Telangana

Once refugees, Bengalis are staunch patriots now

A file photo of youths waving the national tricolour as they arrive for the funeral of martyred soldier Rajesh Dakua at Ravindranagar in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.

A file photo of youths waving the national tricolour as they arrive for the funeral of martyred soldier Rajesh Dakua at Ravindranagar in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.   | Photo Credit: S_HARPALSINGH

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Many youths from refugee camps are in uniformed services

The pain of getting uprooted from their homes in faraway Bangladesh over half a century ago has percolated even to the third generation Bengali speaking population located in the 16 ‘camps’ in Kagaznagar Revenue Division of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. If the slogan of ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ raised by the youngsters at the funeral of martyred soldier Rajesh Dakua at Ravindranagar on December 27 accounted for their hurt owing to the Pakistan engineered violence in their homeland long back, the loud chants of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ summed up their patriotic feelings for the country which, the Bengalis always felt as their own.

“Our youth take great pride in serving the country,” pointed out retired Subedar Major Santosh Mandal of Easgaon who is secretary of the ex servicemen association in the area. “We have 184 serving armymen at present and 384 retired soldiers,” he added to indicate the comparatively higher incidence of Army jobs and the passion of the Bengali youths for serving the nation.

The refugee camps — as the 13 habitations located in Easgaon in Kagaznagar mandal, two in Chintalamanepalli mandal and Laxminagar in Sirpur (T) are known — were established around 1964 when the Bangladeshi (then East Pakistan) Hindus undergoing repression at the hands of Pakistan Army were taken in by India. At present there are nearly 3,000 families inhabiting these camps which, they now want to be called as villages.

D.P. Mandal, a serving jawan belonging to Easgaon, who had come to attend the funeral, agreed that it is patriotism which has Bengali youth going in for enlisting in the Indian Army. “It is a very respectable job too and everyone is proud of a soldier,” opined Premjit Sana, who incidentally, failed to get a job in the Army.

“The inspiration for serving one’s nation comes from Bengali stalwarts and literature,” pointed out Thakur Roy, a teacher in Nazrulnagar School, many of whose students are employed in the Army. “Our boys get introduced early in life to the likes of Rabindranath Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chatterji and Raja Ram Mohan Roy and, of course, Subhash Chandra Bose,” he added.

“There is also the question of employment,” Mr. Santosh Mandal observed of another important aspect of the Bengali youths rooting for the services. “The three services offer the best of service conditions and retirement benefits,” he stated.

The Bengali speaking youth often fail to land civilian jobs in government sector owing to their poor performance which ows itself to the lack of education. “There is a high drop out rate among the students especially after SSC and this call for special attention by the government,” opined Sushil Mandal of Ravindranagar.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 2:56:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/once-refugees-bengalis-are-staunch-patriots-now/article25854345.ece

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