Courting controversy again, Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy tweeted what he called a 1946 diary entry made by Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who later founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which stated that “the Hindu-Muslim problem won’t be solved without a Civil War”. This drew sharp reactions on Twitter and several exchanges later, Roy put out another tweet, saying “couple of dozen dimwits” trolled him for “advocating a civil war”, and that “I was quoting, not advocating”.
At 12.23 am June 18, Roy took to Twitter: “Syama Prasad Mookerjee wrote in his diary on 10/1/1946: “The Hindu-Muslim problem won’t b solved without a Civil War”. So much like Lincoln!” This was followed by sharp exchanges with some accusing him of instigating communal violence, others calling for his sacking and arrest.
Nineteen hours later, Roy tweeted: “Instantly couple of dozen dimwits began trolling that I was advocating a civil war. None stopped to ponder that I was QUOTING, not ADVOCATING.” He continued: “I was quoting a diary of 70 years back, pre-partition India. And it was prophetic. Because Jinnah unleashed that civil war 7 months later. And Jinnah won that civil war and got his Pakistan. That is ALSO something Dr Mookerjee predicted.”
Earlier, while engaging the Twitterati, Roy posted a photograph of a banner attributed to “Shyampur Masjid Committee and the residents” and wrote “See this notice. It says “All music forbidden. Violators will call forth penalties.” Not ISIS. Not Taliban, not Saudi. But West Bengal, India”.
The Governor did not respond to phone calls, email or text messages from The Indian Express for comment. This is not the first time that Roy has made controversial remarks on Twitter. In August 2015, in one of his tweets, he described people who had attended Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon’s funeral as “potential terrorists” and said “they ought to be kept under surveillance.”
In September 2015, replying to a tweet, he said: “Whatever gave you the notion I am secular? I am a Hindu. My state, India, however is secular since 1976.” His Twitter handle then identified him as “Governor”, “but still a proud Swayamsevak”. As of today, Roy identifies him as “Civil Engineer, Swayamsevak, Professor, Politician, Writer, Lawyer, Hindu. Now Governor of Tripura. Love travel, music; hate hypocrisy and double standards.”