A successful movement against Kamdhenu ( lactating virgin cow) :
It was the month of March 1985. Milannagar is a locality around 3KM. from Kanchrapara Rly. Stn. towards west in 85/27 bus route.
Some Robi Moulick was a resident of this locality. He lived on a small grocery shop. Incidentally, he had a cow which, despite its virginity, began to milking one day, provably in the end of February 1985. A section of people attributed supernaturalism upon the incident & the episode became known as :
Radharani herself appeared in the cow & the milk given by the cow is, in fact, the milk of Radharani which cures a dumb to a speaking person, a deaf to a hearing person & a disabled person to a normal person. Fatal diseases like cancer, leukemia etc. also cannot stay within the periphery of human body when in touch of “Radharani’s milk”.
The news crossed the boundary of locality to the other regions of the state and then the boundary of West Bengal to other states of the country. The people of Milannagar locality became experienced with the appearance of more than one lac foreign people every day. Civic pollution engulfed the region within a few days. Normal life of the locality became at a stake.
Bijnan darbar decided to integrate the protest of local people. In the first step Darbar inquired into the matter meticulously and it was known that the seven year old cow of Rabi Moulick was under the treatment of Dr. B. Bardhan to be cured from sterility. In the second step Dr. B. Bardhan was interviewed accordingly and Dr. Bardhan rendered a statement to Darbar which told that milking of the said virgin cow was due to administration of excess female hormone during treatment. The task of enquiry was done by Sri Ujjal Kanti Roy & Smt. Banani Basak very successfully. In the third step Darbar organized a massive campaign with leaflets covering the statement of Dr. Bardhan on 8th March, 1985. The rally was participated by more than fifty persons from Bijnan Darbar and ‘Pathasena’ a renowned drama team of Kanchrapara. At the end of the campaigning programme some hooligans having vested interest in ‘ Kamdhenu episode’ attacked the rally at Milannagar Bus stand and assaulted Swapan Kr. Sil while he was explaining the episode to the people. However this attack returned to the hooligans as boomerang. While reporting the protest rally of Bijnan Darbar, ‘Aajkal’ the renowned daily news paper published the news with major portion of the leaflet on 27th March 1985. After few days the episode came to end.
Role of Bijnan Darbar in the development of anti- nuke movement in West Bengal :
It was the end of 1970s. Union Govt. of India already effectuated the first N-test on 18th May, 1974. Under the pressure of internal emergency there was very little scope to open leap against N- test. But there was an anti-nuclear culture, may be in an embryonic stage, in West Bengal. After the lifting of internal emergency this culture began to be exposed very slowly. Some Radhagobinda Das wrote an article on “Problem of radioactive waste” in ‘Arnrinya’, a monthly periodical in 1978 and it was reprinted in ‘Jnan-O-Bijnan’ Patrika in 1981. Probably it was the first anti- nuke article in any Bengali periodical. Dr. Manan Ganguly and his European counterpart, Ms. Janet Eitkin published a good number of bulletins in English Covering various aspects of menace of N- Power.
To oppose N-Power was in the agenda of Bijnan Darbar since inception. In 1982, Sri Sukumar Roy, one of the joint secretary of Bijnan Darbar was also a member of the executive council of ‘Bangiya Bijnan Parisad’ (BBP) and Sri Swapan Kr. Sil member of Bijnan Darbar, was also a member of executive council of ‘Eastern India Science club Association’ (EISAC). According to the decision of Bijnan Darbar both Sri Sil and Sri Roy submitted a proposal for holding a rally to protest against N-War and arsenal jointly with the other science and cultural organizations in the meeting of executive council of EISCA and BBP respectively. Sri Biswajit Mukherjee, the other joint secretary of Bijnan Darbar put forward the proposal to some important other science organization which were related with neither BBP nor EISCA. In consequence of this effort, BBP, EISCA, Bijnan-O- Bijnan Karmi, Bijnan Darbar, Utso Manush, Likobijnan etc. many science organizations resolved to hold a rally on 6th August 1982, the Hiroshima day in view to raising grievance against N-War and N- arsenals. It is to mention here that the rally was held under a common forum which was named as ‘Ganabijnan Samannaya Kendra’, Pachim Banga. The rally started from BBP and ended at Sahed Minar where ‘Pathasena’ presented a drama- ‘PIKADON’ the theme of which was centered on Hiroshima and Nagasaki episode. It would not be out of context to mention here that Pathasena took this programme in its hand in response to an active request made by Bijnan Darbar. On this day Bijnan Darbar itself published its second booklet on the problem of environmental pollution the greater part of which was releted to the menace of N-power.
Though this great rally was aimed at raising voice against N-War and N- arsenals according to common resolution, on the day of rally many organizations (including Bijnan Darbar raised voice against N-power. Later this voice began to be multiplied day by day and now the area of this voice is sufficient enough to throw challenge to the authority concerned against the installation of Nuclear power plant in West Bengal. Bijnan Darbar is also in this process still with a significant role.
- The role of Bijnan Darbar in shaping ‘Gana Bijnan Samannaya Kendra, W.B.’ from an informal structure to a formal organization:
It was Bijnan Darbar which had taken the most important role in shaping Gana Bijnan Samannaya Kendra, W.B. (GBSK) from an informal structure to a formal organization. After a rally of 6th August, 1982, all the constituents could not remain in GBSK. Even a review meeting could not be held. BBP and EISCA took leave from GBSK very silently, as such GBSK was aimed at holding the rally on 6th August, 1982 only. However, GBSK did not wither away. It began to continue with an informal shape. When any issue appeared and gave rise to such a situation that a united effort became necessary to deal with the situation, the platform of GBSK was used by the peopole’s science organizations. Accordingly Bhopal gas disaster, Chernobyl N-power accident and the episode of Ramjanmobhumi-Babrimasjid were such important issues which were responded very effectively from this platform. In these programmes, the role played by Bijnan Darbar was very significant and simultaneously, Darbar was capable of consolidating opinion of different science organizations in favour of a formal shape of GBSK. Finally, under the patronization of Bijnan Darbar, the first conference of GBSK was held in Kalyani in 1989. In the history of people science movement in West Bengal this conference alongwith the formal shape of GBSK was very important. It resolved a good number of issues relating to the question of N-power, environment, religious communalism and social superstitions. The active life of GBSK was not very long. It was around ten years. But within this very short span of life the people’s science issues which were upheld by GBSK are now the issues of many social and political organizations. It would not be out of context to mention here that the first secretary of GBSK was Sri Swapan Kr. Sil who was (is) a member of Bijnan Darbar