The people of West Bengal staged a general strike yesterday (Wednesday, March 31) to express solidarity with the people of East Pakistan (East Bengalis) in their fight for autonomy from West Pakistan.
GV Inactive railway station (3 shots)
GV Closed main post office
SV PAN & CU closed shops (2 shots)
GV Deserted streets (3 shots)
GV Demonstrators with placards and flags headed by green
SCU Bangla Desh flag heading procession
SCU Black flag
SCU Yellow flag PAN to Bangla Desh flag
GV Demonstrators away down street
SV Communist demonstrators marching with Red Flag (4 shots)
GV Pakistan High Commission building
SCU Plaque identifying building
SV Guard outside building
SV & CU Congress Party hunger strikers seated (4 shots)
Initials OS/2258 LD/OS/2311
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Background: The people of West Bengal staged a general strike yesterday (Wednesday, March 31) to express solidarity with the people of East Pakistan (East Bengalis) in their fight for autonomy from West Pakistan.
Support for the Bangla Desh (Free Bengal) movement is intense in West Bengal - and it is interesting to note that the Moslem-Hindu animosity which split Bengal in two 23 years ago appears to be momentarily forgotten on both sides of the border. Though not many people admit it openly, there seems to be a tacit feeling on both sides that many people may be able to return to their birthplaces should East Pakistan gain Independence as Bangla Desh. Some even hope they may recuperate lands lost at the time of the Indian partition.
Our film shows the usually bustling centre of Calcutta - the Capital of West Bengal - at the height of the strike: inactive railway, deserted streets, etc.
Later, two demonstrations made their way through the streets of Calcutta to show their support of the East Pakistanis - one group carrying Bangla Desh placards and flags; the other, a Communist Party demonstration, carrying the Red Flag. Meanwhile, outside the Pakistan High Commission, a group of volunteers from the ruling Congress Party went on a hunger strike in protest against atrocities which they said were being committed in East Pakistan.