poured upon us, will act for many years. It is getting severe day by day and if we still do not become cautious, the poison will spread all over the body of the race and we will die, contaminated by it.

I have direct experience of Noakhali and Tipperah. I have visited the four thousand square miles of affected area. i started cycling from Chandpur and visited many parts of the affected area of Noakhali and Tipperah. I will never forget the heart-rendering scenes. Please listen to what I am saying and if you have hearts and brains just think. I went across several devastated villages and thought that I was going across a necropolis. Every house was gutted. The coconut trees were standing singed or burnt. Palatial buildings were even turned into debris. Everywhere one could find ashes. I have brought with me burnt remains of a little boy, an old man etc. I have seen at least twelve gutted houses at one village. At places like Chandipur, Mosimpur, Changirgaon 1,835 houses were annihilated.

In four thousand square miles area the villagers, mainly Hindus, suffered a lot. The League Secretary Hasem Sahib said that no woman was assaulted. But it was a lie. From my direct experience, I can say that in devastated area mass raping on hundreds of women were committed; hundreds of women were kept in custody for 8-10 days and raped. Many women are yet to return home. At one home eight members were killed. Sons were killed in front of their mothers. At another place nineteen out of twenty one members of a family were killed. I have seen the skeletons and skulls there. Skeletons can be found in ruins as well. In some places people were burnt alive. Husband was killed on the lap of the wife. Hasem Sahib has said that Congress supported Gholum Sarwar is responsible for the carnage at Noakhali and Tipperah. I thank him for not saying at least that Congress perpetrated the violence. I don’t know when did Sarwar Sahib became a staunch supporter of Congress. Why are we making him the scapegoat? Was he not ably backed by the police? Were not the League and the third party connivers of the act? If it was not so, how could Sarwar Sahib instigate people by his speeches so freely? If we can evict thirty thousand homes in no time for fear of the Japanese, why can’t we prevent Sarwar Sahib? Police could be seen nowhere in the vicinity when violence ripped apart Calcutta. Police actually instigated the violence at Noakhali and Tipperah. For fourteen days there was no Government. Repeated pleas to the police had fallen into deaf ears. However, it is a pity that we have enhanced the administrative efficiency of the police by procuring arms, aeroplanes, wireless systems for them.

At one place the locals showed me two persons as the prime accused of mass killing. They also showed me the petitions submitted against the two to the police and the Magistrate. Surprisingly, no investigation has started so far. Several petitions of serious allegations of plunder, murder, rape are lying with the police with no actions taken. Everything is fair in love and war, I suppose. At our district (Santipur) the police have arrested only people belonging to a particular community, whereas both the communities are equally affected. People ranging from a ten year old boy to a sixty year old man are sent behind the bars. In most cases, the bail petitions are rejected outrightly.

Hindus and Muslims both belong to the same motherland The infighting between us should be stopped immediately. The third party wants us to be engrossed in violence and infighting. They have planted the poison tree of separatism which has grown up to become a full-fledged monster which will destroy the whole country. The Government should take stringent measures to stop riots and communal clashes.

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