Bharat kesri Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee With Modern Implications -S.C. Das

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During the period of 3 years 3 months from the Great Bengal Famine starting in May, 1943 upto the Great Calcutta
Killings starting on 16th August 1946, the political career of Dr. Syama Prasad may be divided into two unequal parts.In the first part from May ’43 to November ’45, we find him plunged headlong into manifold humanitarian, administrative and political activities for giving relief to the victims of the man-made famine and epidemic and the political vendetta let loose by the alien govt. upon the freedom-
loving people of Bengal. But in the second part from December ’45 to August ’46, we find him laid up in bed most of the time due to repeated attacks of complicated diseases coupled with severe pain in the heart and the abdomen.So, during this period he could not take any active part in
the then important political developments of the country.Bengal was in the grip of the worst famine-cum-epidemic recorded in human history ranging for a period
of about one year since May, 1943 when the Muslim League Ministry under Mr. Nazimuddin was in power. In intensity
it had surpassed the Bengal famine of 1770 known as’Chhiattarer Manyantar’ corresponding to the Bengali year
1176 which denuded Bengal of one-third of its population.More than one lakh people came to Calcutta in search of food. The heavenly relationship between mother and son,father and daughter, husband and wife and the like vanished into thin air at the altar of hunger. Babies were seen sucking the breasts of their dead mothers and animals were waiting beside the dying human beings for eating theirflesh. Heartrending stories of destitute mothers selling their
children and abandoning them on the road and jackals,vultures and maggots having their bites at the limbs of human beings too weak to offer resistance, were heard at Dacca by the reporters of the daily newspaper ‘Hindusthan Standard’ published from Calcutta on 15.11.43. Rev. Mother Superior Ainu and Sister Dolores of the St. Francis Convent found to their utter horror at an abandoned stable at a
bylane on the bank of the river ‘Buri Ganga’ twenty babies laid in a row on the dark and unclean floor, some crying in
agony for food, some gasping for breath and the rest in a state of utter exhaustion and stupor. The mothers of the babies no longer able to carry them on their arms in their trek through the city in search of food, had left their dear little ones hoping to return after the day’s wanderings to
their babies with food for them.

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