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

Purohit visits Kokrajhar

7 Feb 2017 - 9:31pm | AT Kokrajhar Bureau
Assam Governor Barwarilal Purohit, who is on a two- day visit to Kokrajhar,heart of BTAD administration from today was accorded warm welcome by the BTC Principal Secretary Biren Chandra Phukan,...

Northeast shines at national varsity meet

19 Feb 2016 - 6:38pm | CM Paul
Northeast India was shining at 31st Inter University National Youth Festival (Yuva Shatha Sambrama-2016) just concluded at the University of Mysore on February 19. The participants from 70...

BJP list for Assam on Mar 8

27 Feb 2014 - 10:45pm | AT News
BJP is all set to announce the poll candidates for Assam on March 8. Talking to Assam Times in New Delhi on Thursday evening, senior party leaders said that selection of candidates is in process....

NRC upgradation process in progress

21 Dec 2008 - 1:33am | editor
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi says the work on the national register of citizens in Assam is nearing an end.Addressing press conference in Dispur on Saturday, Gogoi said the state government is...

Other Contents by Author

With the joining main stream of the nation by more than three hundred ULFBV militants at the end of September last, the situation on the borders of Assam and Mizoram is likely to be peaceful. The efforts of the Hailakandi district administration and other agencies have done a commendable job to bring the militants on the right path. The situation on the inter-state borders of the southern Assam and Tripura's northern part with Mizoram was explosive for a long time after the Reangs tribal began their struggle for identity and existence, when they were driven out of Mizoram by the activists of Mizo Students Association (MSA) and Mizo Zirai Pawl (MZP). This led the Reangs to shift their...
International Women's Day is observed globally on March 8 every year since the year 1910. This day was proposed by Clara Jetkin at the second International Women's Conference and accepted unanimously by the participants. In India this day is observed with much enthusiasm and fanfare.The state of Assam is also not left behind where women have enjoyed equal rights with men since ancient times. In this part of the country women have earned the status of symbol of strength. They have shown their strength in the freedom movement of the country. Women power of Kanaklata Barua, Bhogeswari Phukanani and Khahuli Nath is the best example in the history of Assam.During the first part of twentieth...
Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC), Cachar unit, situated at Panchgram near Badarpur is in dire strait and likely to be closed very soon. The Board of Directors of the company and the nominated director had a meeting on August 28 last, with suppliers of coal and bamboos, which raised a suspicion that the factory would be closed very soon. Although the details of the meeting were not made public, the president of the Panchgram Citizens Rights Protection Committee (PCRPC), Saidur Rahman Barbhuya, confirmed that a meeting was held between the management and the businessmen.He further said that Partha Dhar, the nominated director by the Union minister Santosh Mohan Dev, was also present in the...
The Congress Party, which has inherited the policy of 'Divide and rule' from the Britishers is back in its full form to break the five party Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) government led by Donkupar Roy. The MPA comprises 15 members of NCP,11 of UDP, two from the Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (HSPDP), one each from BJP and KHNAM and three independents.Senior United Democratic Party (UDP) leader and Maghalaya Assembly Speaker, Bindo Lanong was recently offered the post of chief minister by the Congress party in case he helped it to form a UDP-Congress coalition government in the state. Lanong exposed the Congress plan to create confusion among the coalition partners and made is...
The industrial development in India has been dependent on the political influence and leadership ever since Independence. It was because of the fact that no fair policy could be framed for equal development of all the regions of the country simultaneously. That is why some of the areas remained completely neglected and the others developed beyond limit resulting in heavy congestions. Besides, the metropolis and a few big industrial centers where opportunities are ample for industrial growth, there is vast disparity in the growth of industries in various regions. The industrialization of a particular area depends on the degree of political influence it has in its favor.A few industries have...
The prestigious Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has turned to be earning a 'bad name' as far as its Guwahati Regional Centre is concerned. The students of this institution are heading towards a dark future in absence of proper guidance and reckless attitude of the officials, who are supposed to look after their students' career and bright future. According to the students, the regional centre is running under full anarchy. There is not a single responsible person, except the regional centre director, Mrs V. Bhattacharya, who has to remain for most of the times outside the city on her official assignments. It is alleged that the deputy director, second in position, does not...
Of late the Assam government is contemplating to make changes in the anti-poaching laws by increasing the provisions of punishment from three years to ten years and doubling the fine to Rs.50,000. The Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi recently declared that his government would amend section 51 of the WildlifeProtection Act to make punishment under the Act, more stringent. Like all other matters a section of people believe that this statement is also politically motivated keeping in mind to protect certain vested interests.The chief minister's declaration has come out after a dozen of rhinos in Kaziranga National Park and Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Orang, have been killed by the poachers during...
Frequently the media reports go through the failures of Assam Police, on which the common people have started losing confidence. From time to time people complain about non-registering of their complaints by police on certain flimsy grounds, especially when such complaints are against influential persons or organizations. The criminals and anti-social elements get full advantage of 'this role of the police,' who are supposed to look after the safety and security of the people's lives and properties. Usually, the state police seem reluctant to register the complaints, as they feel it would increase their workload and they would have to take pain of investigating more cases. Besides, they...
Guwahati Regional Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is functioning in a very disorderly manner, as alleged by a section of students, who are the victims of arbitrary decisions of the Centre In charge. A section of students alleged that a centre of a prestigious institution of the country has started playing with the future of the students by violating the prescribed norms of distance education for which the IGNOU was established.Most of the students who have enrolled for different courses under this centre are bewildered, as their enrolment numbers given by the institution do not connect the Website for any help to them, which show the IDs as invalid. It is...
Border Security force (BSF) at its headquarter, Patgaon, Guwahati, celebrated Rongali Bihu on Monday, the 14th April last. P K Mishra, IG BSF, (Assam...