Great Calcutta Killing
The Great Calcutta Killing or Direct Action Day (Muslim title) was an Anti-Hindu pogrom perpetrated by members of the Muslim League in the city of Calcutta. It started with the proclamation of “Direct Action Day”on August 16, 1946, by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League. He remarked that there will be “either a divided India or a destroyed India”. Within 72 hours, more than 4,000 Hindus had been slaughtered by Muslim mobs in the city of Calcutta.
In one account of the pogrom, Philip Talbot wrote:
“It would be impossible to describe everything that we saw. A sense of desolation hung over the native bazaars. In street after street rows of shops had been stripped to the walls. Tenements and business buildings were burnt out, and their unconsumed innards strewn over the pavements. Smashed furniture cluttered the roads, along with concrete blocks, brick, glass, iron rods, machine tools ñ anything that the mob had been able to tear loose but did not want to carry off. Fountains gushed from broken water remains. Burnt-out automobiles stood across traffic lanes. A pall of smoke hung over many blocks, and buzzards sailed in great, leisurely circles. Most overwhelming, however, were the neglected human casualties: fresh bodies, bodies grotesquely bloated in the tropical heat, slashed bodies, bodies bludgeoned to death, bodies piled on push carts, bodies caught in drains, bodies stacked high in vacant lots, bodies, bodies.”
Another eye witness by the name of Jugal Chandra Ghosh corroborates the cruelty of the killings,
“I saw four trucks standing, all with dead bodies piled at least three feet high; like molasses in a sack, they were stacked on the trucks, blood and brain oozing out; that sight had a tremendous effect on me”