Skip to content Skip to navigation

Gopinath Bordoloi, who saved Assam becoming an islamic state

The deteriorating political and law and order situation in Assam and involvement of political leaders in dividing the society for their personal or party's interest has compelled the citizens to remember a leader, who saved Assam becoming an Islamic state on the eve of India's attaining independence in the year 1947. That was a time when British government conspired to divide the country on religious community basis by creating Hindu and Muslim majority states and leave them quarreling for ever. The present turmoil in the state calls for emergence of a leader like Gopi Nath Bardoloi, who played a vital role in saving Assam becoming an Islamic state more than six decades ago. Had the British Cabinet Mission succeeded in its plan, the history of Assam would have been different one.

The Labour Party government in Britain sent the Mission to explore the possibility of drafting a future Constitution for India in consultation with the Viceroy and the Indian political leaders. The Mission reached India on March 23, 1946 and began discussions with Indian leaders. According to its plan the Union of India would consist of both British India and the Indian states. It arbitrarily divided British India into three groups viz A, B and C. While six Hindu majority provinces of Madras, Bombay, Bihar, Orissa, Central Province and United Province of Agra and Awadh formed group A, Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and North West Frontier Provinces in group B. Assam and Bengal were clubbed together in group C. The Cabinet Mission had thorough discussions with the Congress and Muslim League leaders before announcing their plan.

On April 1, 1946 Gopi Nath Bardoloi had an interview with the Mission. He strongly protested inclusion of Assam into group C. He argued Assam was already a province formed on linguistic and cultural basis enjoying provincial autonomy. It should be allowed to continue in the future set-up also as a full-fledged unit, he pleaded. He favoured even separation of Sylhet district from Assam and rejected Mohammed Ali Jinna's demand for Pakistan as absolutely preposterous. The Cabinet Mission stuck to its plan of forming groups.

The Mission's proposal to group Assam with Bengal for creating a predominantly Muslim zone in Eastern India like one proposed to be setup in western India was strongly resented by the people of Assam. According to this plan the Assam representatives to the Constituent Assembly would have to sit in a section with the Bengal representatives to determine the provincial constitution and also a constitution for group C by a simple majority of votes. Except Muslim League, all quarters in Assam protested against this grouping scheme. The Cabinet Mission's announcement of the proposal came out on May 16, 1946. Assam Provincial Congress Committee then in session at Guwahati lodged an emphatic protest with the Congress Working Committee against it. The Asom Jatiya Mahasabha did some secret papers showing the designs of Muslim League in Assam. There began a feverish agitation in Assam to quash the group scheme, which was but the thin end to be driven into the heart of Assam.

On July 16,1946 the Assam Legislative Assembly adopted a resolution moved by the Chief Minister (erstwhile premier) Gopinath Bardoloi himself expressing strong disapproval of the plan and directing ten representatives of Assam to the Constituent Assembly elected by the Provincial Assembly not to sit in section with any other province for devising the Constitution of Assam or any group constitution with such other province for settlement of any question relating to Assam.

The discontent in Assam was based on genuine fears. It was clear once Assam was grouped with Muslim majority Bengal to serve the interest of Muslim community her fate would be sealed . Assam would lose her identity and individuality in the political whirlpool of Muslim India, although Assam was not and had never been a Muslim majority province. Gopinath Bardoloi, who became the chief minister of Assam for the second time in February 1946 and continued to lead his ministry through Independence until his death on August 5, 1950, took best opportunity to express his views on the future Constitution of India and the state of Assam within it when the Cabinet Mission invited him for this purpose in April 1946.

The Congress Working Committee took time in giving a clear and bold lead to Assam on this vital issue. On behalf of Gopinath Bardoloi, Bijoy Chandra Bhagawati and Mahendra Mohan Choudhury called on Gandhiji at Srirampur and placed Assam's case before him seeking his advice and guidance at the critical juncture. Strengthened with blessings of Gandhiji, Gopi Nath Bardoloi succeeded at last in convincing the Indian leaders about the Assam's just case and getting this part of the Cabinet Mission's plan scrapped. Had not Assam opposed the grouping scheme, the formal establishment of Pakistan might have been delayed for a time, but there would have been no Assam left. Gopinath Bardoloi with his farsightedness and sagacity, revolutionary zeal and heroic leadership rescued Assam and her people from the mischievous conspiracy of foreign rulers. Revered by the people as a true patriot and a disciplined Gandhian, Gopinath Bardoloi was a statesman of high stature. He steered Assam through a very crucial phase of its history and saved Assam becoming an Islamic state.

Comments

anubhav roy's picture

had gopinath bordoloi and assamese body not give sylhet to Pakistan there would have no linguistic problem in assam. but due to his linguistic chauvinism bengali community who are the genuine inhabitants of barak and sylhet became refugees. but today's assamese intellectuals did not want to discuss the matter.
Dilwar Hussain's picture

Bordoloi opposed inclusion of Sylhet dist of present Bangladesh, and opposed inclusion of Assam with Bengal in Group C . He knew that that will harm Assanese language and culture .

Pages

Add new comment

Random Stories

Dr Sarma in Centre’s new panel of education ministers

4 Apr 2012 - 4:45am | editor
Education minister Dr Himanta Biswa has been included in the 10-member committee set up by the Centre to give shape to the government's ambitious plan to roll out community colleges in the country...

ULFA calls for 12 hr Assam bandh on Monday

7 Nov 2009 - 7:08am | editor
Assam police gets remand of Chitraban Hazarika and Sasha Chaudhury even as the the banned insurgent outfit on Sarturday calls for 12 hour Assam bandh demanding their unconditional release. In a...

EC reviews poll preparedness

12 Mar 2014 - 10:04am | AT News
Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath is on a day long visit to Guwahati to take stock of the preparation for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls slated for April 7, 12 and 24.Sampath is reviewing the...

Day boarding centre inaugurated

1 Jan 2021 - 10:42pm | Prantik Deka
A day boarding centre with the most modern facility in the region — KidsCareHub, located in Rajgarh, Byelane-1, Chandmari, Guwahati, was inaugurated on January 2 by the state’s noted writer and the...

Other Contents by Author

The BJP detractors, the four Members of Assam Legislative Assembly, who defied the party whip during recent Rajya Sabha elections and cast their votes in favor of the candidates of Congress Party, now seem to have facing a tough time to save their political career. They have around them a bitter atmosphere in their constituencies and their high dreams are shattered. Now they have the only alternative to join the Congress Party, for which they are trying their best. The Assembly elections in Assam next year may put them in difficult situation for various reasons. None of the political parties would like to have such ‘salable items’. It may be mentioned here that four...
Hundreds of people representing Bengali, Manipuri, Naga, Khasi, Reang, Dimasa and other communities living in southern part of Assam district staged demonstration in front of Deputy Commissioner's office at Silchar last week demanding total scrapping of controversial Tipaimukh Dam to be constructed on Barak River. During the demonstration they shouted slogans condemning government’s attitude and demanded immediate scraping of this project. Pijus Kanti Das, Secretary General of Committee on Peoples and Environment (COPE) and a number of leaders from different organizations and groups joined the demonstration before the DC’s office. It may be mentioned that the people, both in...
Under the aegis of Directorate of Cultural Affairs and Assam State Film Finance and Development Corporation (ASFFDC), Film Award Festival -2010, was formally declared open by Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi at the Rabindra Bhawan on March 10 last. The celebration of 75 years of Assamese cinema was graced by presence of a number of dignitaries in the field, prominent among them were Parikshit Sahani, Seema Guha and Jahnu Baruah. Veteran film director, Jahnu Baruah conferred Pabitra Kumar Deka Memorial Award for the best film critic announced by the Assam Cultural Affairs department on Assamese films, to Azhar Alam, a senior journalist of Pratah Khabar, a Hindi Daily, published from...
Despite reluctance of Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi to go for inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Rupees one thousand crore scam of North Cachar Hills development fund, as demanded by the Opposition parties of the state, he had to bow down and decided to go for the same after getting advice from the Union Home Ministry. According to the news item published by The Week, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), had earlier suggested that since there were the evidences of nexus between the militants, politicians and government officials, the government should go for the probe by the CBI, but the chief minister did not agree to the suggestion. He repeatedly denied...
The North East NGO Forum has shown concern over distribution and diversion of funds for development of the North Eastern region of the country by Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER). Addressing the media persons, Paresh Chandra Baishya, the general secretary of the organization, alleged that the funds for development of the north eastern region is being given to the organizations of other states by the ministry of North East Region’s Development (DoNER). Giving a few instances he said that during the year 2008-09, rupees twenty three lakhs were given to the Government of India’s Administrative Staff College, Hyderabad. During the same period Indian...
Burma’s largest political party, National League for Democracy (NLD), which won 392 seats out of total 492 parliamentary seats, in the country’s general elections of 1990, could not form its government even after its landslide victory, as the military junta regime ignored the verdict of the people and refused to hand over the power to NLD. That was a blatant mockery in the name of election in Burma. It may be recalled that the people of that country have not forgotten the days when due to deterioration of Burma’s economic situation and oppressive one political party rule on August 8, 1988 (which is also known as 8-8-88), when the workers, monks, peasants, teachers,...
Abductions, extortions, killings and all sorts of violence have their roots in certain forms of corruption. Since the last part of twentieth century and the beginning of twenty-first century, all types of violence throughout the world have increased day by day. Those did not take place overnight. The Indian society had also to bear the brunt of such evils. The frustration among the poor and deprived people in the country was brought due to corruption. Money and muscle powers took lead in spreading these ills. The rich and influential people began to acquire more and more wealth and property, whereas the poor and innocent had to lose even what they had. In administration the number of...
Cine Arts Society, Asom is organizing second Cine ASA Guwahati International Film Festival from January18 to 24 at Rabindra Bhawan, Gauhati University, IIT Guwahati and Jonakee, Panjabari. This year’s programme is being inaugurated by Assam Governor, Janaki Ballav Pattanayak at Rabindra Bhawan on 18th January. Eminent Sri Lankan film maker, Prasanna Vithanage would be the Chief Guest at the function and his film Akasa Kusum would be the inaugural film. His other films will be screened in the Jewel of Asia section of the programme. The festival programme includes a retrospective of Pedro Almodovar, a tribute section on the works of acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki Duk, a...
Although delayed, a ray of hope has been seen in better Indo-Myanmar relations with accepting the Indian proposal by Junta government of that country to open Stilwell Road, which will encourage and boost India’s trade with the South-eastern Asian countries, especially with China. The Foreign minister of Myanmar, Nyan Win, has agreed to the request of Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), at a recent meeting in Kolkata to this effect. With the opening of Stilwell Road, distance between India and China via Tenai in Myanmar will be cut to the minimum. The minister informed that China has already constructed road up to Tenai and he has offered to construct the balance part of the road with...
A dozen of touching stories, each illustrated with a beautiful photograph, make up the 2010 calendar from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, has been released to mark the organization’s Tenth anniversary. Each month features a brief description of an animal’s life before he or she was rescued as well as a photograph showing how he or she has fared after the rescue. In addition, each story is accompanied by information on how to avoid contributing to animal exploitation. Mahesh Hiramath was working in his field near the village of Kupwad when he saw a herd of horses being driven past. He noticed that one young animal was severely wounded, bleeding and...