At just 18, Hirak Biswas is a dedicated supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party at Chakdaha in Bengal’s Nadia district. The descendant of a prosperous family from what is now Bangladesh, he has grown up listening to stories of the wealth that his grandparents had to leave behind in erstwhile East Pakistan after Partition. Even as West Bengal goes to polls tomorrow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Orakandi village in Bangladesh to pay respects to Harichand Thakur, the founder of the Matua sect to which Hirak belongs. Thakur was born in Orakandi in 1812. Matuas are an important Hindu sect spread across West Bengal. For instance, relatives of Hirak’s cousin Sreerupa are settled in Thakurnagar, where the All India Matua Mahasangha is situated, in North 24 Parganas.
Like them, there are many Matuas in Bengal who have similar stories of forgotten prosperity before one of the biggest migrations in human history in 1947. Over the years, due to its numerical strength and voting behaviour, the community has gained political prominence in the state.
News Source : News 18