Every so often strange things do happen in lives, potent enough to exert strong influences on any individual or notion forever. Any such influence may also lead to a different direction or change the course of life on the whole.
Well, we are not here to delve into Hindu spiritualism or any other thing like that but to have a discussion on a survey that changed the course of history in Indian subcontinent once and for all albeit discarded by scholars for weird (governed by self-seeking factors a lot) reasons.
The subject here is the historic Gallup Poll conducted under the aegis of Amrita Bazaar Patrika, highly esteemed daily in Bengal in tumultuous 1940s, in 1947 to comprehend the general mindset of then Bengali Hindus, anguished and petrified, thanks to Muslim League-led atrocities – whether they were for a non-partitioned
It must be taken into account that the then British Government’s annunciation of Partition Proposal in 1947, in the days following Great Calcutta Killing and infamous anti-Hindu pogrom in Noakhali, added salt to the gaping wound of Hindus only. A substantial portion of them were not ready to live beside their erstwhile Muslim neighbors anymore while others remained bewildered. This led to further developments too.
Contrary to the clamor of Muslim League to have
On March 23, 1947 edition of Patrika, a simple but razor-sharp question was asked to its readers. “Do you want a separate homeland for Bengali Hindus?” was asked directly and without a shred of doubt. The same question was repeated on a daily basis in subsequent issues till April 15, 1947. Indeed, there was a brief break of two or three days in the intervening time.
Result of Gallup Poll was announced in the April 23, 1947 edition of Amrita Bazaar Patrika. The result stated clearly that 5,34,239 answers were submitted till April 15, 1947. And its meticulous scrutiny generated the subsequent result. YES – 98.3%; NO – 0.6%; REJECTED – 1.16%.
Was this study authentic? This question, expected and significant, did turn up then as well. To brush aside any such disarray, Amrita Bazaar Patrika referred Sri Surendra Mohan Ghosh, president of then Bengal Provincial Congress Committee and he termed the study not only as momentous but as ‘regular and valid’ also.
To prove its honesty more, Amrita Bazaar Patrika also reported that Messer’s Gupta & Mitra, one of the most distinguished CA (Chartered Accountant) firms in then Calcutta, had certified that the Gallup Poll was ‘substantially accurate.’ Publication of Gallup Poll created an awe-inspiring effect among Bengali Hindus, British Governance and Muslim League and galvanized the struggle for a separate Bengali Hindu homeland under the headship of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee.
The struggle fought tooth and nail subsequently culminated with the creation of West Bengal, Bengali Hindu homeland in