Jogendra Nath Mandal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jogendranath Mandal
যোগেন্দ্রনাথ মন্ডল (Bengali)
বরিশালের বাঘ (Bengali)
Tiger of Barisal (English)
Jogendra Ali Mulla
Jogendranath Mondal Portrait
1st Minister for Law and Justice
In office
15 August 1947 – 8 October 1950
MonarchGeorge VI
Governors GeneralMuhammad Ali Jinnah
Khawaja Nazimuddin
Prime MinisterLiaquat Ali Khan
Preceded byposition established
Ministry of Labour, Government for Pakistan
In office
15 August 1947 – 8 October 1950
MonarchGeorge VI
PresidentLiaquat Ali Khan
Governors GeneralMuhammad Ali Jinnah
Khawaja Nazimuddin
Ministry of Commonwealth and Kashmir Affairs, Government of Pakistan
In office
1 October 1949 – 8 October 1950
MonarchGeorge VI
Governor GeneralKhawaja Nazimuddin
Prime MinisterLiaquat Ali Khan
Personal details
Born
Jogendra Nath Mandal

(1904-01-29)29 January 1904
Barisal, Bengal, British India
Died5 October 1968(1968-10-05) (aged 64)
Bangaon, West Bengal, India
CitizenshipBritish India (1904–1947)
Pakistan (1947–1950)
India (1950–1968)
Political partyMuslim League
Alma materBrojomohun College,
Calcutta law College (University of Calcutta)
OccupationPolitician

Jogendranath Mandal (Bengali: যোগেন্দ্রনাথ মন্ডল; 29 January 1904 – 5 October 1968), or J.N. Mandal, emerged as a prominent figure among the architects of the nascent state of Pakistan.[1] He served as the inaugural Minister of Law and Labour, as well as the subsequent Minister of Commonwealth and Kashmir Affairs. Within the Interim Government of India, he had previously held the portfolio of law.[2] Distinguished as a leader representing the Scheduled Castes (Dalits), Mandal vehemently opposed the partition of Bengal in 1947. His rationale rested on the apprehension that a divided Bengal would render Dalits vulnerable to the predominant Muslim majority in East Bengal (Pakistan) and subject them to the dominance of the majority caste-Hindus in West Bengal (India). Eventually opting to maintain his base in East Pakistan, Mandal aspired for the welfare of the Dalits and assumed a ministerial role in Pakistan as the Minister of Law and Labour.[3] However, a few years subsequent to the partition, he relocated to India, tendering his resignation to Liaquat Ali Khan, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, citing the perceived anti-Dalit bias within the Pakistani administration.[4][5][6]

Early life[edit]

Jogendranath Mandal, born in the Barisal district within the erstwhile Bengal Presidency of British India (later known as East Bengal, East Pakistan, and presently Bangladesh) on 29 January 1904, hailed from the Namasudra Community. Demonstrating academic prowess from an early age, Mandal excelled in his studies, achieving First Class distinctions in his preliminary education. Subsequently, upon graduating in 1929, he pursued legal studies, culminating in the completion of his law degree in 1934. However, Mandal made a deliberate choice not to embark upon a legal career or conventional employment. Instead, motivated by a profound commitment to confront the inequities ingrained in the societal framework that had previously marginalized his community, he opted to dedicate his entire life to the amelioration of the oppressed and societal enhancement.[7]

Political career in India (1937-1947)[edit]

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (front row, second from left), Jogendra Nath Mandal (front row, third from right), and others.[8]

Jogendranath Mandal embarked upon his political journey as an independent candidate during the 1937 Indian provincial assembly elections. He contested the Bakharganj North East Rural constituency in the Bengal legislative assembly, securing victory over Saral Kumar Dutta, the president of the district committee of the Indian National Congress (INC) and nephew of Swadeshi leader Ashwini Kumar Dutta.[9][10]

During this period, Mandal found inspiration in figures such as Subhas Chandra Bose and Sarat Chandra Bose. Following Subhas Chandra Bose's expulsion from the INC in 1940, Mandal aligned himself with the Muslim League (ML), the only other prominent national party at the time. Subsequently, he assumed a ministerial role in the cabinet of ML chief minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy.[10]

Mandal collaborated with Ambedkar in establishing the Bengal branch of the Scheduled Castes Federation.[11] This organization aspired to wield political influence. Mandal played a pivotal role in securing Ambedkar's election to the Constituent Assembly from Bengal in 1946 when Ambedkar faced challenges in securing a seat from Bombay. Mandal significantly contributed to the framing of the Constitution of India, with Ambedkar seeking his counsel through correspondence.[12][7]

Amidst the political landscape where the Hindu Mahasabha sought to court the Namasudra community, and the province was marked by the dominance of oppressed Dalit and Muslim populations, Mandal discerned a distinction between communal affairs and political conflicts involving the INC and ML. In the midst of the 1946 riots, he traversed East Bengal, advocating for non-participation of Dalit people in violence against Muslims. Mandal argued that Muslims, like Dalits, were oppressed by upper-caste Hindus, and he believed that aligning with Muslims would be more beneficial for the Dalits than associating with high-caste Hindus. Consequently, he lent his support to the ML.[10]

Upon the Muslim League's integration into the Interim Government of India in October 1946, Jinnah nominated Mandal as one of the League's five representatives. Subsequently appointed by King George VI, Mandal assumed the law portfolio within the body.[2]

Political career in Pakistan (1947-1950)[edit]

Jogendranath Mandal emerged as one of the 96 founding figures of Pakistan, aligning himself with the Muslim League (ML). During their inaugural session, which transpired shortly before the partition of India on 15 August 1947, he was elected as their interim chairman.[13] Notably, as Muhammad Ali Jinnah prepared to assume the role of the first Governor General of Pakistan, he entrusted Mandal with the responsibility of presiding over the session, underscoring his profound confidence in Mandal's foresight and moral rectitude. Mandal was subsequently appointed as Pakistan's inaugural Minister for Law and Labour.[14]

Regrettably, Mandal's tenure in this esteemed position was truncated due to persistent subjugation within a bureaucracy dominated by the Muslim majority.[15][16] The situation deteriorated further following Jinnah's demise in September 1948. Confronted with atrocities committed against his constituents, the Dalits, by Muslim rioters supported by the police, Mandal voiced his protest. This principled stance led to discord between him and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan.[17]

Returning to India (1950)[edit]

In 1950, Jogendranath Mandal found himself compelled to repatriate to India. It is commonly assumed it is because of a decision precipitated by an outstanding arrest warrant against him in Pakistan.[6][5][4] However, it was because his only son Jagadishchandra Mandal, who was studying in Kolkata at the time, had fallen sick and he had comeback to attend him.[3] In submitting his resignation to Liaquat Ali Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan at that time, Mandal underscored the perceived failure of the Pakistani administration to address the inaction against rioters responsible for perpetrating atrocities against Dalits and minority communities. His resignation letter delineated instances of social injustice and a purportedly biased disposition towards non-Muslim minorities.

Upon his return to India, Mandal encountered a lack of acceptance by any political party. Nevertheless, undeterred, he persevered in his endeavors to aid the rehabilitation of Hindu refugees from East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh), whose influx was rapidly impacting West Bengal. His died on 5 October 1968 in Bongaon, North 24 Parganas under mysterious circumstances.[18][self-published source]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heyworth-Dunne, James (1952). Pakistan: the birth of a new Muslim state. Cairo: Renaissance Bookshop. p. 79. OCLC 558585198.
  2. ^ a b Ahmad, Salahuddin (2004). Bangladesh: Past and Present. New Delhi, India: APH Publishing Co. p. 77. ISBN 978-81-7648-469-5.
  3. ^ a b Sen, Dwaipayan (30 June 2018). The Decline of the Caste Question. Cambridge University Press. pp. 172, 202. doi:10.1017/9781108278348. ISBN 978-1-108-27834-8. S2CID 158407103.
  4. ^ a b Mandal, Jogendra Nath (8 October 1950). "Resignation letter of Jogendra Nath Mandal". Wikilivres.
  5. ^ a b "5 noted personalities who left Pakistan for India". The Express Tribune.
  6. ^ a b "Eye on Uttar Pradesh polls, BJP showcases Pakistan Dalit minister who 'came back disillusioned'". The Indian Express.
  7. ^ a b Apurva, Ankita (5 October 2021). "Remembering Jogendra Nath Mandal's Unwavering Fight For The Oppressed". Feminism In India. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  8. ^ विस्वास, A. K. Biswas एके (29 September 2016). "Hindu casteism led to the creation of East Pakistan". Forward Press. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  9. ^ Sen, Dwaipayan (26 July 2018). The Decline of the Caste Question: Jogendranath Mandal and the Defeat of Dalit Politics in Bengal. Cambridge University Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-108-41776-1.
  10. ^ a b c Sharma, Arnav Das (1 April 2017). "Selective Memory : The historical figure both the BJP and the BSP tried to claim during the Uttar Pradesh election". The Caravan. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  11. ^ Gaikwad, Dr. Dnyanraj Kashinath (2016). Mahamanav Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (in Marathi). Riya Publication. p. 301.
  12. ^ Paswan, Sudarshan Ramabadran & Guru Prakash (15 April 2021). "This book recounts the lives of Dalit leaders, many of them half-forgotten like Jogendranath Mandal". Scroll.in. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  13. ^ Tan, Tai Yong; Kugaisya, Gyanes (2000). The Aftermath of Partition in South Asia. Routledge. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-415-17297-4. On 10 August ... the Pakistan Constituent Assembly held its inaugural session where it elected Jogendranath Mandal ... as its temporary chairman ... he came forward to sign the roll as a founder-member ... In all the Assembly had sixty-nine members.
  14. ^ "Pakistan Cabinet: Distribution of Portfolios to Ministers". Amrita Bazar Patrika. Vol. 79, no. 31. 21 August 1947. p. 4. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  15. ^ Munsi, Sharanya (29 January 2019). "Jogendra Nath Mandal, a Bengali Dalit leader who went on to become a Pakistani minister". ThePrint. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  16. ^ Balouch, Akhtar (4 November 2015). "Jogendra Nath Mandal: Chosen by Jinnah, banished by bureaucracy". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  17. ^ "History Headline: Pakistan's Ambedkar, and two stories far apart". The Indian Express. 1 March 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  18. ^ Sen, Dwaipayan. "The uncanny death of Jogendranath Mandal". Academia.edu – via Academia.edu.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]