ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

From 50 Years Ago (25 March 2006)

his Press Conference in Calcutta last week. record in the matter of building up a genuine FROM 50 YEARS AGO

his Press Conference in Calcutta last week. record in the matter of building up a genuine


“India cannot be driven to the position ofsecular state. What the implication of a twoaccepting”, India’s High Commissioner tonation theory could be, had Congress or thePakistan observed, “any more of refugeespresent Government acted up to it, is toothan she could successfully rehabilitate”. Sincehorrible even to contemplate. So, it is onlythe adoption of an Islamic State in Pakistan,fair to concede that New Delhi never barthe exodus of East Bengal Hindus has been sogained for a complete evacuation of theVol VIII, No 12, March 24, 1956 heavy that New Delhi’s main concern nowHindu population of either wing of Pakistan

seems to be to devise ways of stopping thewhen it agreed to the partition of the country.No Place for Na-paks! exodus. For six years, New Delhi has beenBut that is neither here nor there. As time (Weekly Notes) hoping against hope that Karachi and Daccapasses, it becomes increasingly evident that

will take steps to end the exodus. Today, itin a theocratic, Islamic State only the Paks

Recently, much has been heard about thewould not only be idle, but dereliction ofcan have a place; the rest may at best beproblem of Hindu migrants from East Bengal.duty for New Delhi to pretend that Karachitolerated or suffered. But they can have noThere is no dearth of schemes and plans,will implement measures to stop the exodus,rightful place in an Islamic State. It is idle,either of the West Bengal Government or ofor that the Hindu exodus can be stoppedhowever, to look back and ask, did we bargainNew Delhi, for rehabilitation of East or ended… for it when we agreed to the establishmentBengal Hindus. Calcutta pleads its inabilityTo enable New Delhi to formulate a solu-of Pakistan as a sovereign State? True, theto shoulder the responsibility without aid fromtion, it is necessary to realise that the problemattributes of sovereignty have undergone a seaNew Delhi and other States. Two years ago,is no less than that of giving shelter andchange in modern judicial theory but that,New Delhi accepted its responsibility forrehabilitating the entire Hindu population ofagain, is an idle thought. Having chosen thesolving the problem of rehabilitation ofEast Bengal.humane way and decided to stick to therefugees from East Bengal. But the problemThis is a responsibility which New Delhinarrow and straight path of decency andhas assumed alarming proportions in recentdid not undertake, explicitly or implicitly,sanctity of human relations, New Delhi hasmonths. Recent developments deepenat the time of partition. It is not a questiontaken upon itself the responsibility of findingsuspicions that, faced with the magnitude ofof mental reservation but of fact that a home for the refugees from East Bengal.the problem, New Delhi is unwilling toCongress accepted partition but did notThis responsibility it cannot escape from,undertake its solemn commitments. accept the two-nation theory. Whatever itshowever difficult it might be to discharge it.

These reflections are prompted by some ofother failings might be, even the worst criticsNew Delhi must now show realism and the observations made by Shri C C Desai in of the present Government cannot impugn its willingness to fulfil it.

Economic and Political Weekly March 25, 2006

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top