Jogendra Nath Mandal: Recounting a vivid tale! It is worth remembering those who back you in your hardest times. Jogendra Nath Mandal, a figure who consistently support the cause of Jinnah until we banished him. Let’s sink into the well of history!
Early Life and Education
Mandal was born in Namasudra, Maisterkandi village of the Barisal district on 29 January 1904. Namasudra a.k.a. Chandal was the largest lower caste residency in Bengal under British India. Namasudras were inferred to be Dalits or untouchables who were outside the Hindu Caste System. Among his six siblings, he was the youngest. In 1932 he did his BA from BM College in Barisal and later enrolled himself in the Calcutta Law College.
Political career and contributions for Pakistan
He initiated his journey as an independent candidate in the Indian provincial assembly’s election of 1937. Why? As he was heavily influenced by Subhas Chandra Bose and Sara Chandra Bose. He contested for Bakharganj constituency against Saral Kumar Dutta, president of the district committee of Indian National Congress and relative of swadeshi leader, Ashwini Kumar Dutta, and won the seat of Bengal Legislative assembly.
Due to his affiliation with Bose brothers, he contested another reserved seat as a congress candidate in the Calcutta Municipal Corporation in 1940 and make a victory. In his political succession, he extended his support to the Nazimuddin government in Bengal and became a minister to lead Co-operative Credit and Rural Indebtedness.
He was carrying out his mission in Bengal and then India until the expulsion of Bose brothers (Netaji) from the INC. After that he direct his focus on Muslim League despite the inclusion efforts of Gandhi, to get rid of the Congress Casteist system.
He joined as a minister in the cabinet of chief minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy in 1946. He was in support of ML because he assumed that Dalits would be better off with the Muslim community than with the high caste Hindus. He saw the stark poverty and social discrimination of oppressed Dalit and Muslims in rural Bengal. That is why when rioting broke out in 1946, he urges Dalit people not to participate in violence against Muslims.
He is a trustworthy companion of Jinnah. For that matter, Jinnah nominated Mandal as the Muslim league’s representative in the interim government of India. He interplays a pivotal role in crystalizing the Pakistan Movement and countering anti-Pakistan propaganda. For instance, in the 3rd June plan, the voting began for the Sylhet district either to join Pakistan or remain in Assam. There he convinced people to support Pakistan.
Before this, he joined hands with another remarkable Dalit leader, Babasaheb Ambedkar, and create the India Scheduled Caste Federation (AISCF) to ensure the representation and reformation of Scheduled Caste in the legislature.
He headed the commencement of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly on 11 august 1947 and showcase his confidence in Quaid’s vision. He was in support of the title given to Jinnah i.e., of ‘Quaid-e-Azam’. Quaid chose Mandal for the law ministry of the newly developed country and proves that this progressive country treats every citizen equally. Mandal also served as the second minister of Commonwealth and Kashmir affairs.
But right after Jinnah’s death state policies towards minorities altered differently. Ones who raise these castes were now banishing them for their political interest. Even in that scenario Mandal backs up the objective resolution just to see that ray of hope that everything will eventually get better. But we prove him wrong.
We ignored him so badly despite all his good contributions that heft his beloved country with a heavy heart. On his return, he tried to join the Indian political sphere in 1967 but local parties bashed him and disown him by calling Jogendra Ali Mollah. He tried his luck by contesting in an election but lost severely. This defeat was so shocking for him that he passed away only a year later October 5, 1968.
As of now, we at least show the audacity to remember his contributions in the journey of Pakistan.
Zunaira Ali is the Freelance writer. She is graduated from the School of Politics and IR Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. She frequently contributed to Pakistan’s leading newspaper. She is working at STUDENTINN SOLUTIONS as Intern Content Writer.