[Assam] This revealing letter also points towards bullying by Nehru and Patel forcing Bordoloi to ‘submission’ after the Cabinet Mission Plan failure as a VERY plausible scenario and of the reason Assam ending inside the Indian union.
barttabistar at googlemail.com
Sun Oct 8 12:04:52 EDT 2006
*Nehru favoured flow of migrants to NE*
*http://www.assamtribune.com/ **8 October 2006**
*By Prabal Kr Das
GUWAHATI, Oct 7 – "The refugee problem is one of the two or three problems
to which we give first priority in India at present. This applies to the
utilisation of our financial resources also. Our development schemes are
thought of in terms, to some extent, of refugees. If Assam adopts an
attitude of incapacity to help in solving the refugee problem, then the
claims of Assam for financial help obviously suffer."
The peculiar pro quid pro finds mention in a letter written to former State
Chief Minister, the late Gopinath Bardoloi by the then Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru. The communication to Bordoloi dated New Delhi, May 18,
1949 and bearing number 413 –P.M. was in response to a letter the
AssamChief Minister had written on May 7 that year.
The letter was found among the dossiers belonging to the eminent politician
late Gauri Shankar Bhattacharya, who shared close ties with Bardoloi.
Handing it over to *The Assam Tribune* today, his son Siddhartha
Bhattacharya, senior lawyer at the Guwahati High Court, attested its
Apart from linking financial flow to the issue of refugees, Nehru in his
two-page correspondence expresses his surprise that Bardoloi was finding it
difficult to deal "with influx of Muslims into Assam." He then becomes
somewhat tentative and says, "I do not think there is a permit system in
regard to Eastern Bengal and Western Bengal and possibly no such system
exists in regard to Assam either." Later, Nehru hints at devising ways and
means to deal with it.
In his letter Nehru takes note of Bardoloi's belief that dearth of land in
his state was an issue, and contends that if availability of land was a
problem in Assam, "it is still less available in the rest of India which is
very heavily populated, barring the deserts and mountains."
Nehru's posture is in stark contrast to Bardoloi's concern in protecting the
interest of his State when the Chief Minister is asked, "Where are these
[refugees] to go if each Province adopts the attitude that Assam apparently
Subsequently, the Prime Minister makes his position clearer on the issue and
states what appears like words of finality – "Therefore, we have to absorb
them and make provision for them so that they might be good citizens. In
doing this all provinces have to help and cooperate and it will do no good
to a province to refuse cooperation in the national work."
Nehru took exception to the stance of one minister of Bardoloi's Cabinet, "I
understand that Medhi, your Finance minister, is a strong opponent of any
further refugees coming to Assam. I think he is wrong in this."
>From the letter it becomes patently obvious that Nehru favoured Assam to act
as host to refugees flowing in from erstwhile East Pakistan. Some other
parts of the letter highlight corresponding views approving an easy
acceptance of migrants flowing into the region.
On the other hand, Gopinath Bardoloi's concerns revealed a deeper
understanding of contemporary reality. In retrospect, no less manifest is
the fact that what once was perceived as "national work" by a statesmanlike
figure has now become the root cause of a grave problem afflicting the
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