The Bengali Hindus of Kolkata, including the snobbish leftist ‘Bhadralok’, owe their very existence to the stellar leadership of Hindu warrior Gopal ‘Patha’ who saved their ancestors from sure-shot annihilation by the Islamist terrorists of Suhrawardy and Jinnah during Direct Action in 1946. Gopal Chandra Mukhopadhyay or fondly called Gopal ‘Patha’ is the symbol of Hindu resistance who shattered the dreams of Jinnah and his Muslim League Islamists of forcefully including a Hindu majority Calcutta and its surrounding districts in East Pakistan after draining out Hindus by unleashing a mass genocide during his infamous Direct Action call on 16 August 1946. Gopal single-handedly with his group of Hindu boys fought back the Islamist terrorists just two days later on 18 August saving thus millions of Bengali Hindu men, women and children from certain extinction.
Unfortunately, many of the children of poor and helpless Bengali Hindu women who Gopal saved in 1946 from the rapist murder Islamist gangs during Direct Action in Calcutta, have been drafted into communist politics and defame their own saviour as a ‘dacoit’ or a ‘goonda’. It is important thus to tell the true story of the unsung hero of Bengal and India.
Jinnah & Huseyn Suhrawardy’s Diabolical Plan For Bengal
East Bengal had a majority Muslim population but lacked industries as most of the factories were based in Calcutta and surrounding districts which were Hindu dominated with workers from Odisha and Bihar.
Jinnah and Suhrawardy, the then Chief Minister of Bengal realised the significance of this area and felt that for Pakistan to become economically viable, it needs to have the industrialised areas in and around Calcutta under its belt. Suhrawardy had complete control over the police and administration in Bengal.
In the run-up to the diabolical Direct Action Day, Bengal Chief Minister Suhrawardy replaced the Bihari Hindu constabulary in the police force with a large number of Pathans and Muslims from the United Provinces, now Uttar Pradesh, which would aid the state-sponsored genocide of Hindus in Bengal in the direct Action Day pogrom of Hindus.
The day 16 August was carefully chosen to provoke Islamist sentiments. It was the 18 th day of Ramzan when Mohammed won the Battle of Badar the first decisive victory over heathens which later led to the bloody invasion of Mecca.
The 13 August 1946 issue of Muslim League mouthpiece The Star of India stated,
Muslims must remember that … it was in Ramazan that the permission for jehad was granted by Allah. It was in Ramazan that the Battle of Badr, the first open conflict between Islam and Heathenism, was fought and won by 313 Muslims and again it was in Ramazan that 10,000 Muslims under the Holy Prophet conquered Mecca and established the kingdom of Heaven and the commonwealth of Islam in Arabia. The Muslim League is fortunate that it is starting its actions in this holy month.
Thus, the Muslim Leagues’ publications openly exhorted Muslims to kill Hindus for jihad and establishing a ‘land of the pure’ ie Pakistan.
Syed Muhammad Usman, then-Mayor of Calcutta, brazenly circulated a leaflet that said,
“Kafer! Toder dhongsher aar deri nei. Sarbik hotyakando ghotbe.”Implying ‘Infidels! Your end is not far away! You will all be massacred!’
16 August 1946, being a Friday the Muslim League leaders instructed all the clerics to give provocative speeches in their Jumma Namaz. The clerics did as told and urged the ‘faithful’ to rid all Hindus from Bengal.
Suhrawardy called for a complete hartal on the 16th of August, to ensure its success it was even declared a public holiday. Even before 16 August, the Muslims started looting and attacking many Hindu shops and business houses which opposed the hartal.
After the Jumma Namaz lakhs of frenzied Muslims heard Suhrawardy’s and other Muslim League leaders’ incendiary speeches at Ochterlony Monument, now Shahid Minar, exhorting them to attack Hindus and hound them out of Bengal. Suhrawady even assured the Muslim mob, that he has instructed the police to not come in the way of their mission.
Genocide of Hindus on Direct Action Day
The frenzied mob of lakhs of Muslims put to action their Muslim League leaders’ command; armed with iron rods, swords and other dangerous weapons spread to several parts of Calcutta and neighbouring areas. A Hindu shop selling arms and weapons situated near the place Muslim League held its rally, was attacked first; it was looted and burnt to ashes. The owner and his employees were beheaded.
Then began the dance of massacre, thousands of Hindus were cut to pieces like carrots and cucumbers. The Islamist terrorists’ favourite method of the massacre was beheading and amputating limbs. Hindu shops and homes were attacked and burnt, women were raped and mutilated; even small children weren’t spared. Many Hindu women and young girls were kidnapped and taken away as sex slaves.
The deadliest attack was at Kesoram Cotton Mills at Lichubagan, in the Muslim majority Metiabruz area, which is now called ‘Mini Pakistan’, where about 600 Hindu Odiya labourers were staying. A Muslim League leader named Syed Abdullah Farooqi led a mob inside the mill premises and all the 600 Hindu labourers were beheaded, only two of them whose hands were chopped off escaped death as they stayed still and were presumed to be dead by the murderous mob.
The one-sided killings of Hindus went on unabated on 16 and 17 August. The Hindus submitted meekly to the brutal attacks by Muslims thousands died with estimations varying between 4,000 and 20,000 about 3,500 bodies of Hindus were cremated. But many contemporary historians recorded that many bodies were disposed of in the underground sewers or thrown into the Ganges and several canals in the city.
Suhrawady had predicted that Hindus would meekly submit and not fight back. He had told his Muslim League comrades that Hindus did not ‘have it in their genes to resist Muslims’ and that ‘Hindus were of the firm belief that they were weak and Muslims were strong and ferocious’. He believed that centuries of Islamic rule has subjugated Hindus and even though Muslims were in a minority, Hindus do not have the courage to counter the Muslims.
Notably, in 1946, Calcutta had 66% Hindus and 33% Muslims and few districts surrounding Calcutta, like Howrah and Hooghly were Hindu dominated.
Suhrawardy himself sat at the Lalbazar Police Headquarters control room and ensured that British officers were not deployed in areas where Muslims were killing Hindus. As mentioned earlier, he had completely changed the composition of the police force by removing Hindus and replacing them with Muslims.
As planned by Suhrawardy, Hindus started fleeing Calcutta. The Howrah railway station was hugely crowded with trains overcrowded with people wanting to flee to other provinces.
Suhrawardy’s plan was to kill ten thousand Hindus which would make millions of Hindus flee Calcutta due to psychological fear of terror. His ploy was working well. His plan was to first drain out Hindus from Calcutta, then concentrate on neighbouring Hindu majority Howrah, Hooghly and also 24 Paraganas as these were industrialised areas, whose inclusion in Pakistan was vital for economy. Draining out Muslims from Calcutta would ease his demand for its inclusion in Pakistan.
Left to Suhrawardy and his Islamist mob the killings would have continued and Hindus would have left fully Calcutta in droves making it a Muslim dominated area and become a part of Pakistan. But one brave Hindu decided to fight back and defend his community and motherland that was none other than Gopal ‘Patha’.
Who Was Gopal Patha?
Gopal Chandra Mukhopadhyaya was born in a Bengali Hindu Brahmin family living at Malanga Lane in the Bowbazar area of Kolkata.
He was a nephew of Anukul Chandra Mukhopadhyaya, a nationalist thinker and professor of philosophy at Allahabad University who was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1964. He earned the nickname ‘Patha’ (male goat in Bengali) because his family ran a famous mutton shop. He was a keen wrestler and took the responsibility of running his family mutton shop. As a part of his business, he had to regularly interact with Muslim traders and according to researchers, he bore no ill will against the Muslims.
Gopal was a staunch nationalist and an ardent follower of Subash Chandra Bose and detested Gandhi’s principle of non-violence. Gopal was also a philanthropist and always helped people in distress and calamity through his organisation called Bharat Jatiya Bahini. He had 500-800 people in his organisation which comprised well-trained wrestlers.
Gopal was 33 when Suhrawardy and Jinnah’s diabolical genocide of Hindus was committed for converting Calcutta into a Muslim majority area.
Gopal Patha’s retaliation saved millions of Hindus, brought Muslim League to knees
When Gopal came to know about the widespread massacre of Hindus, rape and kidnapping of Hindu women, he decided that he is going to defend the Hindus at any cost. He called out to Bharat Jatiya Bahini members and other Hindu youths for defending the Hindu community and made a meticulous plan for resistance against the Islamist brutal mob. He told his men to pay back the Islamist terrorists who come to attack Hindus in their own coin.
Hearing that Gopal was planning to counterattack the Islamists many non-Bengali Hindu youths from Bihar and UP also joined him. Marwari Hindu traders of Calcutta, who were worst affected by the Islamist attack, came forward to help Gopal financially to procure arms and ammunition for his boys.
Hindu blacksmiths worked overnight in their workshops to make thousands of swords, spears, choppers, cleavers and other weapons for free. Marwari businessmen had earlier for precaution bought some pistols, cartridges, and grenades from American soldiers stationed in Calcutta after the Second World War, which was given to Gopal. Gopal was a unifying force who attracted even common people like milkmen, vegetable sellers, labourers, and others to join the movement to fight back Islamist terrorism.
Gopal knew that it was very critical to decisively strike back the Islamists if Hindus were to survive in Calcutta, if he failed to rise to the occasion Calcutta would become a Muslim majority and eventually become Pakistan by a complete ethnic cleansing of Hindus.
He, therefore, made a robust and meticulous plan and told his boys if the Muslims kill one Hindu, they should kill 10 Muslims as there is no other way they would be able to win this disproportionate battle. The Muslim League had lakhs of Muslims at their disposal to fight for jihad, while the Hindu community had only one Gopal Patha with his band of boys. But unlike the unscrupulous Muslim leadership, Gopal asked his men to respect Muslim women and not indulge in despicable tactics of kidnapping and raping women like the Islamist terrorists.
He chalked out a robust and detailed plan to retaliate. He even collaborated with the Marwaris traders of Burrabazar to get financial backing. Several Hindu blacksmiths produced knives, swords, spears, and other weapons in huge quantities overnight, free of cost. Gopal was instrumental in bringing migrant people like milkmen, vegetable sellers, labourers and others to join this movement.
At the dawn of 18 August, Gopal had positioned small groups of armed young men in Hindu areas to fight back the Muslim attackers. The Islamist Muslim League and Suhrawardy had no idea about the Hindu resistive force asked his murderous criminals to Hindu areas to attack Hindus.
Suhrawady had instructed his men that they had two more days to cleanse Hindus out from Calcutta. He felt that after two days, the Viceroy might directly deploy forces to stop the mayhem. So they had to finish their job in Calcutta on the 18th and the next two days they were to be deployed to cleanse Hindus from the surrounding districts of Calcutta.
But when the Muslim marauders went to Hindu areas on the 18th, they were greeted by surprising resistance in all places. The Hindu youth’s fought back so fiercely that the Muslim criminals were forced to retreat.
After defending the Hindu colonies very successfully, the Hindu youths took the fight to Muslim majority colonies and started killing the Islamist criminals. Historian Sandip Bandhopadhyay mentions that the Hindu youths did not harm old, infirm, children and women in the Muslim areas.
Sandip Bandopadhyay further says, “Gopal was never communal. He simply organised self-defence groups for Hindus by organising Hindu youths to fight back Islamist aggression. He gave shelter to the homeless and widows and stopped them from getting killed or converted.”
From 18 to 20 August, Gopal and other Hindu leaders identified, hunted down the Islamist criminals who murdered Hindus. The Muslim League Islamist criminals suffered a huge loss. They were paid back in their own coin.
The one-way murderous assault by Muslims was not only curbed successfully, the Islamist criminals started to fear for their own lives. Suhrawardy, his state administration and the Islamised police force could do nothing to save their criminal goondas as the Hindu youths identified them and made them pay for their crimes.
Other leaders like Jugal Chandra Ghosh who ran an akhara and Basanta, a famous wrestler joined forces with Gopal’s boys for well planned and meticulously executed attacks on Islamist goonda. A majority of Hindu youths who fought back the Islamist terrorists were Bengali Dalits who fought along with migrant Hindus from UP, Bihar and Odisha.
Gopal led counter-attack was so fierce that Muslim League Islamists and Jinnah began to panic. By 20th the death toll of Muslims outnumbered the Hindus. Suhrawardy was shocked out of his wits as his game plan failed miserably and he couldn’t drain out Hindus from Calcutta. Suhrawardy’s dream of making Calcutta and surrounding areas part of Pakistan became a pipe dream.
Suhrawardy then wanting to save himself and his government, deputed GG Ajmiri and Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, the founder of Bangladesh, to end the war. with Patha. GG Ajmiri and Mujibur Rehman were themselves strongmen and members of the Muslim League students’ wing and Muslim National Guard. They requested Gopal to put an end to the killings. Gopal agreed on the condition that the Muslim League makes its Islamists lay down their weapons first and stops killing Hindus.
Suhrawardy had to eat the humble pie and concede to Gopal’s conditions. Other than the formidable Gopal Patha Suhrawardy also felt the threat of losing his chair and dismissal of his government by the Viceroy. On 21 August, the British Viceroy, Lord Archibald Wavell dismissed Suhrawardy’s Muslim League government and British Army was deployed in riot afflicted areas to bring the situation under control.
Suhrawardy and the Muslim League Islamists learnt a lesson that when Hindus make up their minds to fight barbaric terrorism, they can be a deadlier and lethal force to contend with than the unscrupulous Jihadi Islamists.
Gopal refused Gandhi’s demand for laying down arms
The genocide of Hindus and murderous riots spread from Calcutta to other parts of India and Bengal during and after the partition. Gopal Patha, therefore, did not dissolve his organisation in order to protect his Hindus from Islamist jihadis. In 1947 pacifist MK Gandhi was on a tour of Bengal asking Hindus to give up their arms. Many Hindu leaders succumbed to his ‘satyagraha’ blackmail tactics and disarmed themselves, but Gopal Patha refused to concede to Gandhi’s demands as they found his suggestions impractical.
Gopal told in an interview later, “Gandhi called me twice, I didn’t go. The third time, some local Congress leaders told me that I should at least deposit some of my arms. I went there. I saw people coming and depositing weapons which were of no use to anyone: out-of-order pistols, that sort of thing. Then Gandhi’s secretary said to me: ‘Gopal, why don’t you surrender your arms to Gandhiji?’ I replied, `With these arms, I saved the women of my area, I saved the people. I will not surrender them. Where was Gandhiji, I said, during the Great Calcutta Killing? Where was he then? Even if I’ve used a nail to kill someone, I won’t surrender even that nail.” Gandhi’s pacifism couldn’t win over a man who saved Calcutta’s millions of Hindus from being completely wiped out.
Gopal Patha, the forgotten hero
Independent India raised on the canard that independence was won by pacifist means by Gandhi-Nehru duo, had no place for revolutionary leaders like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev nor for Subash Chandra Bose. Stalwarts like Veer Savarkar are routinely demonised by the leftist historians, it was no wonder therefore to completely sweep under the carpet the very occurrence of the Great Calcutta Killings by Jinnah’s Direct Action Day Islamist Jihad.
So, the great saviour of Bengal and Calcutta, Gopal Chandra Mukhopadhyay was not only forgotten but also sullied by leftist historians like Joya Chatterji, Professor of South-Asian History, University of Cambridge, as “a major dacoit” in an article in the Scroll. The article goes on to further denigrate the great man as a “syndicate ganglord with a finger in various pies such as real estate and gambling”.
Gopal Patha and his legendary history were commemorated by another doughty Hindu leader in his own right, Tapan Ghosh, fondly called Tapan da, who through his organisation, Hindu Samhati, held yearly rallies in Calcutta drawing a crowd of 10,000 youths in 2017. Tapan Da raised awareness about the Great Calcutta Killing, the horrendous genocide of Hindus and Gopal Patha’s decisive role which changed the fate of Calcutta and Bengali Hindus.
Bengali Hindus and Calcutta have two main leaders to thank for their very existence, one Gopal Patha the other being Syama Prasad Mukherjee. There is a famous saying that people who don’t remember their history are bound to repeat it. West Bengal seems to be on the brink of repeating its history with rising Islamist jihad. In today’s West Bengal, Hindus are denied permission to even immerse Durga idols in the Ganges, even the Bengali language has been cannibalised to suit Islamic tastes and merely chanting “Jai Shri Ram” would land you up in jail.
West Bengal today is crying for yet another Gopal Patha to save itself from becoming Greater Bangladesh.
Syndicated from Kreately