Hindu Migration worries India

Hindu Migration worries India

*Date : 14 January 1949*
*Supplement to The Nambour Chronicle*
*Hindu Migration Worries India*
(By R. Satakopan)

New Delhi, India (Associated Press).
The exodus of Hindus in large numbers from East Bengal has become a headache to the Governments of both India and Pakistan. It tops the list of subject being discussed here at the Inter-Dominion Conference.

The problem at one stage reached such acute dimensions that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Deputy Prime Minister for India, openly demanded from Pakistan sufficient territory to resettle 13,000,000 (One Crore Thirty Lacs) Bengali Hindus “if Pakistan is determined to turn them out of her dominions.”

Known as “the man of few words.” Sardar Patel said in a public address in Nagpur : *“We have to tell Pakistan plainly that this problem should either be solved amicably or it is likely to prove a source of trouble between the two dominions. We cannot take things lying down.”*

India and Pakistan differ on the questions of numbers that have migrated and the reasons that have provoked their movement. Pakistan says that 400000 have left East Bengal. But Indian figures ranges between 1500000 and 2000000. Dr. B. C. Roy, Prime Minister of West Bengal, asserts that in Calcutta alone 800000 Hindus are refugees, while in the interior of his province an equal number has moved in to live with their relatives. In Assam, Roy says, the number cannot be less than 400000. However, there are still 11500000 Hindus in East Bengal.

Pakistan adduces two reasons for the exodus. (1) The higher prices prevailing in East Bengal especially in rice, cloth and mustard oil, have induced large numbers of Hindus to move to West Bengal. (2) The “inflammatory” speeches of some Indian leaders and tension created by the mid-September police action in Hyderabad also contributed to this migration.