Noakhali riots

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The Noakhali riots were a series of semi-organized massacres, rapes, abductions and forced conversions of Hindus to Muslim and looting and arson of Hindu properties organized by the All India Muslim League and perpetrated by the Muslim community in the districts of Noakhali in the Chittagong Division of Bengal (now in Bangladesh) in October–November 1946.

Quotes[edit]

  • It was the cry of outraged womanhood that had peremptorily called him to Noakhali. He felt he would find his bearings only on seeing things for himself at Noakhali. His technique of non-violence was on tried. It remained to be seen how it would answer in the face of the present crisis. If it had no validity, it were better that he himself should declare his insolvency. He was not going to leave Bengal until the last embers of the trouble were stamped out.
  • The immediate occasion for the outbreak of the disturbances was the looting of a Bazar in Ramganj police station following the holding of a mass meeting and a provocative speech by the person now arrested, wrote the Governor, alleged to be the organizer of the disturbances — Gholam Sarwar Hussein.
  • The holocaust in Noakhali in the same year (1946) was likewise intended as a full-fledged jihãd. The call in this case was pronounced by Gholam Sarwar, a Muslim M.L.A. from those parts. Gholam Sarwar’s call was not documented, but the report submitted by Judge Simpson clearly refers to “large-scale conversion of Hindus to Islam by application of force in village after village. In many instances, upon the refusal of the menfolk to embrace Islam, their women were kept confined and converted under duress.” [1] All these of course were characteristic of a true jihãd. This was not all. As in Calcutta, the Noakhali riots were characterised by the dishonouring of thousands of Hindu women. There were clear indications that these unfortunate women were looked upon as the mujãhids’ lawful plunder (ghanîmah). Baboo Rajendralal Roy, the President of Noakhali Bar Association, attempted to put up on his own some resistance to this jihãd. The outcome of this resistance has been described by a contemporary writer: “Rajenbaboo’s head was presented to Gholam Sarwar on a platter, and two of his lieutenants received as guerdon both of his young daughters (in their harem).”[2]
    • Quoted in Majumadāra, S. (2001). Jihād: The Islamic doctrine of permanent war. ch. 10
  • The Calcutta carnage was followed by the 'Noakhali Riot' in October 1946. There, Hindus including Scheduled Castes were killed and hundreds were converted to Islam. Hindu women were raped and abducted. Members of my community also suffered loss of life and property. Immediately after these happenings, I visited Tipperah and Feni and saw some riot-affected areas. The terrible sufferings of Hindus overwhelmed me with grief, but still I continued the policy of co-operation with the Muslim League.
    • Excerpted from the resignation letter of J. N. Mandal, Minister for Law and Labour, Government of Pakistan, October 8, 1950. [1] [2]

External links[edit]

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  1. Translated from the Bengali original cited in R.C. Majumdar, Bãñglãdesher Itihãsa, Volume IV.
  2. Benoy Bhushan Ghosh, Dvijãtitattva O Bãñgãli, p. 68.