Indians! Don't forget 16th August, 1946 (Direct Action Day)Pakistan was almost a foregone conclusion. But they wanted Calcutta (now Kolkata). So, Jinnah called for Direct Action. Muslim League Prime Minister (at that time Chief Minister was called Prime Minister) Shaheed Suhrawardy declared public holiday on 16th August, 1946 and sent all the armed police to their barracks. On the morning, Santosh Kumar Bhattacharya, like all other days, went to the nearby sweet shop at Park Circus to purchase Kachori and Jalebi for breakfast. He was stabbed to death. Riot started. The goondas of Muslim League had a free hand to kill, rape and destroy. From the second day onward, ordinary, common Hindus resisted. Gopal Mukherjee (a mutton-shop owner at College Street), taxi-drivers of Kidderpore and Bhowanipore and fish-sellers all over Calcutta led the resistance and retaliation, when they saw the Muslim League Provincial Government was openly helping the goondas. During the next two days, continuous attack and counter-attack took place at every locality. The non-violent leaders of Congress and (Muslim League supporter) Left leaders were silent. When the Hindus started getting upper hand and the goondas were at the receiving end, Suhrawardy pleaded to Gandhi to impress upon Hindus to stop the retaliation. The vultures covered the sky of Calcutta during the next one month.
Even today, many old people of Calcutta (my old mother included) remember the horrible slogan:"Hath-me biri, Mukh-me pan, Ladke lenge Pakistan" along with religious war-cry.
Let us remember the forgotten people who fought back and saved Calcutta during the three momentous days. They prevented mass exodus of Hindus from Calcutta and thus prevented the effort of the Muslim League to force British to include Calcutta in Pakistan. Let us not forget History. People who forget History are the most unfortunate and they are prone to repeat the same mistake.