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Why Subhas's Forward Bloc had to align with Muslim League in Corporation in 1940

Much has been said regarding Subhas's decision to align with Muslim League in Corporation. Let us discuss the situation which prompted to take such a decision. In 1940 Bengal had the Ad Hoc Congress Committee under Kiran Shankar Roy, that was opposed to Subhas Chandra Bose. After the success of Ramgarh conference, it was evident that Subhas's Forward Bloc was the only entity fighting against the British Government. Corporation was the only place where anti British lobby had ruled since the days of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das. In the run upto 1940 election of Calcutta Corporation, a few independents supported by Ad Hoc Congress won, but a large majority of the seats were occupied by Forward Bloc while Muslims won the Muslim dominated seats. The independents tried to form an alliance with League to control Corporation. It was a battle of prestige and power. Corporation was the only vehicle through which the patriots could work for the country and the people, could provide jobs and could help financially distressed families, could carry on constructive programs of education and health care. Subhas was concerned, he could not let Corporation go out of Nationalist hand. He realized that the only way to control and restrain Muslim League was to enter into a Pact with them, share some power with them but keep them under leash and use them for the anti British agenda. He therefore nominated himself as the Alderman while Siddiqui of League became the Mayor. Siddiqui was firm in his opposition to the British. Congress had tried hard to enlist support of League but did not succeed, Subhas could do it Deshbandhu had made Bengal Pact with the Muslim leaders for a similar reason.





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