Gopal Chandra Mukhopadhyay
A Hindu Defender in Bengal who refused to surrender even to Mahatma Gandhi
When he was asked to lay down his arms by Mahatma Gandhi. He replied
“I will not lay down even a nail if it has been used for defending Hindu honour”…Gopal Pantha
Gopal Chandra Mukhopadhyay was true patriot, Defender of Hindus, who brought down the jihad of G.G. Ajmiri and Mujibur Rehman & Suhrawardy ( Then chief minister of undivided Bengal) to their knees in Calcutta in 1946. These Mulsim leaders were responsible for the Great Calcutta killing which claimed then of thousands (Various Estimates range from 40000 to 1 lac as while officially it was ridiculously shown as lowly 7500) of innocent Hindu lives. Gopal Pantha ( Popular name of Gopal Chandra Mukhopadhyay) an ordinary Hindu Butcher from Bowbazar of Calcutta turned the tables around pressed the counter onslaught of Jihadis so hard that rioting Muslims were shocked and came down on their knees begging Gopal Patha to stop the onslaught.
Read in detail…
Bengali Hindus of current generation would hardly know the name of Gopal Chandra Mukhopadhyay aka Gopal Pantha( Patha).
On August 16, 1946 declared Direct Action Day by Muslim League; Hussain Shaheed Suhrawadry (then Chief Minister of Undivided Bengal) became the destroyer of Hindus, Gopal Chandra Mukherjee (alias Gopal Pantha) was their savior.
However, despite risking own life to save his Hindu fraternity and enduring all struggles to achieve the success, Gopal Mukherjee has been blanked out from communist history books of India and now it’s the time for giving back the rightful honour to this great Lion heart of Hindus. He is the real Royal Bengal Tiger in its true sense.
Gopal Mukherjee was neither a politician nor had any political inclination. He was just a common man but nationalist par excellence. On the other hand, Suhrawardy was a terribly powerful political leader, at the helm of affairs of Muslim League and also the last Chief Minister of undivided Bengal.
In July 1946, Jinnah held a press conference at his home in Bombay. He proclaimed that the Muslim league was “preparing to launch a struggle” and that they “have chalked out a plan”. He said that if the Muslims were not granted a separate Pakistan then they would launch ‘direct action’. 16 August 1946 was decided “Direct Action Day” . Jinnah warned, ” We will either have a divided India divided or a destroyed India.”
Erstwhile in the Bengal , then Chief minister, , Suhrawadry ignoring his official duties, asked Muslims for a general strike and to gather at the mass meeting at Maidan on August 16. The day as Direct Action Day to divide India to have Pakistan.
All were sure of its far-reaching effects, let alone Muslims, but our Hindu ancestors of Kolkata failed to grasp this – what an irony.
Hindus had believed foolishly that the Direct Action Day on 16th Aug’ 1946 would be another display of non-violence struggle like that of Gandhi.
Hence, even if Muslim cadres started attacking Hindu localities on the morning of August 16, Hindus failed to comprehend what was lying ahead. For that reason liberal and secular Hindus went to the Muslim League meeting, embellished by the presence of Com. Jyoti Basu, Suhrawardy and Khwaja Nizamuddin, while flags of Muslim League and Communist Party adorned the podium. Jyoti Basu was also witnessed to voice the slogan of Muslim League – First Pakistan, then independence to India. Jyoti Basu witnessed this and didn’t guess what Muslims were up to or just didnt want to acknowledge.
Once the meeting ended, tens of thousands of Muslims, already armed, pounced on – Hindus and Hindu-owned shops. For the next three days – August 16, 17 and 18 – Islamic onslaughts created a new saga – the worst account of non-Muslim persecution in recorded history. Hindus naively trusting were simply unprepared to counter this scale of onslaught. Hindus were murdered in thousands. Streets in Calcutta got red with blood of Hindus shaming the basic definition of humanity. Till now, words fail to describe the genocide, not to mention those days.
The Statesman defined this period with its legendary headline “The Great Calcutta Killing” while other scribes termed it as – “Week of Long Knives.”
On the word of Phillip Talbot, a journalist present in Calcutta at that time, in a letter to Walter Rogers of the Institute of Current World Affairs:
It would be impossible to describe everything that we saw. A sense of desolation hung over the native bazaars. In street after street rows of shops had been stripped to the walls. Tenements and business buildings were burnt out, and their unconsumed innards strewn over the pavements. Smashed furniture cluttered the roads, along with concrete blocks, brick, glass, iron rods, machine tools ñ anything that the mob had been able to tear loose but did not want to carry off. Fountains gushed from broken water remains. Burnt-out automobiles stood across traffic lanes. A pall of smoke hung over many blocks, and buzzards sailed in great, leisurely circles. Most overwhelming, however, were the neglected human casualties: fresh bodies, bodies grotesquely bloated in the tropical heat, slashed bodies, bodies bludgeoned to death, bodies piled on push carts, bodies caught in drains, bodies stacked high in vacant lots, bodies, bodies …..”
“Watching a city feed on its own flesh is a disturbing experience”, Talbot concluded. “In spite of our war heritage of callousness, I know that I was not alone in sensing profound horror this last week as Calcutta, India’s largest metropolis and the second city of the Empire, resolutely set at work to cannibalise itself”.
Talbot’s letter is remarkable because of the clarity of his testimonial. He was an outsider and a witness whose detachment and compassion were severely tested as he wrote about the carnage all around him.
“In human terms, estimated casualties ran from the Provincial Government’s absurdly reductive report of 7500 dead to military guesses that 70,000 to 1,00,000 people might have been killed in span of three days. Already more than 35,000 bodies have been collected and counted, and no one will ever know how many persons were swept down the Hoogly, caught in the clogged sewers, burned up in the 1,200 fires, or taken away by relatives who disposed of their bodies privately. A reasonable guess, I think, is that more than 40,000 people died and 1,10,000 people were injured in what is already being called ‘The Great Calcutta Killing’ or ‘The Week of the Long Knives.”
And biggest culprit behind this violent catastrophe was none other than Suhrawardy. He was the person who announced in the said meeting that both administration and army would be paralyzed to have cherished Pakistan…..These comments were enough to incite the already prepared Muslims but so blinded were Bengali Hindus by Gandhi’s secularism that this declaration failed on their deaf ears only.
In Lalbazar, another drama was going on – Suhrawardy had placed himself within the Lalbazar Control Room to make administration effete (completely) to help his comrades to polish off Hindus en masse and thus, better their struggle to achieve Pakistan. He was not alone – to make the task a great success, three notorious Muslim culprits viz. Bombaiya, Mina Panjabi, Munna Chowdhury had been placed in New Market area, Cornwallis slum area and Harrison Road respectively. All of them participated in killing Hindus directly.
The onslaught proved to be enough to perplex Hindus in the beginning. The shock was so great that they could not even think of any reprisal. The majority of Hindus considered this as their only destiny as Gandhi Ji had preached that Hindus should surrender to death if attacked but should not raise weapons in retaliation. In such a situation, only a few Hindus could realize the need of a brutal reprisal or else Hindus in Calcutta and the greater part of Bengal would cease to exist soon.
Retribution by Gopal Chandra Mukhopadhyay (Gopal Pantha) :
First and foremost among these few Hindus was Gopal Chandra Mukherjee (Mukhopadhyay). He used to live at Malanga Lane, in Bowbazar of Central Calcutta. He owned a slaughter house (of goats) as well and that’s why he was more famous as Gopal Pantha.
However, despite all these his patriotism was second to none. He was a relative of Anukul Chandra Mukherjee (famous revolutionary) and follower of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. He had no confidence on the weird theory of non-violence propounded and also propagated by Gandhi in the Indian scenario. Gopal had the conviction that force was the most essential attribute to drive out British from India. Privately he had good relation with few leaders of Congress, most imperative of them was Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy.
Gopal Mukherjee, based on his own ideology, had formed and used to conduct a small organization named Bharatiya Jatiya Bahini – Hindu youths used to learn and practice the knowledge of power and arms there. Even if people were not conscious of the same, the same organization raised the first Hindu defence in August, 1946. His disciples became successful in overcoming Muslim rowdies and Gopal was termed as savior of Hindus.
Well, there were others also in the civil war. Jugal Kishore Ghosh was one of them while on the other hand, Sikhs and Bihari Yadavs and immigrants acted gallantly. And the entire leadership was provided by Dr. Shyamaprasad Mukherjee (Later on became founder of Jan Sangh predecessor of BJP) .
Hindus had initial setback severely but when they started reprisals, Suhrawardy had to call in Army. The onslaught led by Shri Gopal Pantha was so ferocious that Muslims were unwilling to come out of their mosques, Large Parts of Calcutta was being hunted for Muslims.
Its was clear instructions from Gopal ji himself to kill any Muslims male visible and send Muslim women and children to nearest mosque. In spite of all cowardly brutality by Jihadi mobs which went on rampant killing and rapes, Gopal Mukherjee adhered to basic principals of Sanatan Dharma and honored women and spared children from this onslaught.
Meanwhile Muslim League leadership got the idea of the utter loss as within a day. Gopal Pantha turned the tables with his group of boys supported by Bihari migrants and Sikhs. G.G. Ajmiri and Mujibur Rehman, chief of students’ organization of Muslim League and member of Muslim National Guard respectively, pleaded with Gopal to stop the bloodbath. Gopal Mukherjee was well aware of their tactics and didn’t believe them until all the loss was avenged.
This Culcutta violance was repeated in Noakhali and Hindus retaliated in Bihar and Uunitaed Provinces( Uttar Pradesh), Garhmukteshwar & Punjab riots. A idiotic jihadi jelot Soharawrdy led to all this mass slaugher of humanity . All this led to inevitability of partition
1947 and on August 14 India would be divided into two parts leading to the birth of Pakistan. It was decided that on August 15 India would have independence but Mahatma Gandhi came to Kolkata on August 9. But Suhrawadry and his accomplices requested Gandhi to save them from Gopal Pantha in the metropolis of Calcutta.
Muslim police personnel, witnessing fierce Hindu attacks, were just fleeing and were moving to East Pakistan; hence, they were not safe in the city. Hearing all these Gandhi remained in Kolkata.
Hindus, in large numbers, were found to ridicule Gandhi but he went on asking Hindus calmly to cast aside hatred to Muslims and submit their arms and ammunitions to him. Gandhi, personally, requested Gopal Pantha twice to surrender but he remained unmoved. When secretary of Gandhi asked the reason behind his refusal, Gopal Pantha said these famous lines:
“I will not lay down even a nail if it has been used for defending Hindu honour.”
Gopal Mukherjee was born in 1913 and breathed his last in 2005.
A true Hero – but forgotten by our leftist Historians, Gopal Mukherjee – the truest and most valiant Kshatriya who saved Hindus. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Political parties in India, leave no stone unturned to hide the real and cruel facts of 1946. As a result, those incidents are raising their ugly heads once more across Bengal and in this context.
Article completely taken Hindu Samhati is endeavoring to bring forth the chronicle of Hindu valiance on August 16, 1946 and following days.
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