Hindu religious leaders have demanded that the “Khela Hobe Divas” celebration planned on 16 August by the West Bengal government be changed to a different day, as that date is seared in minds of citizens as Muslim League’s Direct Action Day in 1946 when thousands were killed in an orgy of violence.
“Celebrating Khela Divas on a day of mourning amounts to rubbing salt into open wounds,” the representatives from Hindu religious organisations said.
About 50 representatives of organisations like Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Ramakrishna Mission, Manirvan Math, Goura Mission etc. met West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday afternoon to submit this demand. Leader of Opposition in the Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari, who is also the chairman of trustees of Jagannath temple, Mechada, was also present at the meeting.
Representatives of Sanatan organisations called on Governor WB today to seek change in the date of "Khela Hobe Divas" as it reminds the horrendous memories of of Direct Action Day and ‘the week of long knives’ in 1946 that led to killings of thousands. pic.twitter.com/P5og6cLdJM
— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) August 10, 2021
16 Aug, 1946 – a dark day in history
Mohammed Ali Jinnah had declared 16th of August, 1946 to be “Direct Action Day” – a day when Muslims would take ‘direct action’ to force the British colonial government and Congress to give in to their demand of a separate Muslim nation of Pakistan. As Muslim League ruled only one state of Bharat i.e. Bengal at the time, it was there it decided to show the power of its “Direct Action”. A related agenda was to drive Hindus out of Kolkata and adjacent districts and make the area Muslim-majority, thus increasing chances of entire Bengal being made a part of East Pakistan.
Muslims were incited to riot using their religious history in the build up to the day, and PM of Bengal Hussain Suharawardy even declared a public holiday to further ensure success of the plan. Aug 16, 1946 was a Friday and the rioting started after incendiary speeches were delivered during the weekly mosque sermons. By 17th, around 10000 Hindus had been killed in Kolkata (Calcutta) city alone, countless women raped and abducted and Hindus started fleeing as the Muslim League had hoped. It was only on 18th that Hindus started fighting back under leadership of Gopal Patha and Kolkata was saved.
TMC’s “Khela Hobe” day
West Bengal is currently reeling under a state-wide pogrom that was unleashed by ruling TMC goons on Hindu workers and supporters of opposition BJP after election results announced on 2 May. Over 50 people have been murdered, at least 50K rendered homeless and hundreds of women gang-raped or molested. Victims and human rights activists have alleged that WB police aided and abetted the attackers and refused to even file FIRs in most cases.
The WB government has denied that any large-scale violence took place and claims that the ‘disturbance’ ceased by 9 May. But several fact-finding teams who visited the violence-hit areas, and video testimony of burnt houses and suffering people that has emerged on social media, proves otherwise.
Despite people of her state suffering from violence unleashed by her own goons, CM Mamata Banerjee declared 16 Aug as a ‘day of celebration’ during her July 21 “Martyrs’ Day” speech. Ironically, “Martyr’s Day” is an annual rally organized by the TMC regime in remembrance of 13 people shot dead by WB Police on 21 July, 1993 when CPM was ruling the state.
In her speech, Mamata said ‘Khela Hobe Diwas’ will be a ‘celebration of sports and sportsmanship, and a tribute to all sports lovers’ in memory of August 16, 1980, when 16 people who had come to watch the East Bengal-Mohun Bagan football derby in Eden Gardens had lost their lives in a stampede. The day is already observed as football lovers’ day by locals. Banerjee said that 1 lakh footballs would be distributed across the state on 16 Aug.
Khela Hobe (which means ‘the game is on’) became the TMC’s war cry during the just-concluded elections. The slogan was first coined by a Bangladeshi politician 4 years ago, and was popularised in West Bengal by murder accused TMC Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal, who at a local political event said, ‘Khela hobe. Bhoyonkor khela hobe. Ei maati tei khela hobe‘. (The game will happen. It will be a dangerous game. The game will be played in this battleground). Mamata and her MLAs made it amply clear during the campaign that BJP voters would have hell to pay and TMC would do Khela Hobe with them once EC and central forces left. And they did exactly that as Hindus were terrorized by green-gulal throwing TMC workers dancing to disco beats of the ‘Khela Hobe’ song after TMC’s victory.
So to celebrate the very slogan which has become the symbol of Hindu persecution on the very day which holds such dark memories for Hindus, is to rub salt into the wounds of a still-suffering Hindu society. For a change, Hindu religious bodies have stood up in protest against this brazen, anti-Hindu move of a fascist state government.
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