Tathagata Roy claimed he was merely “quoting, not advocating” when he mentioned a diary entry by Syama Prasad Mookerjee that said the only solution to the “Hindu-Muslim problem” was a civil war.
New Delhi: Tripura governor Tathagata Roy came under sharp criticism on social media after referring to a “prophecy” by Syama Prasad Mookerjee in 1946 that the only solution to the “Hindu-Muslim problem” was a civil war.
Equating Mookerjee, who founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, to Abraham Lincoln, Roy tweeted that the words were from a diary entry from January 10, 1946.
He was instantly accused of inciting communal violence and was urged to refrain from “tweeting irresponsibly. According to an Indian Express report, some even called for his sacking and arrest.
Roy then hit back and clarified that he was merely “quoting, not advocating” and stated that the words – which were “prophetic” since Jinnah did “unleash a civil war,” which he “won” and “got his Pakistan” – were from a diary of “70 years back, pre-partition India.”
He further stated that he was being targeted by “secular dimwits” trying to put words in his mouth.
The civil war “unleashed” seven months after the entry was made in January 1946, was the “Great Calcutta Killings” in August of the same year, “followed by the Noakhali Hindu genocide” two months later in October and the “retaliation in Bihar,” he said.
This, however, is not the first time the Tripura governor has been accused of inciting communal hatred. According to The Northeast Today, in December 2014 Roy tweeted: “Overwhelming Hindu majority is ESSENTIAL to maintain a multi-religious society & secular state. But West Bengal is slipping.”
In April 2015, he again drew flak when he alleged that Hindus were under attack from Muslims: “Attack by Muslims on Hindus at Ghazipur, Bangladesh. Attack by Muslims on Hindus at Mallikpur,W Bengal, India. What awaits us Bengali Hindus?”
He also sparked a controversy through his statements on Twitter when in August 2015 he described those who attended the funeral of Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon as “potential terrorists” who “ought to be kept under surveillance.”
According to the Indian Express, a month later, in a reply 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.”