The Rise and Fall of the Hindu Mahasabha
The 20th century, in the history of India as well as that of the world, will always be remembered as a tumultuous century of monumental shocks, catastrophic tragedies and glorious achievements. A century accomplished what couldn’t be achieved over a millennium; and this was particularly reflected in the growth of new worldviews and movements. One of these trends or movements would be, undoubtedly, Hindu Nationalism — a dormant force of Hindu consciousness and pride that exploded with a massive force in response to modernity. While its roots are as old as Hinduism itself, its specific emergence in the late 19th and early 20th century needs to be located in the context of the policies being followed by the British colonial government and the challenges thrown up through the proselytization and political assertiveness shown by the two Abrahamic religions — Islam and Christianity. It is in response to such a situation of crisis and despondency that we see the emergence of an organization like the Hindu Mahasabha — an organization that represented the culmination or crystallization of the efforts of all the erstwhile Hindu organizations working in various fields, committed by the ideology of Hindu Nationalism. This essay, keeping in mind this context, will explore the rise of Hindu Mahasabha as a political force in India, its evolution in response to domestic and external stimuli, and finally, its sudden demise brought about by the indictment of the organization in the murder of MK Gandhi and the political developments that followed.
The roots of the Hindu Mahasabha go back to developments in the Bengal, Punjab, and United Provinces of British India, between 1880-1920. During this period, the British Government began to follow an increasingly preferential policy towards Muslims with regards to colonial education, employment, and political representation in a bid to counter the moderate nationalist movement that was developing under the leadership of the predominantly Hindu-run Indian National Congress. One example of this was the British effort to favor the Muslims in the Punjab by preventing Hindu moneylenders from acquiring land under the Land Alienation Act of 1901, and by restricting the Hindu elite’s access to administration. Separate Electorates that were introduced through the Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909 gave Muslims the right to be elected only by their co-religionists; moreover, it gave them representation in the Central and Provincial Assemblies far in excess of their actual proportion in the population. This was in keeping with Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s argument that the “Muslims were historically the former leaders of this country” and hence, should get privileged representation given their historical position. Syed Ahmad Khan represented the hegemony of the Ashraf Muslim class in UP who dominated the provincial bureaucracy, educational institutions, and law courts by virtue of the official promotion of Urdu and Persian. They were vociferously against introduction of universal adult franchise or “one man, one vote” system in India. Even in the local municipal and district boards of Punjab, they began to dominate in excess of their numbers by virtue of economic and social hegemony. In Bengal, while the majority of the Muslim masses were poor, the few Muslim aristocrats that were there (like the Nawab of Dhaka) funded the Wahabi and Faraizi Movements which led to the increase in fanaticism among the Muslim peasant masses. The propaganda was so successful that not only did they refuse to participate in the Anti-Partition agitation or Swadeshi Movement of 1905-08, but they actually committed massacres on the Hindu population in districts like Mymensingh and Jessore. The alarming increase in the Muslim population rate in Bengal and Punjab, where Muslims were already approaching majority, became a severe source of concern for Hindus. In 1909, U.N. Mukherji wrote an essay that was serialised in the Bengalee of Surendranath Banerjea, titled “Hindus: A Dying Race”. In a context where colonial enumeration techniques used religion as a category for counting population and used it to distribute representation and patronage, numbers assumed a seminal significance (1).
ORIGINS: THE BEGINNING OF HINDU MOBILIZATION
Several Hindu organizations had already emerged, by the end of the 19th century, to protect the socio-cultural, economic, and even political interests of the Hindu community in the light of the above-mentioned threats that Hindus were facing. Prominent among these were the Arya Samaj, Hindu Sabhas, Go Rakshini Sabhas, and Nagari Pracharini Sabhas. All of them took up certain specific causes (like cow protection, Hindi promotion) or causes like the general socio-political mobilization of Hindus at the local level. The emerging Hindu middle class in the towns and cities, particularly the trading and service groups, joined hands with the traditional aristocrats in supporting such organizations. The aim of the Hindu Sabhas, in particular, was to wrest control of the municipalities and district/local boards from the dominant control of the Muslims. They sprang up in Punjab and UP mainly, and sought to use control of these local bodies to push forward Hindu interests.
The first Hindu Sabha was formed in Lahore on August 04, 1906, representing the coming together of reformist Arya Samajis and conservative Sanatanis. Their aim was to protest against the government’s “pro-Muslim” bias and “discrimination”; it also aimed to improve the “moral, intellectual and material condition of the Hindus”. This called for a new type of Hindu politics, and a series of Hindu Sabhas were established through the initiatives of local Arya Samajists in the cities of the Punjab. Lala Lajpat Rai, Lal Chand, Ruchi Ram Sahni, Ram Bhaj Datta, and Lala Hans Raj were the prominent leaders of this growing Hindu Sabha movement. Lala Lal Chand wrote an influential pamphlet, called “Self-Abnegation in Politics”, in the Punjabee newspaper published by Lajpat Rai. He called for Hindu unity and organization (Sanghatan) so that Hindus could fight to collectively preserve their interests. All these efforts bore fruit in the formation of the Punjab Hindu Sabha in 1909. Madan Mohan Malaviya presided over the Hindu Sabha’s first session in Lahore in October 1909 (2).
The Punjab Hindu Sabha also organized a Punjab Provincial Hindu Conference in October 1909. This Conference was presided over by Sir Pratul Chandra Chatterjee, a former Punjab High Court judge, Vice-Chancellor of the Punjab University, and a patron of the Sanatan Dharma Sabha. The resolutions passed by their first conference concerned chiefly the promotion of Sanskrit and Hindi, support for cow protection and Ayurvedic medicine, and the writing of a history of India’s “Hindu period”. The image of a politically unified and organised Hindu community assumed critical importance in the Hindu Sabha’s political program. The Sabha proposed the establishment of a broad all-India Hindu organisation, which would provide strength to Hindu politics in securing benefits for Hindus at the provincial and local levels. As part of this plan, it held six Punjab Hindu conferences from 1909 to 1914 in Lahore, Amritsar, Delhi, Ambala, and Ferozepur respectively (3).
Simultaneously, we see the emergence of Hindu Sabhas in several cities of the United Provinces. This drew upon the pre-existing tradition of agitation for cow protection and Nagari promotion — Hindu revivalist causes which were being spearheaded by a host of local organizations which were well entrenched and organized in the cities of United Provinces (UP) by 1900. Here, the initiative was taken by Madan Mohan Malaviya, and his efforts bore fruit when the Hindu Sabhas of UP began to coordinate with the Punjab Hindu Sabha. He even established the Hindu University Society in 1912, drawing together the local Hindu Sabhas, the result of which was the establishment of the Banaras Hindu University in 1915. Ultimately, it was through his initiative, that the Ambala session of the Punjab Hindu Sabha passed a resolution calling for establishment of a pan-Indian body to represent Hindu interests, in the Haridwar Kumbh of 1915.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MAHASABHA
In keeping with the resolution adopted in the Ambala session of the Punjab Hindu Sabha, in April 1915, during the Kumbh in Haridwar, the All-India Conference of Hindus was convened, where the Sarvadeshak Hindu Sabha — the All-India Hindu Sabha — was finally established as an official body. MK Gandhi and Swami Shraddhananda, who were among the speakers at the Kumbh Mela conference, strongly supported the formation of the Hindu Sabha. Maharaja Munindra Chandra Nandi of Kasimbazar was the president of the conference (4).
The All-India Hindu Sabha laid particular stress on Hindu solidarity and the need for social reform without identifying itself with “any particular sect or sects of the Hindu community”. A reference to “Hindu political interests” was made in the Sabha’s constitution, but only in passing in the sixth and last clause of the “Aims”. A Subjects Committee passed a series of rules for the new organisation and defined its goals as following (5):
- To promote greater ‘union and solidarity’ of the Hindus as ‘one organic whole’.
- To promote education among members of the Hindu community.
- To ameliorate and improve the condition of all classes of the Hindu community.
- To protect and promote Hindu interests ‘whenever and wherever it may be necessary.
- To promote good feelings between the Hindus and other communities in India and to act in a friendly way with them and in ‘loyal co-operation with the government’.
- To take steps for promoting ‘religious, moral, educational, social and political interests’ of the community.
In the initial years, the Sarvadeshak Hindu Sabha — renamed as the Hindu Mahasabha in 1921 — remained an ineffective body. The local organizations based on which it grew up were more active, particularly in the Home Rule Agitation in 1916-18. It was during this time that Indian politics saw the meteoric rise of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, particularly through the Anti-Rowlatt Bill Agitation and the Non-Cooperation Movement. The Hindu Mahasabha had an ambivalent stand towards these movements. On one hand, individual leaders of the organization like Swami Shraddhanand and Lala Lajpat Rai enthusiastically participated in the movement. On the other hand, Madan Mohan Malaviya was of the opinion that the boycott of schools, colleges, law courts and councils was a ridiculous step; he instead advocated that Hindus should participate in the institutional process to protect their interests. This state of confusion would have continued for a long time had it not been for the Khilafat Movement (6).
THE TURBULENT 20’S AND THE GROWTH OF THE MAHASABHA
The Khilafat Movement, calling for the reinstatement of the Ottoman Khalif in Constantinople as the religious head of the Islamic World, was in its very conception a pan-Islamic agenda. It aroused extra-territorial loyalties among Indian Muslims by invoking religious symbolism. Gandhi wanted to channelize this anti-British sentiment (as the British were the ones to effect changes through the Treaty of Sevres) into his own Non-Cooperation Movement, to unite Hindus and Muslims on a common platform. The experiment was a disaster to say the least. It ignited the fire of pan-Islamism to such an extent that soon anti-British chants got replaced by calls to establish a “Dar-ul-Islam” in India and finish off the Kaffirs (read Hindus). The manifestation of this was seen during the massacre of Hindus in Kerala by the Moplah Muslims, and in the subsequent genocides of Hindus that followed (Kahuta, Gulbarga, Kolkata, Pabna, etc.). Practices like cow slaughter and loud Muharram processions became a sign of political assertion by the Muslims, exhibiting their power over the public space. What made this worse was the silence maintained by Gandhi, and even a tacit endorsement of these events by blaming Hindus who had apparently stoked the fire, according to him. Nothing makes this more explicit than the tragicomic way in which Gandhi tried to make a statement on Swami Shraddhanand’s murder by a Muslim fanatic. The Congress became more and more conciliatory towards Muslims with each act of assertiveness by the community (7).
It was in this context that the Hindu Mahasabha found a new lease of life. The organization was revamped and restructured, and a new beginning was heralded through the Gaya session of 1922 (over which Malaviya presided). The Mahasabha now formally adopted and advocated the concept of “Sanghatan” — unity and organization of Hindus into one community — to protect Hindu interests and Hindus themselves. The two pillars of Sanghatan were Shuddhi and abolition of untouchability. “Shuddhi” was aimed at bringing back into the Hindu fold Muslims and Christians whose ancestors had converted to those religions by a purification ceremony. Abolition of untouchability was aimed at uniting all sections of the Hindu community and ensuring nobody felt left out. Swami Sharddhanand, V.D. Savarkar, and many others made stellar contributions in this regard. Swamiji himself was credited with the conversion of 60,000 Rajputs in West UP. Unfortunately, Swamiji was killed by a Muslim fanatic because of this campaign, but the work continued. Hindus also started vigorously taking up campaigns against cow slaughter, and started playing music before mosques as a counter response to prevent monopolization of the public space (8).
This was also the time when we see the emergence of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a socio-cultural organization with the aim to work for Hindu unity and organization. Unlike the Mahasabha, however, its political character was subdued. It was more in the nature of a volunteer organization where the cadres were given martial training and discipline, inspired in the values of nationalism, and made to imbibe and inculcate Hindu philosophy and culture. It was formed in 1925 with Dr KB Hedgewar as its first President. Prominent Mahasabha leaders like BS Moonje were present on the occasion of its establishment on the Vijay Dashami of 1925, and Madan Mohan Malaviya even offered them the premises of BHU as a recruitment and operating ground. They became particularly active in the Central Provinces and Bombay Presidency. Even though the Hindu Mahasabha later formed its own volunteer militias in the form of the Ram Sena and Hindu Raksha Dal, the RSS continued as the unofficial volunteer arm of the Mahasabha and continued to provide it with leaders and cadres (9).
HINDUTVA: HINDUISM THAT RESISTS
The ideal of martial power became very crucial during this time, as reflected in the above-mentioned developments. VD Savarkar was the major exponent of this philosophy, and comprehensively described it through the ideology of “Hindutva”. In his book, he defined Hindus as a “nation” bound by ties of common geography, common blood, and common culture. In his opinion, territorial commonality was necessary but not sufficient to create nationalist consciousness; what was needed was a feeling of regarding the country as both “Pitribhu” (Fatherland) and “Punyabhu” (Holy Land). Muslims and Christians, by this definition, were excluded from the “nation” — while Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs were included in this category. Muslims and Christians, however, could be made to undergo inculturation and hence bring them back to their “original home” (10). This idea informed the Shuddhi movement in the first place. The idea of martial prowess was driven by the very need to protect this nation against its enemies. It was felt that emasculated men had to be made men of steel — body and sturdy character — to enable them to carry on this sacred duty. As a result, emphasis was now placed on military training and martial arts, because of which we see rifle associations, clubs, and akhadas coming up in the northern parts of the country.
CONGRESS AND THE MAHASABHA: LOVE AND DIVORCE
The Mahasabha during this time was still not a full-fledged political party. It was treated as a socio-cultural organization that acted as a pressure group within the Congress. This is evident in the fact that there were common leaders in both the organizations — particularly people like Lala Lajpat Rai. Madan Mohan Malaviya, Gauri Shankar Mishra, Sampoornanand, etc. The local branches were almost indistinguishable in North Indian towns, particularly in the UP. Both organizations lent cadres and organizational space to each other. Muslim leaders like Shaukat Ali rued that the Congress had been “taken over by the Mahasabha”. However, the growing adoption of the “secular” rhetoric by the Congress and its increasing espousal of “territorial nationalism” started distancing the two from each other. In 1926, for example, Malaviya fielded candidates against the Motilal Nehru faction of UP Congress in the local body and Provincial Elections, and managed to defeat the Nehru faction. The pro-Malaviya candidates were obviously sympathetic to the Mahasabha (11).
The rift over the communal question became even wider with the Nehru Report of 1928. The Mahasabha practically forced the Congress to adopt a plan that would exclude any possibility for special benefits to Muslims, at the cost of Hindus. The Muslim League wanted a special Muslim majority province to be carved out for them (Sindh), reservation of seats for Muslims even in Muslim majority provinces like Punjab and Bengal, reservation of seats for Muslims in excess of their proportion in the minority provinces, and retention of separate electorates. The Mahasabha forced the Congress to not give into such extortionate demands, and thus the Nehru Report only accepted separate electorates and reservation of seats for Muslims in minority provinces. The Congress, however, quickly distanced itself from the Report and started fresh discussions on the communal question, which angered the Mahasabha further. Nothing came out of the Round Table Conferences. While Malaviya and Lajpat Rai were conciliatory towards the Congress, subsequent presidents like BS Moonje or Bhai Parmanand were not. The growing opposition of the Mahasabha to Congress policies finally led to a resolution being adopted in the Haripura Session of the Congress in 1938, which categorically excluded members of the Congress from becoming members of either the Hindu Mahasabha or the Muslim League. The performance of the Congress in the 1937 elections could have contributed to such a confident posture by the Congress (12).
THE SAVARKARITE MAHASABHA AND THE WAR YEARS
It was this moment that led to the emergence of the Hindu Mahasabha as a full-fledged political party. VD Savarkar announced a new beginning by taking the position of President in 1939. It was at this time that the movement expanded beyond its original base in the Hindi heartland and embraced Maharashtra and Bengal. Stellar leaders like Shyamaprasad Mukherjee entered the Mahasabha at this juncture. This was also the time when the Second World War broke out. While the Congress governments resigned in the provinces in protest against India’s forced involvement in a war, the Hindu Mahasabha took a more cautious stance. It saw the war as an opportunity to militarize Hindu youth and to ensure that the freedom of the nation, when it comes, would be secured. As a result, Savarkar and many other leaders advocated for the enlistment of Hindu young men into the army so that they can gain military training and experience from the war and serve the nation after freedom. Hindu Mahasabha leaders were prominent in many war committees. This, however, did not mean unalloyed British loyalty. While the Communists actively denounced the Quit India Movement and gave intelligence to the Raj, the Mahasabha leaders did individually participate in the movement. But their stance was somewhere in the middle — neither active collaboration like the communists, nor active self-destructive opposition like the Congress. This was the same attitude which prompted the Hindu Mahasabha to form governments in Sindh and Bengal with Muslim leaders in 1941-42 (not the Muslim League as is commonly presumed). The aim was to work within the system to secure Hindu interests and prevent monopolization of government patronage and public office by the Muslim League, whom the Raj was favoring unabashedly due to their sycophancy (13).
The attempt by the Muslim League to impose their agenda was clearly evident in the way they used their powers under the Act of 1935 in Bengal. This became even more explicit after the Lahore Resolution of March 23, 1940, which finally committed the Muslim League to the “Pakistan” demand officially. The Huq Ministry, which had been formed after Fazlul Huq joined the Muslim League and merged his Krishak Praja Party (KPP) into it, passed a series of legislations which made it clear that total Muslim dominance was their goal. In 1938, the Fazlul Huq ministry changed the rules about police recruitment so that “while enlisting Bengali constables the Superintendent of Police must see that not less than 50% of the recruits are Muslims”. The same year, the ministry passed legislation that stipulated that 60 per cent of all government appointments be reserved for Muslims. In 1939, the Government instructed local bodies “not to propose for appointment to local bodies persons who were known to be actively opposed to the policy of the Ministry”, and slapped administrative controls on nominations to the Union Boards, which accounted for one third of their total membership (all of whom were to be Muslims). And in 1939, the Calcutta Municipal Amendment Act reserved seats for Muslims in the Calcutta Corporation, far in excess of their proportion of the population. But the unkindest cut of all came in 1940, when the Ministry introduced the Secondary Education Bill, taking control of higher education in the province away from Calcutta University and vesting it instead in a Secondary Education Board in which Muslims were to be given a greater say. This threatened the Hindu endowed schools, both religious and secular, by exposing them to the imposition of an Islamic educational curriculum (14).
The effects of these changes soon began to be felt on the ground level, despite the vehement and united attempts by the Hindu members of the Mahasabha and the Congress in the Assembly to stall these changes. Muslim students and community leaders stopped Saraswati Puja in many schools of their localities. Even in Hindu majority districts like Burdwan and Midnapore, Muslims began to control local bodies and made policies against Hindu religious practices and rituals. Debt Settlement Boards, set up under the Bengal Agricultural Debtors Act of 1935, were used by Muslim local body members to incite Muslim tenants and stop them from paying their rents and debts to the Hindu Zamindars and moneylenders. The anger against such policies saw an outburst in the form of the Dhaka Riots of 1941. It was in such a situation that the Mahasabha began to make a huge impact upon Bengal. Despite the differences between the Mahasabha and the Congress at the national level, in Bengal, there was a clever understanding and cooperation between the two. They collaborated and built-up resistance against Muslim hoodlums or gangs in many areas. Organizations like the Bharat Sevasram Sangha were roped in to mobilize cadres and achieve organizational reach. Colonial documents showed an extensive increase in the number of branches of the Mahasabha during this period. The Mahasabha achieved further prominence when, under the leadership of Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, it did stellar work in famine relief during the Bengal Famine of 1943. It prevented many Hindus who were destitute, particularly women and children, from being converted in exchange for food. The active opposition of the communists in alliance with the Muslim League against the Mahasabha’s relief efforts show the extent of their success (15).
PARTITION AND INDEPENDENCE
The silent effort of the Mahasabha proved to be a godsend for the Bengali people. In the tragic period of 1946-47, Mahasabha volunteers were at the forefront of the efforts to mobilize resistance and even led counter attacks, particularly and quite successfully in Kolkata. Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, knowing that Partition was an inevitability, started organizing a movement calling for the establishment of a “Bengali Hindu Homeland”. The Bengal Congress and the Mahasabha collaborated to hold mammoth public meetings and carry out a press campaign to convince people of the need to do this. Prominent intellectuals like Jadunath Sircar, RC Majumdar, Meghnad Saha, and Suniti Chatterjee came forward to support this cause. Newspapers like the Amrita Bazar Patrika were active in this cause as well. Finally, their efforts paid off when in June 1947, it was announced that Bengal would be partitioned instead of giving it over to Pakistan entirely (16).
By this time, the Mahasabha had also established a prominent presence in the Indian Princely States. In contrast to the Congress, the Mahasabha viewed Hindu Maharajas as “patriotic Indians” whose assistance will be vital for India’s freedom, Hindu causes, and post-freedom reconstruction. They advocated for retention of the political power of the Maharajas even if they were to join the Union, and even drew up plans for a constitutional monarchy. Prominent Maharajas like those of Gwalior, Indore, and Baroda supported the Mahasabha cause and provided them patronage (17).
However, it would be a gross mistake to see the Mahasabha as merely a representative of feudal interests. The “Constitution of Free Hindusthan” that the Mahasabha drew up in 1945 proved the visionary nature of its leaders, and the final Indian Constitution that came into being in 1950 matched it in most respects. This shows that the Mahasabha, by 1947, had clearly become a formidable force in Indian politics. Mahasabha leaders like Mukherjee were given Cabinet posts and they even contributed extensively to the Constituent Assembly discussions. The refugee crisis thrown up by the Partition in 1947 provided them an even greater recognition for their relief work among Hindu and Sikh refugees and their mobilization in order to resettle them in lands left behind my fleeing Muslims.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
This is when, however, the downturn in its fortunes started. Angered by the constant Muslim appeasement of Gandhi and his insensitivity towards refugees from Punjab, Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte — both involved with the Mahasabha — assassinated Gandhi on January 30, 1948. The Congress Government lost no opportunity in not only arresting the perpetrators but branding the Mahasabha and the RSS itself as guilty. Leaders like Savarkar had to stand trial. RSS offices were attacked throughout the country and many of the cadre were even killed. Marathi Brahmins were killed just because the community was more prominent in the RSS-Mahasabha groups. This chain of events culminated in a ban placed upon on the RSS. Even though the ban was lifted after a year and the Hindu Mahasabha still continued as a party (with leaders like Mukherjee still in the Government), the disgrace of Savarkar had dented the whole organization, even though he was acquitted of the charges of conspiracy. Ultimately Mukherjee himself felt that the organization was not doing enough to represent non-Hindus and left the organization to form his own party. He also advised the organization to stay politically inactive in the aftermath of Gandhi’s murder, which contributed to its further decline. Later, Mukherjee formed the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (precursor of the present Bharatiya Janata Party) with the help of the RSS. As a result, the Mahasabha became a defunct body. Even when it contested the first parliamentary elections and won some seats, it gradually lost space to the more energetic and resourceful Jana Sangh (18).
The Mahasabha officially continues to exist today, without anything credible to show as its achievement. It is only known to appear in the press through ludicrous acts and utterances like staging Gandhi’s mock assassination. However, despite the sudden and unfortunate demise of this organization in the late 40’s to early 50’s, it had to its credit a lot of achievements which helped serve Hinduism and the Hindu community. The example of this organization should continue to inspire organizations and forces working for the cause of Hindu renaissance and nationalism.
- Bapu, Prabhu Narain; “Constructing Nation and History: Hindu Mahasabha in Colonial North India 1915-1930”; PhD Thesis; School of Oriental and African Studies; Nov 2009; pg. 13-18
- Ibid, pg. 11-13, 18-19
- Ibid, pg. 19-21
- Ibid, pg. 21-25
- Ibid, pg. 24
- Ibid, pg. 25-28
- Sampath, Vikram (2021), “Savarkar: A Contested Legacy 1924-1966”, Penguin Books (“Communal Cauldron”, Chp. 3, pg. 94-126).
- Ibid, “Caste in Stone” (Ch.2)
- Bapu, Prabhu Narain, “Constructing Nation and History”, pg. 99-112
- Ibid, pg. 66-79
- Ibid, pg. 148-162
- Ibid, pg. 163-183
- Sampath, Vikram, “Savarkar: A Contested Legacy 1924-1966” — “The Hindu Mahasabha Years” (Ch.3), pg. 177-246
- Chatterjee, Joya (1994). “Bengal Divided: Hindu Communalism and Partition 1932-1947”, Cambridge University Press, “The Reorientation of the Bengal Congress, 1937-45” (Ch.3), pg. 103-150
- Roy, Anwesha (2018). “Making Peace, Making Riots: Communalism and Communal Violence, Bengal, 1940-47”, Cambridge University Press, pg. 26-148 (Ch. 1,2,3)
- Chatterjee, Joya, “Bengal Divided”; “Second Partition of Bengal, 1945-47” (Ch.6)
- Bapu, Prabhu Narain, “Constructing Nation and History”, pg. 41-43
- Sampath, Vikram, “Savarkar: A Contested Legacy 1924-1966”, Ch. 9, 10 (pg. 416-492)
- Bapu, Prabhu Narain (2009). “Constructing Nation and History: Hindu Mahasabha in Colonial North India 1915-1930”, PhD Thesis, School of Oriental and African Studies.
- Chatterjee, Joya (1994). “Bengal Divided: Hindu Communalism and Partition 1932-1947”, Cambridge University Press.
- Roy, Anwesha (2018). “Making Peace, Making Riots: Communalism and Communal Violence, Bengal, 1940-47”, Cambridge University Press.
- Sampath, Vikram (2021). “Savarkar: A Contested Legacy 1924-1966”, Penguin Books.