Direct Action Day: Read about its agenda and how it is still followed

Direct Action Day: Read about its agenda and how it is still followed


In the last article of the series about the Direct Action Day, we discussed the political developments which formed a background for the Direct Action Day observed by the Muslim League government on 16th August 1946 in the Bengal province of United India under British rule. We discussed how Muslim League won a decisive majority in most of the Muslim constituencies it contested in the provincial elections, how it presented its victory in those states as a referendum in favour of the formation of Pakistan, and what led it to pass the resolution of the Direct Action Day which was essentially a call for anti-Hindu pogrom. In this article, we will see what happened after the resolution of the Direct Action Day was passed by the Muslim League.

Decoding the resolution of the Direct Action Day

The Muslim leaders in Bengal were preparing for their Jihad well before this resolution was passed. Some of the statements given by Muslim League leaders are a testimony to that. Abul Hashim – a Bengali leader of the Muslim League – said, “Where justice and equity failed, shining steel would decide the issue.” Nazimuddin – a leader of the Muslim League and the former Prime Minister of Bengal province said, “There are 150 different ways to cause trouble particularly as the Muslim League is not restricted to non-violence. The Muslim population of Bengal know very well what Direct Action would mean and so we need not bother to give them any lead.”

Suranjan Das, in his book ‘Communal Riots in Bengal’ (published in 1993 by the Oxford University Press) says, “In accordance to such schematic approach, it was seen before one week of 16th August 1946, that League had already instructed the inmates of all Muslim hostels, how they would act on 16th August 1946. How they would have knives, kerosene oil, methylated spirit etc. And how they would set tram cars and military vehicles ablaze having taken a strategic position on 16th August 1946.”

Suranjan Das also mentions, the Prime Minister of Bengal, H.S.Suhrawardy interacted with a few journalists in Delhi well before the week of 29th July, 1946. In this meeting, he said that he considered it would be difficult to control the disturbances at Calcutta if something like a Direct Action Day is observed.

Prior to 16th August 1946, a meticulously organised assembly took place in Calcutta on 4th August 1946. During this meeting, local Muslim leaders, Muslim trade union representatives, activists, and various other participants convened to strategise the execution of the impending Direct Action Day and determine its precise course of action.

On 5th August 1946, Bengal’s prime minister Husyen Shaheed Suhrawardy wrote an article in ‘The Statesman’ in which he said, “Bloodshed and disorder are not a necessary evil in themselves if resorted to for a noble cause. Among Muslims today, no cause is dearer or nobler than Pakistan.” Essentially, he was giving clean chit to rioters eleven days before the Direct Action Day. And the word Direct Action practically meant – ‘to kill Hindus’.

Mohammed Ali Jinnah had a non-violent pistol

On the occasion of passing the resolution of Direct Action Day, Mohammed Ali Jinnah said, “What we have done today (the day when the League Council passed the Direct Action resolution) is the heroic act in our history. Never have we…done anything except…by constitutionalism. But now…we bid goodbye to constitutional methods.”

Jinnah added, “Now the time has come for the Muslim Nation to resort to direct action. I am not prepared to discuss ethics. We have a pistol and are in a position to use it.” This was a call for the genocide of innocent Hindus for no fault of theirs. By making this statement, Jinnah appealed to Muslims that Hindus should be massacred. This stems from his two-nation theory which states that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations that cannot co-exist on this land.

Turning Dar-Ul-Harb into Dar-Ul-Islam is a key concept embedded in Islamic theology. This essentially means that it is the duty of every Muslim to ensure that a nation ruled by “Kafirs” is turned into an Islamic nation. Unfortunately, such divisive concepts are still believed, accepted, agreed upon, and practised in many cases even today under the garb of the freedom to practice, preach, and propagate one’s religion in a democratic state. It is better to leave it to the reader’s choice to check the similarities between the two and draw conclusions.

Jinnah was essentially an Islamist and those who praise Jinnah for his contribution to the freedom struggle, those who advocate keeping his portrait in the Aligarh Muslim University, and those who call his acts a historic work need a serious course correction irrespective of the ideology they follow. It is also pertinent to note here that the two-nation theory was propagated by the founder of AMU, years before Jinnah. Syed Ahmad Khan said in 1876, “I am convinced now that Hindus and Muslims could never become one nation as their religion and way of life was quite distinct from each other.” Khan made several statements in the following years proposing the two-nation theory and gaining support from Muslims. He said that after the British leaves with their army and weapons, it will be impossible for Hindus and Muslims to live together and share power. He had said that they will need to conquer the other, and there will be no peace until that happens.

Dinesh Chandra Sinha and Ashok Dasgupta mention in their book ‘1946: The Great Calcutta Killings and Noakhali Genocide’, “Jinnah said he did not restrict Direct Action to non-violence, we have also forged a pistol that is non-violent. We mean every word of it. We do not believe in equivocation.

The declared program of the Direct Action Day

On 13th August 1946, the newspaper Star of India published the program of the Direct Action Day. This program was directed by the secretary of the Calcutta District Muslim League. Calcutta, Howrah, Hooghly, Metiaburz, and 24 Parganas were the areas covered by this program and the Muslims of these areas were asked to abide by it. This program is also given in detail by Dinesh Chandra Sinha and Ashok Dasgupta in their book ‘1946: The Great Calcutta Killings and Noakhali Genocide’. On a superficial level, it appears like a bandh or hartal or protest in a democratic peaceful manner where people gather together, raise some slogans, ask others to observe the bandh, and in some cases resort to verbal exchange if they get offended by things. All in all, it appears like a congregation of people for certain demands which may disperse away after some time.

But when Muslim mobs come to the streets, the protests take an unprecedented violent turn and India has witnessed it in the last few years. The anti-Hindu pogrom after the Shaheen Bagh protests by Islamists against the CAA is one such example. Its background was also created in the same way as that of Direct Action Day. Islamists were taking dedicated efforts to escalate the religious sentiments of Muslims in India for two months before the Delhi anti-Hindu riots of 25th February 2020. Let us now read the program published in the newspaper.

The declared program included a general strike and a rally

Complete hartal and a general strike in all spheres of civic, commercial and industrial life save and except the essential services of water works, hospitals, physicians’ clinics, maternity centres, light, electricity, gas and postal services.

Processions, “Kafelas” and “Akharas” with music bands and Tabaljungs will start from all Mahallas in Calcutta, Howrah, and Hooghly. Metiabruz and 24-Parganas and coverage at the foot of the Ochterlony Monument (present ‘Shaheed Minar) between 3 and 6-30 P. M.

A joint mass rally and meeting of Calcutta, Howrah, Hooghly, Mctiabruz and 24-Parganas will be held at the foot of the Ochterlony (present ‘Shaheed Minar’) Monument from 3 PM on Friday the 16th of August. Mr H. S. Suhrawardy – the leader of the Bengal Muslim League Parliamentary Party and Prime Minister of Bengal – has consented to preside.

Representatives of Minority suppressed and oppressed people and anti-Fascist parties who have been unjustly by-passed by the British Government and who are ready to make common cause with the League in its fight for the equal freedom of Muslims, the Hindus, the Scheduled castes, the Adivasis, the Tribals, the Christians and other peoples are welcome in the meeting.

Interestingly, the 2047 vision document of the banned Islamic terrorist organisation Popular Front of India also included sections that talked about taking Dalits, OBCs, tribals, etc. together to establish an Islamic rule in India by 2047.

Nothing starts without a Friday Namaz and the Taqrirs after prayers

Every Ward and Branch League must prepare a complete list of mosques in its area, and depute three workers in every mosque on Friday the 16th of August to explain the new policy and action plan of the League before JUMA prayers and to report to the District League about this arrangement. A manifesto on the Subject has been specially published and is available from 8, Zakaria Street, Calcutta.

Special Manajat (Prayer) should be offered in every mosque on Friday after Juma prayers for the freedom of Muslim India, the Islamic world and the peoples of India and the East in general. The “Munajat” has been printed and published and is available from 8, Zakaria Street, Calcutta.

I appeal to the Musalmans of Calcutta, Howrah, Hooghly, Matiabruz and 24-Parganas to rise to the occasion and make the rally a unique success. We are in the midst of the rainy season and the month of Ramzan fasting. But this is a month of real Jehad of God’s grace and blessings, spiritual armament and the moral and physical purge of the Nation. It is a supreme occasion of our trial. Let Muslims brave the rains and all difficulties and make the Direct Action Day meeting a historic mass mobilization of the Millat.

Readers should note that 16th August 1946 was a Friday. In 2022, Islamists in India held massive protests across the country against the allegedly insulting remarks by Nupur Sharma against the Prophet Muhammad in a TV debate. All of those protests were held on Fridays in the month of June 2022. One Friday after the other, Muslims would offer collective prayers in the mosques and come out on the streets and pelt stones and set things ablaze and spread violence vandalising public properties. This Friday’s connection with riots is not a new trait.

The theological basis of the Direct Action Day

Muslims must remember that it was in Ramzan that the Quran was revealed. It was in Ramzan that the Battle of Badr, the first open conflict between Islam and Heathenism was fought and won by 313 Muslims and again it was in Ramzan that 10,000 Muslims under the Holy Prophet conquered Mecca and established the Kingdom of Heaven and the Commonwealth of Islam in Arabia. The Muslim League is fortunate that it is starting its action in this holy month.

It is notable that the Battle of Badr is the first battle fought by the companions and the followers of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad after he received a divine revelation that authorised the Muslims to launch attacks on the polytheists (read non-Muslims) without being attacked first. That battle took place on the seventeenth and eighteenth day of the month of Ramzan according to the Islamic calendar in the year 624 AD. This theological basis mentioned in the program published in the newspaper was a signal for Muslims to unleash violence; because the 16th of August 1946 was also the same 17th/18th day of the Ramzan month in that year. However, despite this plan getting published in a newspaper, Hindus, and Congressmen did not know what Muslims were planning to do.

This is because the common Hindus and many of the Hindu leaders – in 1946 and also in 2023 – do not know the theological details of Islam and the various concepts encompassed in its scriptures. Therefore, even today they fail to understand that what they think of to be an act of violence can be a religious duty for someone else; what they think of as a call for violence, excluding others, or alienation of those who don’t believe a certain set of things can be holy gospel for someone else tracing its roots to the definitions of that person’s religious faith.

The undeclared agenda of the Direct Action Day

As clear from the above discussions, the declared program of the direct action day did not contain direct orders to kill Hindus. However, the mention of the Battle of Badr was a signal which would be completely understood only by Muslims. The undeclared agenda of this Direct Action Day was secretly circulated throughout the Muslim community and it was a systematic and guided program of annihilation of Hindus.

Muslims who were by then become very eager to observe the Direct Action Day were told to follow certain steps. It was not an official declaration but the leaflets and posters inciting the religious sentiments discussed in the next article in this series are proof of the prevalence of such messages being spread in the community through various religious preachers and community leaders among the Muslims in India.

Direct Action Day was a systematic Hindu pogrom

This undeclared agenda of the Direct Action Day is included in G.D. Khosla’s ‘Stern Reckoning’ published by the Oxford University Press, New Delhi. It is as follows –

  1. All Muslims of India should die for Pakistan. With Pakistan established whole of India should be conquered. All people of India should be converted to Islam. All Muslim kingdoms should join hands with the Anglo-American exploitation of the whole world. One Muslim should get the right of five Hindus, i.e. each Muslim is equal to five Hindus. Until Pakistan and Indian Empire is established, the following steps should be taken –

All factories and shops owned by Hindus should be burnt, destroyed, and looted and loot should be given to League Office. All Muslim Leaguers should carry weapons in defiance of the order. All nationalist Muslims if they do not join League must be killed by a secret Gestapo. Hindus should be murdered gradually and their population should be reduced. All temples should be destroyed. Muslim League spies in every village and district of India. Congress Leaders should be murdered, one in one month by a secret method. Congress’s upper offices should be destroyed by a secret Muslim Gestapo, a single person doing the job. Karachi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Goa, and Vizagapatam should be paralysed by December 1946 by Muslim League volunteers. Muslims should never be allowed to work under Hindus in Army. Navy, Government services or private firms.

Readers should notice that in contemporary India, RSS workers and BJP workers are the victims of target killings by Islamists. This phenomenon is pan-India but more frequently seen in states like West Bengal, Kerala, and Karnataka.

Muslims should sabotage the whole of India and the Congress Government for the final invasion of India by Muslims. Financial resources are given by Muslim League. Invasion of India by Nizam, communists, few Europeans, Khoja by Bhopal, few Anglo-Indians, few Parsis, few Christians, Punjab, Sind and Bengal will be places of manufacture of all arms, weapons for Muslim Leaguers invasion and establishing of Muslim Empire of India. All arms and weapons should be distributed to Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Madras, Bangalore, Lahore, Karachi, and branches of the Muslim League. All sections of the Muslim League should carry minimum equipment of weapons, at least a pocket knife at all times to destroy Hindus and drive all Hindus out of India.

Readers should notice that PFI’s weapon training camps in Nizamabad in Telangana which was earlier part of the Nizam state were busted by the NIA in 2022. Even common Muslims involved in various organised or unorganised crimes are found carrying either a weapon or making a weapon out of anything they are carrying. For example, the Islamist Jihadi in Mangaluru bomb blast was carrying a pressure cooker that contained an improvised explosive device.

All transport should be used for the battle against Hindus. Hindu women and girls should be raped, kidnapped and converted into Muslims from October 18, 1946. Hindu culture should be destroyed. All Leaguers should try to be cruel at all times to Hindus and boycott them socially, economically and in many other ways. No Muslim should buy from Hindu dealers. All Hindu-produced films should be boycotted. All Muslim Leaguers should obey these instructions and bring them into action by September 15, 1946.

Readers should notice that religiously profiled sexual grooming of non-Muslim girls by Muslim youths, adults, and old men is not a new thing. In fact, love jihad has become a frequently committed crime in contemporary India so much so that multiple states have made acts against it. Temple vandalism is not limited to Bangladesh and Pakistan either. Attacks on the Hindu processions on various occasions like Ram Navami, Kanwar Yatra, Navaratri and Hanuman Jayanti are repeatedly seen. There are striking parallels in the conduct of Muslim mobs then and the Muslim mobs now. At that time, the conduct of the Islamic mobs led to Bharat being torn into two and perhaps, India still has time to recognise that it never recovered fully from the threat of Islamism.

If Direct Action was started in the Battle of Badr, then it is still practised.

Thoughts similar to the declared and undeclared agenda of the Direct Action Day are expressed by certain Muslim leaders and organisations in contemporary India. Sharjeel Imam, Umar Khalid and Popular Front of India are prime examples. This undeclared plan of the Direct Action Day is similar instigation of violence as seen in Sharjeel Imam’s speech before the anti-Hindu riots that took place in Delhi in 2020. The aim of capturing political power in India as expressed in this undeclared plan is similar to the intent of the 2047 vision document of the banned Islamic terrorist organisation Popular Front of India. There is no difference between Muslim League and any other contemporary terrorist outfit like PFI. There is no difference between Muslim leaders like Jinnah, Surhawardy etc of 1946 and Sharjeel Imam, Umar Khalid, etc. of the contemporary times.

This explains how Muslim leaders decoded the resolution of the Direct Action Day before the common Muslims inciting them to violence against innocent Hindus. In fact, the declared and undeclared agendas of the Direct Action Day confirm that Muslim leaders were asking their followers to do what they actually meant. All this was done by providing a firm theological basis from the Islamic religious scriptures including Quran, Hadiths, and hence Sharia as well because the Bengal province was under an Islamic rule however democratically elected.

In the next article about Direct Action Day, we will take an account of the various editorials, leaflets, and posters published before Direct Action Day. We will discuss how the contents of these leaflets and posters which were then secretly and widely shared among Muslims are now shared and spread in the open in the current times, and how it is being normalised as a freedom of speech and expression rather than rightfully banning such expressions which have once led the country to partition, horrors of which are yet remembered. We will also see what were the reactions of the Congress to this Hindu massacre, and what MK Gandhi – who did not like violence at all – said about this bloodshed.



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