This addendum was found necessary because important things have happened in this world - things having a bearing on the subject of this book - between the time of this book going to the press, and its becoming finally ready.

The most important among these are : firstly the landslide victory of Begum Khaleda-led Islamic group over Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League in the general election of Bangladesh of 2001 ; and secondly the terrorist attacks, presumably conceived by Osama bin Laden, on the World Trade Centre at New York on September 11, 2O01, followed by the U.S. counterattack on Afghanistan beginning October 7, 2001. It is not known if the first was influenced by the second. What is certain, however, is that neither bodes well for the Hindu minority of Bangladesh.

In the first chapter of this book the two communities of Bengal have been likened to the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. This simile may seem inappropriate after September II. It had better be. One can only hope that the two communities shall not meet in the collapse of one or both.

A very informative book, a work of painstaking research, had come to this authors hands after this book went to ‘the press. It is called “Democracy and Nationalism on Trial : A Study of East Pakistan”, by Dt. Jayanta Kumat Ray, published by the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Simla, in 1968. The book was completely out of print, and could be got only through the courtesy of its author. It has been added to the bibliography. The book contains certain important information and statistics regarding the killings of 1950 in East Pakistan. A collection of them is given below.

“The outburst of February 1950 bore the stamp of careful official planning and remorseless implementation. Its Chief Architect, Aziz Ahmed (Chief Secretary of East Bengal, fond of saying ‘I am the Government of East Pakistan’) deserved full credit for the success of his mission” (p 32)

“The press had already started fanning communal frenzy by publishing imaginary stories of atrocities on Muslims in West Bengal and inciting the Muslims to act violently, while it also spread stories of demolition of mosques and conversion of Muslims in West Bengal. Abdul Matin of the United Press of Pakistan was reported to have been killed in Calcutta; he learnt about this report when he later went to Dacca. The Chief Secretary reprimanded him as he refused to submit a false statement on riots in Calcutta which he never witnessed in that city.

On 6 and 7 February 1950 Radio Pakistan, Dacca, came out with highly provocative announcements amounting to a virtual appeal to Muslims to take up arms against non-Muslims.’ (p. 34)

In Dacca (town) Hindus formed 59% of the population and possessed 85% of the properties in the city, after the establishment of Pakistan. About 90% of the Hindu population left for India after the 1950 holocaust, and the property holdings of Hinds, fell, to 12.7%. The, number of Hindu boys in schools stood at 2,000 before the holocaust, and it dwindled to 140 by December 1950 ; as to girls, the figures were 1,200 and 25 respectively. About 90% of the Hindu shops in Dacca were looted on 10th February 1950 and many were burnt down. Nearly 50,000 Hindus in that city lost their houses on the same day. About 10,000 Hindus died, in the whole of East Bengal during the February massacre”. (p. 35-36)

Dedication :
Shyama Prasad Mookerjee in the year of centenary of his birth

Copyright :

© Tathagata Roy:First Published in 2002, ISBN: 81-85709-67-X

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