Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Amrita Bazaar Patrika’s historic Gallup Poll saved Bengali Hindus

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 Bengal or a separate homeland for Bengali Hindus.

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 Pakistan, feeling of need of own homeland to get rid of Islamic atrocities started to gain ground among Bengali Hindus. However, to make it official there was the need of a strong movement and in absence of a strong Hindu leadership (as usual always), Gallup Poll performed the historical duty.

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 India.


  1. A required peek into the past.

    But what has West Bengal become from that of 1947? Has it retained its Hindu homeland? Has it provided the abundant security 98.3% people need and voted for in 1947 via a Gallup Poll? Did the establishment provide any security to the Hindus in this regard? NO, they did not. The events following creating of West Bengal was nothing less than sheer bloodshed. How many Muslims moved to their domain of East Bengal?Only a minuscule population moved out. The rest of them remain in and around West Bengal to haunt the Hindus to date. Deganga is one of the recent examples of the appalling atrocities that are still directed against the Hindus in spite of the creation of a separate Hindu homeland.

    And this stigma is owed to the shallow vision our ancestors who claim to have fought for our freedom from the British but enslaved us with the Minorities!!!


  2. जब तक हिन्दू भयाक्रांत रहेंगे,झगडे होते ही रहेंगे.
    जहाँ कायर निवास करते हों वहाँ गुंडे अवश्य रहेंगे.
    हिन्दुओं को यह बात गांठ बांध लेनी चाहिए की यदि
    वे स्वयं भयभीत होते रहेंगे,तो उनकी रक्षा कोई भी
    नहीं कर सकता.मनुष्य के अंदर भय यह सिद्ध करता
    है कि उसे ईश्वर में भरोसा नहीं है.हिन्दू को इन दो गुणों
    में से एक गुण तो अपने पास रखना ही चाहिए.या तो ईश्वर
    में विश्वास या फिर अपनी ताकत में विश्वास.यदि उसके
    पास इन दो में से एक भी नहीं है तो वह अपने समाज के
    विनाश के लिए उत्तेर्दायी होगा.
    महात्मा गाँधी ( यंग इंडिया १८-९-१९२४ )
    We must unite to force any govt to care for Majority also.The education of Macauley must be changed to inculcate Sanatan Sanskriti & Dharm.