There is an interesting incident in the life of Rabindranath Thakur, the author of the Indian National Anthem, in which he set an example of communal harmony. In 1905 the Viceroy and Governor General Lord Curzon announced the partition of Bengal. The British government said that it is forced to do this and this will improve administrative functioning. The erstwhile Bengal included the existing West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam and Bangladesh.
Under the plan, a new state named East Bengal and Assam was to be merged with Assam, including areas such as Dhaka, Tripura, Noakhali, Chittagong and Malda. The Bang Samaj saw a conspiracy in this plan. The eastern part of Bengal was Muslim dominated, while the western part had a large Hindu community. People understood that this is an old trick of the British to ‘divide and rule’.
Gurudev announced that the National Day of Mourning would be celebrated on the day of Partition i.e. on 16 October, there would be no food on that day in the house of Bengalis. Gurudev used Rakhi to convey the message of mutual brotherhood of Hindus and Muslims of Bengal. They wanted Hindus and Muslims to tie a rakhi to each other and take an oath that they would maintain a relationship of security to each other throughout the life, which no one could break.
On 16 October Gurudev began his day with a dip in the Ganges. A procession came out under his leadership, who was tying a rakhi to everyone along the way. People were joining and the caravan continued to grow. This protest campaign took effect and for some time Bengal survived being divided. During this period, the calligraphic Bang Samaj of communal harmony created by Gurudev’s initiative is a commendable example. Ll
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