Tathagata Roy expresses desire to join active politics: A rundown of veteran leader's controversial tweets
As of now, Tathagata Roy has not been given any other post, although he has expressed his desire to return to active politics in West Bengal
Veteran BJP leader Tathagata Roy's tenure as the Governor of Meghalaya came to an end of Tuesday with former Goa governor Satya Pal Malik set to replace him.
As of now, Roy has not been given any other post, although he has expressed his desire to return to active politics in West Bengal. According to news agency PTI, Roy has said that he is willing to accept any role the party entrusts him with.
The 74-year-old former West Bengal BJP president, however, evaded a direct reply when asked whether he would like to be the face of the party in the state Assembly polls due next year, saying "It is for the party leadership to decide".
"My tenure as Governor ended in May. I am still here just because of the COVID-19 situation. Once my tenure ends and I go back to Kolkata, I would like to return to active politics and take up any role the BJP offers to me," Roy told PTI.
"If my party decides that I am a fit candidate for the post of chief minister, obviously, I shall consider it,” Roy told The Indian Express over the phone.
Roy said that he had informed the party leadership long back that he wants to return to active politics. "I don't know why everybody is talking about it now," he said.
As per The Print.in, a section of the Bengal BJP unit is in favour of Roy contesting the upcoming Assembly election, but he said that he would accept any role given by the party. The state is scheduled to go to Assembly elections in April or May next year.
Roy was the state BJP president from 2002 to 2006 and a member of the party's national executive between 2002 and 2015.
He was appointed as the governor of Tripura in May 2015 and later took over as the governor of Meghalaya in August 2018.
The governor, who describes himself as a "Right-wing Hindu socio-political thinker, writer, ideologue" on his Twitter handle is known for posting provocative messages on social media. Here are some of his other controversially charged remarks.
'Boycott everything Kashmiri'
Earlier this year, in February, Roy in a tweet asked for a blanket boycott of "everything Kashmiri". The tweet was in response to the 14 February attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama that killed 42 jawans.
Roy also asked people not to visit Kashmir or visit Amarnath for the next two years. The governor's comments come amid reports of threats being issued to Kashmiri people, especially students, in several parts of the country.
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
— Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) February 19, 2019
Soon after stoking controversy with his tweet, Roy tried to clarify in a phone interview with a television channel that he was not advocating for a total economic shutdown of Kashmir. "I have not said boycott everything Kashmiri," Roy told News18, claiming that he had only quoted a "retired colonel of the Indian Army". He then went on to call an economic shutdown of Kashmir "collateral damage".
'Bengali boys sweep floors, girls dance in bars'
In June, 2019, he triggered another storm by claiming that Bengali boys sweep the floors of houses across the country these days and "Bengali girls dance in Mumbai's bars."
Wondering why a section of the people in West Bengal was opposed to learning Hindi, Roy, himself a Bengali, also said on Twitter that major parts of Bengal were separated from the state.
Stressing on the need to learn Hindi, Roy said barring those who would not step outside West Bengal, everyone should learn Hindi as this was the language the people of the country, except in Tamil Nadu, more or less understood. "They should understand reality. Otherwise, they will have to suffer," the former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said.
A number of netizens criticised Roy claiming that he had insulted Bengali boys and girls, while many others supported his views.
'26/11 attackers spared Muslims'
On the tenth anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, back in 2018, the then Meghalaya governor claimed that Muslims were not killed in the "Pakistan-sponsored slaughter of innocents".
"10th Anniversary today of Paki-sponsored slaughter of innocents (except Muslims) at Mumbai, popularly called 26/11. Does anyone remember why we did not even downgrade our diplomatic relations with the Pakis (let alone break off such relations or go to war)?" he tweeted.
Later, he deleted his tweet and said he was wrong on facts. "I was misinformed of the Paki-sponsored killers of 26/11 having spared Muslims. In fact, several Muslims were killed. It was a mistake of facts and I am sorry for the same. The relevant tweet has been deleted," he tweeted.
He deleted the second tweet as well and then issued another apology.
The tweet relating to 26/11 contained a factual mistake. It has been deleted with apologies. No further enquiries please
— Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) November 26, 2018
'Hindu-Muslim problem won't be solved without a civil war'
In 2017, Roy tweeted a 1946 remark by Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who later founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, that "the Hindu-Muslim problem won't be solved without a civil war".
This led to the then ruling CPM and the opposition Congress demanding his removal from as the state governor.
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!
— Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) June 18, 2017
'Wrap them in pigskin, bury them face down in pig excreta'
In January 2016, Roy had suggested that the bodies of the terrorists killed in the Pathankot attack be wrapped in pigskin. "I seriously suggest Russian treatment to terrorists' carcasses. Wrap them in pigskin, bury them face down in pig excreta. No chance of Houris," he had said on Twitter.
'Fight against intolerance will only be balanced when Muslims have pork in the open'
In November 2015, Roy — in an interview with The Economic Times — had said, "People have the right to eat what they want but the scales would be even when Muslims come out and have pork in the open. And that day, we can really call it a war against intolerance."
On being asked what he thought about the emergence of a 'secular Grand Alliance' in Bihar, Roy gave a vague answer and said that he does not accept the definition of the word 'secular'.
'People who attended Yakub Menon's funeral are potential terrorists'
In July 2015, Roy described people who had attended 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon's funeral as "potential terrorists" and said, "they ought to be kept under surveillance".
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 elements in these people. They ought to be kept under surveillance.”
If Hindus of West Bengal did not reject secularism, they would be annihilated'
In April 2015, Roy had said that if Hindus of West Bengal did not reject secularism and polarise, they would be "annihilated".
Hindus of West Bengal: either chuck yr 'secular','politically correct' values and polarise. Or prepare to be either annihilated or converted
— Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) April 23, 2015
'Glad you appreciate what Hindus did in Gujarat in 2002'
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.”
— Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) March 23, 2015
Back in August 2014, Roy had congratulated UP BJP for bringing up the infamous 'Love Jihad' issue and had even suggested that the issue be taken up in West Bengal.
Congrats UP BJP fr bringing issue of Love Jihad to the fore. We in West Bengal must perhaps do the same to save hapless gullible Hindu girls
— Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) August 24, 2014
With inputs from PTI
Mamata appeals to Centre to withdraw order recalling Bengal chief secretary, says BJP pursuing 'vendetta politics'
The TMC chief also claimed that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah were trying to create problems for her government at every step as they are unable to digest the BJP's defeat in the recent state Assembly polls
MHA issues show-cause notice to Alapan Bandyopadhyay for abstaining' from PM's meeting on Cyclone Yaas
The former chief secretary of West Bengal has been asked to file a reply within three days or provisions under the stringent Disaster Management Act, that entail imprisonment for up to two years, may be invoked against him
Jagdeep Dhankhar, who has been at odds with the state government, claimed the police has been "engaged as an extension of ruling dispensation to let loose vindictiveness on political opponents"