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aa mori bangla bhasha

Today is 21st February. We, Bengalis, fought for the dignity of our language against the mighty oppressors on this very day at 1952. Lakhs died. The seed for a new nation was planted, it germinated and formed Bangladesh. All for the language!

I salute the martyrs who gave our language the status to die for. And I request fellow bongs…don’t let the language die. Culture it. Trust me, it is getting endangered with the passing days.

Aamar bhasha, tomar bhasha, aa mori bangla bhasha.


"aamar bhaiyer roktey rangano ekushe february, aami ki bhulite pari"
Nice tribute!
Nehru carved off a lot away from what is now W Bengal by fudging the numbers of actual bangla speakers. That is why mineral-rich towns like Jamshedpur, Ranchi and Dhanbad fell in the pit called Bihar (new Jharkhand).
Anonymous said…
but fool, bihar and even new jharkhand, both are part of India, if only nation came before the state or language...well never mind...i guess there's no point
TheLadyLazarus said…
e desh
e desh
amari desh
ei matite
jonmecchi ma,
jibo, moron,
tomar choron,
tomar chorondhuli
dao ma.

Ghetufool said…
hi m,
thanks for taking part in observing the day. our language is the only factor that unites us all. we are too proud of it. you proved it with the poem. thanks again.
Ghetufool said…
as i believe nehru was never in favour of bongs, because of the subhas factor. it was quite natural to happen.
Ghetufool said…
i have a very high regard for you. everyday i visit your blog, but don't comment.
you are immensely talented.
i think you are monidipa in a new avataar.
correct me if i am wrong. and i apologise in advance if i am wrong.
whoever you are, you are god-gifted, and i mean it.
when I was a kid i had a book (choti-boi) called Amra Bangali. My entire family (grandparents on both sides) came from East Bengal and we grew up on stories of the riots. Ei markin muluke raastay bangla bhasha shunle ekhono buker modhe dhok kore othe. There's an immediate bonding.
Roshomon said…
Amar bangla...
Shonar bangla...
Patient Portnoy said…
Amar Shonar Bangla, jindabaad
Bangla bhasha, jindabad
Bangaali, jindabaad
Abangaali, tomrao jindabaad

Ghetufool and Fool, you guys seem to know so much...

Anon: Why nation, why stop at nation? If you wanna be a lib, why not go beyond the country and the spoonful of patriotism for once?
Ghetufool said…
yes m,
i understand your feelings. for people like you, i know, our language will survive every onslaught on it.
Ghetufool said…
dhonyobad tomay. jantam tumi comment debei.

Patient Portnoy,
onekdin baad ele. and i don't know about fool, but my knowledge is limited to basic history.
TheLadyLazarus said…
monidipa aabar ke?
TheLadyLazarus said…
by the way, that was a bengali song. Not written by me. A freedom figther I think.
Pip Squeak said…
ghetu: ha hah ha ha a hhahahahahaaaaa!! Don't you think enough Bengalis have stood up for our culture as it is. ABP is already doing that..... But I think that the rest of India is very very jealous of Bengalis for obvious reasons- Bengalis are much smarter than the rest of India be it social conditions or whatever bullshit. Name one cultural revolution or scientific one that Bengal has not initiated or contributed to? South Indians are also equally contributive to India's glory of course......

lazarus: Monidipa is my classmate from CIS.
TheLadyLazarus said…
I think it's the excessive intake of fish, huh Pip-Pip?
Chaila Bihari said…
Kolkatay thaki ar raat din sohortake galagaal di. Ageo ditam. Kokhon ditam na jano? Jokhon Dillite thaktam. Thokon Banglar jonno mon kemon korto. Bonshur speaker e jore Chondrobindoo chaliye ditam.
Ek colleague bollo Gol Market chole ja, Bangla kagaj, potrika pabi. Khunjte khunjte pounche gelam. Upri pelam Basu Lodge — bangali hote — Ekhon bondho hoye gache.
Times Houser 3rd floore akchar Bangla sona jeto, ritimoto jor golay. Monei hoto na onno kothao achi.
Bhasay Emon Kotha Bole / Bojhe je sokole / Uncha Nicha Choto Bodo / Soman
Ekushe kintu sref amaderi noy. Pranter seema periye Ekushe February sobar... Jati Songho (UN) onumodito 'Biswa Matribhasa Dibas'.
Ghetufool said…
never mind. why bother.
Ghetufool said…
and i didn't pass my judgement based on this poem. i referred to your blog.
Ghetufool said…
that's your opinion right? i don't want my ass to be on fire.
Ghetufool said…
chaila bihari,
i should have put that in my piece.
thanks, for that extra bit of vital information.
bhalo theko, jai hind.
TheLadyLazarus said…
well, I guess an ass on fire isn't a very comfortable thing to live with. Don't blame you, Ghetufool.
Anonymous said…
Exploitation of Bengal
Economic exploitation has various forms:
1) colonial exploitation,
2) imperialist exploitation, and 3) fascist exploitation.

Let us examine each of these three forms of exploitation by taking the example of Bengal.

Colonial Exploitation

The first part of British rule in Bengal was a period of colonial exploitation. The British capitalists, in order to capture the vast markets of Bengal, systematically destroyed all Bengal's industry and forced the local manufacturers and skilled labourers to work in British owned factories. The British East India Company used to collect raw materials by looting and intimidating the local people. It contracted a pledge from those who worked in cottage industries that they would buy raw materials only from the company, and sell finished products only to the company. The company used to sell raw materials at high rates, and buy finished products at 25% below their actual market price. The manufacturers who refused to agree to the terms of the company were handcuffed and publicly flogged, and the thumbs of many weavers who resisted the demands of the company were chopped off to destroy their capacity to weave fine cloth. Because of this kind of oppression, the weavers of Bengal could not compete with the weaving industry which was being developed in Manchester. Within 10 years after the Battle of Plassey in 1773, all the important industries in Bengal such as silk, cotton, sugar, salt, colour dyes, machine parts, ship building, etc. were systematically destroyed. The manufacturers and skilled labourers who had been employed in various industries for generations were uprooted from their natural source of livelihood and pushed towards agriculture. The inevitable result was the catastrophic famine in the Bengali year 1176 (the end of the eighteenth century). Thus, Bengal was converted into a supplier of raw materials and a market for British products. This type of economic exploitation is called "colonial exploitation".

Even 40 years after Indian independence, the vestiges of colonial exploitation have not been obliterated from Bengal. Rather, exploitation by the Indian capitalists has been deepened and widened. These Indian capitalists are outsiders who have not identified their own socio-economic interests with the interests of the local area. Today they look upon West Bengal and its adjoining areas as merely a source of raw materials. These capitalists purchase the agricultural, mineral and forestery resources of Bengal at cheap rates and convert them into manufactured goods in their own factories in Gujarat, Punjab, Maharastra and Rajasthan, and then sell the finished products in the Bengal market at twice the price. Almost all items of daily use in Bengal are manufactured outside Bengal, but sold in the West Bengal market. At the same time, Bengal's own industries have either been paralysed or destroyed so that the goods produced in Bengal can never compete with those of the Indian capitalists produced outside Bengal. This is the reason why West Bengal does not get the chance to establish new industrial enterprises. The Punjab and Harayana have been turned into monopoly centres for the leather industry, but strangely, in both these states, hides are scarcely available. Industrialists from these states procure animal skins from the forests of Tarai and Duars in North Bengal and the deltaic region of the Sundabans in the south of the state, and sell their finished leather products in Bengal. West Bengal has no hide industry to supply finished products to its own market. Only a small percentage of leather shoes produced in Batanagar is supplied to the West Bengal market and the largest percentage is exported to foreign markets. The same situation prevails in the sports goods industry. Needless to say, the owners of all the essential industries in West Bengal are outsiders. To them West Bengal is merely a colony to acquire raw materials as well as a vast market for the sale of finished goods which are manufactured in their own regions. All these outsiders are guided by one psychology: "As we have come to a foreign land, let us try to loot as much as we can."

Imperialist Exploitation

Next comes imperialist exploitation. In this case the exploiters fully exercise their political and economic power for their own economic exploitation. The second half of British rule in India was characterised by imperialist exploitation. In fact, the imperialist exploitation of Bengal can be traced to the rein of the Mughal Emperor Akbar about 400 years ago. There is a reference in the book "Ain-E-Akbari" ("The Laws of Akbar") that Bengal had to supply 23,301 cavalrymen, 801,159 infantrymen, 4,400 ships, 4,260 cannons and 108 elephants to the Mughal army. Bengal also had to pay a large tribute to meet Akbar's military expenses, supply provisions to the Mughal army, and pay taxes to offset the losses incurred in Akbar's campaigns. But the funny thing is that when Aorangzed deployed a large Mughal army to suppress the Marathas in the Deccan, Bengal again had to supply a large part of the provisions and running expenses of his army. In the process, the economy of Bengal was completely drained and the people impoverished. As a result of the Mughal exploitation, Bengal was confronted by a series of economic disasters and famines, and the Mughal rulers, with the help of their feudal lords, ruthlessly suppressed all local revolts.

The Mughal misrule of Bengal was closely followed by the British colonial and imperialist exploitation. When Clive left India, he took away a huge cash amount of millions of rupees. The East India Company and its employees took a bribe of 30 million rupees to carry out the exploitation of Bengal, and the British officers looted and plundered a vast amount of wealth from the palaces of the native rulers.

The complement to economic exploitation is political oppression. British political exploitation reduced the number of the Bengalis by dividing Greater Bengal into numerous fragments and annexing those areas to adjoining states. The people of Bengal were deprived of the natural resources of those regions which were later formed into Assam, Bihar and Orissa. The ethnic Bengalis of those areas, after only a few generations, became separated from the main stream of Bengali life and culture. The British did not apply this principle of `divide and rule' to any other part of India. Just to perpetuate their economic exploitation in Bengal, the British resorted to political oppression. Bengalis had experienced the tyranny of highly placed people, but they had never experienced oppression that completely stifled their means of commerce and livelihood, and almost destroyed their very existence.

The net result of all this exploitation was the devastating famine in the Bengali year of 1176. Within a very short period after the famine began, about 10 million people, including artisans, skilled labourers, farmers, etc. died. For 20 years after that famine the British imperialist forces ruthlessly strangulated the economy of Bengal and systematically obliterated all the important industries such as cotton, silk, sugar, salt, iron, colour dyes, ship building, etc. Before India entered the 19th century, all of Bengal's important industries were destroyed. Dacca, a most prosperous city, was a famous weaving and commercial centre, but it lost its pre-eminence and the population declined because the people were uprooted from their traditional means of livelihood. The unemployed skilled labourers left Dacca and traveled to the countryside in search of new occupations, and finally took to agriculture. Naturally, these new workers became landless labourers and the agricultural sector became overcrowded. This was how the important industrial centres like Murshidabad, Pandua, etc. lost their economic prosperity. Innumerable unemployed youth were created in the industrial sector of Bengal's economy, and they had no alternative but to resort to agriculture.

After completely destroying the industries of Bengal, the British capitalists turned their attentions to the rural sector. In 1779 the British colonialists forced the Bengali peasants to cultivate indigo in their paddy lands because there was a great demand for colour dyes in the European market. The problem was that once indigo was planted it took two to three years to mature, and in this time no other crops could be cultivated. The peasants refused to cultivate indigo instead of paddy, and consequently they were subjected to inhuman torture and oppression. This continued for over 80 years, then the people of Bengal revolted and the cultivation of indigo stopped.

Along with the cultivation of indigo, the British merchants cast their greedy eyes on Bengal's jute and tea industries. In order to further increase their profits, they began to exploit these two commodities. In 1793 Lord Dalhousie, through the arrangement of permanent settlements, revived the outdated British feudal system in the rural economy of Bengal. According to this system, the landlords (the zamindars) were made the owners of the land and armed with enormous economic and political power. They were given the authority to impose revenue taxes on land, evict farmers, arbitrarily sell farmers movable and immovable property, and if necessary try and sentence farmers to death. In exchange for all these privileges, the landlords had to pay a fixed amount of money to the British Raj at the end of each year. If that amount was not deposited in the treasury at the appointed time, the land holdings of the landlord were auctioned. Naturally, no landlord wanted his land auctioned, so regardless of the climatic conditions or the size of the crops, he forced the farmers to pay the required taxes. Besides paying their government revenue, the landlords always tried to make a profit, so they collected more than the prescribed amount from the farmers. However, the landlords encountered certain difficulties when they tried to collect tax revenues directly by moving from place to place, consequently the system of collecting taxes through agents was introduced. These agents gave the responsibility for collecting taxes to another set of people, thus between the landlord and the farmer there were agents of different strata. The agents at the lowest stratum used to deduct a certain percentage of the tax revenue and give the rest to the higher level agents. Thus, the farmers had to bear the brunt of this enormous financial burden. Moreover, the agents did not issue any receipts, so there was no limit to the exploitation and looting of the farmers who were impoverished beyond their means.

Besides the landlords and their agents, another group of exploiters emerged who took advantage of the poverty of the farmers. These were the money lenders, who lent money to the farmers at exorbitant rates of interest. The farmers were forced to take loans which they could never repay, so they mortgaged their lands. Eventually the money lenders became the owners of the farmers' lands, and the farmers were thus converted into landless labourers. Such a huge population of landless labourers was found only in Bengal.

In 1947, when the British left India, another era of exploitation by Indian imperialists started in the wake of the partition of Bengal. Despite the long period of British exploitation, in the initial phase after independence the small state of Bengal was more advanced than any other state in India, and there were many Bengali industrialists. The outsiders started to systematically eliminate the Bengali industrialists from specific areas of trade and industry. This methodical economic oppression of Bengal started immediately after India attained freedom. During the period immediately after independence, in order to earn more foreign exchange from jute, West Bengal's paddy land was converted into jute production. The farmers were losers on two fronts. First, their income from paddy was totally stopped, and secondly, they were not given the market value of the jute they produced. The outsiders benefited in two ways. They exported all the jute to foreign countries to earn foreign exchange, and they supplied rice to Bengal produced in their own areas. There are 80 jute mills in West Bengal, and all of them are owned by outsiders who make a total profit of hundreds of millions of rupees per annum. The Central Government earns a similar amount by exporting jute to overseas countries, and another few hundred million rupees as taxes, duties, etc. on jute products. 20% of India's total foreign exchange comes from Bengal's jute industry, but Bengal's indigenous jute farmers are deprived of any profit from jute production. West Bengal earns no percentage of the foreign exchange acquired from its natural resources. The Central Government sells cotton to Maharastra and Gujarat at comparatively low prices, whereas the farmers of Bengal are forced to buy the same commodities at higher prices. Naturally, the cost of producing cotton cloth and hand-spun clothes is higher in Bengal than in other states. The same thing applies in the case of sugar. Furthermore, Bengal has to sell coal and iron ore to other parts of the country without making any profit, and it has to buy edible oil and other essential food items at extra cost.

Due to prolonged exploitation by the outsiders, the economic structure of Bengal has been totally shattered and 90% of Bengal's population now lives below the poverty line. Yet an average of 100 million rupees is drained out of West Bengal per day by the outsiders, and Bengal's own industrial enterprises have been almost totally destroyed. The important industrial sectors together with trade and commerce are now in the hands of the outsiders. Over 10 million able-bodied young Bengalis are unemployed, whereas the non-Bengali capitalists employ 60% of the work-force from outside the state.

Fascist Exploitation

The final and most dangerous form of economic exploitation is fascist exploitation. In order to canvas national support to justify their exploitation, the imperialists popularize the theory of nationalism. They portray their exploitation as rational and constitutional and based on the national interest. The British imperialists, in order to legitimize their exploitation, embraced nationalist theory. Following the example of the British, Benitto Mussolini of Italy and Adolf Hitler of Germany moved along the same path. When communist imperialism was established after the Second World War, the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin floated the concept of the supremacy of the Slav race. Likewise, the Chinese leader Mao Zedong built up the superiority of the Chinese race. As soon as an imperialist power is transformed into a fascist power, it spreads out its tentacles to psychically and culturally oppress a vanquished people. To perpetuate unhinded economic exploitation, psychic exploitation starts almost simultaneously. Where psychic exploitation is used to further economic exploitation, it is called "psycho-economic exploitation." At the very outset, the fascist exploiters select a weak community who inhabits a region rich in natural resources. The fascists socially and culturally uproot the victimized community by imposing a foreign language and culture on them. Because the local people cannot easily express their individual and collective feelings and sentiments in a foreign language, they develop a defeatist psychology and inferiority complex with respect to the exploiters. This defeatist psychology destroys the natural spiritedness and will to fight of the local people, and the fascists skillfully utilise this golden opportunity. The primary interest of the fascist exploiters is to gradually suck the vitality of the local community so that they can pillage and plunder their natural resources, but if necessary they will obliterate the local community from the face of the earth.

During the British rule of India, the unfortunate Bengalis were the victims of various types of rapacious psychic exploitation by the British fascists. The British adopted three main methods of psychic exploitation. The British exploiters, obsessed with crushing freedom struggles and national revolts, tried to destroy the revolutionary spirit of the Bengalis, so they started psycho- economic exploitation also. Besides this, in order to reduce the Bengali population, they divided Bengal into different regions and annexed them to the adjoining states. A large section of the population became separated from the mainstream of Bengali life and identified with the cultural heritage of the newly formed states. The same legacy is being followed even now.

The exploitative psychology of the capitalists was visibly manifest in the refugee policy. By the end of 1949 the rehabilitation problem of the refugees who came from West Pakistan had been completely solved. But the refugees who came from East Pakistan were subject to an altogether different policy, and the Bengali refugee problem has been kept in abeyance till now. An overwhelming number of Bengali refugees, by dint of their self-confidence, physical capabilities and hard work, have been continuing their struggle for survival in Tripura, Assam, Bihar and Orissa. Even in 1981, millions of poor and helpless refugees are living on the streets in the towns and cities of Bengal, wandering aimlessly in search of food and shelter.

The plan to reduce the size of the Bengali community is being implemented through the systematic destruction of the vitality of the Bengali people. The most powerful means of expression of a people's collective psychic power is their language and literature, hence to try and uproot a people from their culture is a special form of psychic exploitation. The cultural suppression against the Bengalis throughout eastern India is rampant. To undermine the morality and integrity of Bengal's national character, drugs, alcohol, prostitution and lewd films and books, within salacious and criminal themes, have been spread throughout the state like ulcerous wounds.

In the factories and the rural production centres, the capitalist exploitation of India continues unabated. and the landholders, as the last vestiges of the feudalistic social order, perpetrate their exploitation in the villages. The capitalists and landlords carry on their exploitation hand-in-hand. The survival and social security of the landless labourers depends solely on the whims of the landlords, who can expel the labourers at any time on any pretext.

The exploitation of the capitalists and landlords is accompanied by the exploitation of the money lenders. In the rural economy they lend money to the farmers and rural peasants, and in each and every village and hamlet of West Bengal they are ubiquitous. Where the landlords are not physically present, their loyal agents are very active. The money lenders have nothing to do with the land -- they merely give loans to the poor farmers on high interest. Sometimes the poor farmers cannot afford to procure farming implements, hence they are compelled to take loans from the money lenders. If a money lender gives 100 rupees to a farmer, the farmer will have to repay 200 rupees with interest, but the money lender does not take back the loan in cash. Instead, he realises the amount in kind in the form of paddy, potatoes, etc. at cheap rates at the time of the harvest. The poor farmer, under the pressure of circumstances, has to accept this unwelcome system. He is a double looser -- first he has to pay more than double the amount of the original loan, and secondly, this amount is paid in kind at the rate of the harvest price of the crop, which is naturally very cheap. This whole process is conducted through agents, who also take their profit. Thus the peasants and farmers of India are deprived of all their agricultural produce in four to five months of the year to repay the money lenders, so for the remaining seven to eight months they have to approach the money lenders again for fresh loans. At first they mortgage their implements, and then they are forced to part with their land. When the amount of the loans with compound interest increases to the point where the interest and the mortgage is equal to the price of their land, the money lenders confiscate the land of the farmers. Thus the farmers get evicted from their land and move from village to village, living on the streets as beggars.

The direct representatives of the capitalist exploiters in the rural economy are the middlemen. They take advantage of the poverty and distress of the farmers and force them to depend on the capitalists for their production. For example, in West Bengal, Calcutta is the main centre of the capitalists, but of course they have other subsidiary centres in various parts of the state. For example, they have centres in Siliguri in North Bengal, Sainthia in Bhirbum district, Purulia town in Purulia district and Mindapore town in Mindapore district. From these centres the capitalists, through their agents and middlemen, control the entire rural economy of West Bengal. The farmers helplessly depend on these middlemen not only for procuring farm implements, but also for the sale of agricultural produce. They also take advantage of the illiteracy of the simple uneducated farmers, collect their signatures or thumb prints for a larger loan, and pay them less than the market value of their produce.

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