Controversially unapologetic: Tathagata Roy’s most provoking statementshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/governor-tathagata-roy-most-controversial-statements-5594182/

Controversially unapologetic: Tathagata Roy’s most provoking statements

Roy, a former BJP leader, stoked a controversy early this week by tweeting in support of an (unnamed) retired Army officer’s suggestion to boycott Kashmir and Kashmiris economically. Here are some of his most controversial statements.

Controversially unapologetic: Tathagata Roy's most controversial statements
Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy. (Express archive photo)

Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy stoked a controversy early this week by tweeting in support of an (unnamed) retired Army officer’s suggestion to boycott Kashmir and Kashmiris economically. Roy, a former BJP leader who identifies himself as a Right-wing Hindu socio-political ideologue, made these remarks at a time when Kashmiris, particularly students, have been targeted by Hindutva groups protesting against the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, this is not the first time that Roy has spun insensitive remarks from his unverified Twitter handle. Here are some of his most controversially charged statements.

1. On February 19, 2019, Tathagata Roy said he supported a retired Army officer’s suggestion to boycott Kashmir and Kashmiris economically. In a tweet, Roy said, “An appeal from a retired colonel of the Indian Army: Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath for the next 2 years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri tradesman who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri. I am inclined to agree.” After receiving widespread criticism over his remarks, Roy told the Indian Express that that “new methods” have to be tried to counter the insurgency in Kashmir.

“It is a non-violent way of reacting to what has been going on for the last 2-3 decades… we have been fighting the separatists in Kashmir with limited success, we have not been able to subjugate them – our soldiers are dying,” he said.

“No one thinks about the 3.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits. They have been made beggars on the streets. New methods have to be tried out. This is a non-violent method that was suggested by an Army Colonel. I said I incline to agree, yes, that’s on record.”

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2. In March 2018, after the BJP toppled the CPI (M) government in Tripura Assembly elections, a statue of Russian revolutionary Lenin was illegally razed by miscreants in the state. Roy, who was then Governor of Tripura, had tweeted, “What one democratically elected government can do another democratically elected government can undo. And vice versa.”

3. In June 2017, he had said: “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!”

4. After the Pathankot attack in September 2016, Roy had tweeted, “I seriously suggest Russian treatment to terrorists’ carcasses. Wrap them in pigskin, bury them face down in pig excreta. No chance of Houris.” This tweet was later deleted.

5. On January 11, 2016, Roy posted a series of tweets linking post-Partition attacks on Hindus in then East Pakistan with the violence in Malda. “On 12 February 1950, all trains crossing the Meghna Bridge at Ashugonj (now Bangladesh) were stopped, all Hindus stabbed and thrown into river…In 1950 pogrom (NOT RIOT) almost all Hindus in villages Muladi, Madhabpasha, Lakutia, Rajapur in Barisal were mercilessly slaughtered… The 1950 bloodbath of Barisal and Meghna Bridge! Young men and women, ask your grandparents what happened? Kaliachak is possibly the last warning.”

6. In January 2016, Roy targeted Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali, who was in Kolkata for a concert. In a series of tweets, Roy said, “Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali in Kolkata. No people on earth have suffered at Pakistan’s hands as much as Bengali Hindus. Bengalis forget, said Haraprasad Shastri (a noted Bengali linguist).”

7. In August 2015, Roy had said that those who attended the funeral of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon were potential terrorists. “Intelligence shd keep a tab on all (except relatives and close friends) who assembled before Yakub Memon’s corpse. Many are potential terrorists,” Roy had tweeted. After facing criticism for his remarks, Roy had said, “I stand by what I have said on Twitter. All those who went to attend Yakub Memon’s funeral, other than his family members, close relatives and friends, are definitely prima facie suspects. There must be some potential threat element in these people. They ought to be kept under surveillance.”

8. In 2015, commenting on the “fighting back” nature of Hindus, Roy tweeted, “One exception was Gujarat, 2002. I’m glad you appreciate what the Hindus did then.”

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