Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the founder of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (predecessor of the BJP), passed away on June 23, 1953, reportedly due to a heart attack. However, prior to his demise, he had resigned in April 1950 in protest against the controversial Nehru-Liaquat Pact.
GS I: History
Dimensions of the Article:
- Nehru-Liaquat Pact
- Criticisms of Nehru-Liaquat Pact
- SP Mukherjee’s Issues with the Nehru-Liaquat Pact
- The Nehru-Liaquat Pact, also known as the Delhi Pact, was signed between India and Pakistan.
- It aimed to address the treatment of minorities in the two countries following the partition of British India in 1947.
Signing and Purpose:
- Signed on April 8, 1950, by Jawaharlal Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan, the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, respectively.
- The pact was a response to communal tensions and violence that arose after Partition.
- Security: Both countries agreed to protect the life, property, and honor of their respective minority communities.
- Equality: Emphasized equal rights and opportunities for all citizens, irrespective of religion or ethnicity.
- Non-Discrimination: Pledged to eliminate discrimination based on religion, race, caste, or creed, ensuring security for minority communities.
- Repatriation of Minorities: Allowed for the return of migrants who had moved from one country to the other after Partition and wished to go back to their former homes.
- Cultural and Educational Rights: Recognized the significance of preserving the cultural and educational rights of minorities, including protection of language, script, and religious institutions.
- The pact aimed to promote harmony, protect minority rights, and alleviate tensions between the two countries in the aftermath of Partition.
Criticisms of Nehru-Liaquat Pact
- Despite the agreement, incidents of communal violence and discrimination persisted in both India and Pakistan.
- Critics argue that the provisions of the pact were not effectively enforced by the governments.
- The Nehru-Liaquat Pact primarily focused on the rights and protection of religious minorities.
- Critics contend that it neglected the rights of linguistic and ethnic minorities who also faced discrimination and marginalization.
Lack of Community Consultation:
- Some analysts criticize the pact for being negotiated and signed by leaders without extensive consultation with the affected minority communities.
- This limited the inclusivity and representation of the voices and concerns of the minorities in the agreement.
Inadequate Monitoring and Enforcement:
- Without robust mechanisms to monitor and enforce the provisions, the pact remained symbolic and failed to bring substantial change on the ground.
- Many political analysts argue that both Nehru and Liaquat used the pact as a means to enhance their international image and project an image of tolerance and harmony.
- Critics suggest that the real impact on minority rights was limited.
Unchanged Ground Realities:
- Despite the pact, the conditions for minorities continued to be challenging, and their rights and security remained largely unchanged.
SP Mukherjee’s Issues with the Nehru-Liaquat Pact:
Advocacy for Divided Bengal:
- Initially, Mookerjee supported the idea of a united India.
- However, as Partition became inevitable, he shifted his focus towards advocating for a divided Bengal, with West Bengal specifically for Hindu Bengalis.
Anger over the Delhi Pact:
- When the Nehru-Liaquat Pact was signed, which promised minority rights and the establishment of minority commissions in both India and Pakistan, Mookerjee became extremely angry.
- He viewed the Pact as a betrayal of the logical outcome of Partition, which was a Hindu India and a Muslim Pakistan.
Concern for Hindu Refugees:
- Witnessing the large influx of Hindu refugees from East Pakistan, Mookerjee felt that the Pact would leave Hindus in East Bengal at the mercy of the Pakistani state.
- He believed that the Pact did not adequately address the rights and security of the Hindu minority in East Bengal.
Advocacy for Population and Property Exchange:
- Instead of the Pact, Mookerjee argued for a systematic exchange of population and property between East Bengal and the states of Tripura, Assam, West Bengal, and Bihar.
- He proposed granting the Hindu minority in East Bengal an opportunity to settle in India while encouraging the Muslim minorities in India to relocate to East Bengal.
-Source: Indian express