Bengal is going through a period of communal clashes, with two big riots taking place in the state within a period of six months. And in most riots in Bengal the Hindu community has been the target. Bengal has a long history of riots, and the great Calcutta killings was probably the biggest riots the region witnessed. But in those hard times there was a hero of the Hindu community, a man who safeguarded the honor of Hindu women and lives of Hindu children, a man who took up arms against the Muslim League government of Bengal.
A Man known by the name of Gopal the Goat. Many may find his name to be weird, but the man has a story everyone will find inspiring. Today we’ll look back at the story of Gopal the Goat savior of the Hindus.
The year was 1946, a year before independence, the debate of the partition was everywhere. The Muslim League wanted Calcutta in Pakistan along with the other big city Dhaka, but the demand was protested by the Hindu Bengalis who wanted Kolkata (then Calcutta) to remain a part of India. The Muslim League was the ruling party in the state of Bengal led by the Prime minister H. S Suhrawardy.
After numerous attempts the Fed up Muslim League finally decided to take over Calcutta by using violence, as they declared Direct Action Day on 16th of August 1946. On the morning of August 16, Muslims started gathering all around the city, the government was in full support as they declared public holiday on that day. And just after the afternoon prayers the Muslims broke down on the city, hundreds and hundreds of Hindus were killed in broad daylight on the streets of Calcutta.
The women’s were raped and children were not spared, on that day there was only blood on the streets of the city from which Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and so many legendary people belonged to. The Muslims mobs in the city were Chasing down every Hindu in their sight, they had only one aim, Making Calcutta a city free of Hindus.
The news of such massacre reached to a gentleman by the name of Gopal Chandra Mukhopadhyay or simply known as Gopal Patha. He was given this name because he used to run a family shop of Goat meat and goat in Bangla is called Patha. Gopal was so furious after hearing the news that he assembled a team of Young Hindu Men, and named them Bharatiya Jatiya Bahini (Indian National Force).
Next morning Muslim League goons thought it will as easy as it was the previous day as they again attacked the Hindus but this time they were retaliated by the Bharatiya Jatiya Bahini led by Gopal Patha, they killed everyone who dared to put their hands on the innocent Hindus. Gopal said that if they kill one we will kill ten in return. Gopal had two pistols with him, other people of Bharatiya Jatiya Bahini had sticks, Rods and few hand made grenades with them.
They didn’t do any harm to Muslim women, children or elders, they only killed those who had swords in their hands and wanted to kill Hindus. The violence continued for few more days but because of the Bharatiya Jatiya Bahini the Muslim had to suffer huge casualties, and H. S Suhrawardy was forced to ask for peace from Gopal and his men. But Gopal was furious after what he saw on that unfortunate day of 16 August. Finally the Muslim League backed off, Gandhi Ji came to Kolkata and asked Gopal to put down his weapons on his feet, but Gopal Refused. When the secretary of Gandhi ji asked why is he not putting his weapons down, Gopal said
“I will not lay down even a single nail which I used to protect the Hindu Honor”
Such was The bravery of Gopal, he was very close to former CM of West Bengal Late Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, his last life was spent doing social work for the betterment of the society.