New Delhi: At a time when Shillong has been witnessing massive protests against the Citizenship (Amendment Act), Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Ray has stoked a controversy by extending his support to the Act without mincing any word. “Two things should never be lost sight of in the present atmosphere of controversy: 1. The country was once divided in the name of religion. 2. A democracy is NECESSARILY DIVISIVE. If you don’t want it, go to North Korea,” the governor, who is known for his controversial remarks, said.
“Tripura, even as a princely state, was thoroughly Bengalized. The govt used to transact its business in Bengali while neighbouring British India did in English. There was a conspiracy by Gedu Mian and Durjoy Karta to push the state into East Pakistan. It didn’t succeed. Then Islamic persecution drove huge numbers of East Bengali Hindus into Tripura and the tribals became the minority. The tribals are not a monolithic lot- there are 19 tribes in all. However, Bengali dominated the government, whether Congress, Communist or BJP, have never discriminated against the tribals and their principal language ‘Kokborok’ has been given all possible encouragement, including up to post-graduate courses. The tribal festivals are observed by Bengalis also. The disturbances in Tripura were engineered by Pakistanis through their Bangladeshi stooges,” the Governor tweeted his opinion about Tripura and its Bengali population.
“As soon as the India-friendly govt of Sheikh Hasina came to power, all disturbances stopped. It is suspected that some Christian missionaries also had a hand. There are tribal parties and separatist tribal parties who occasionally whip up trouble. In any case, relations between Bengalis and the main tribes (Debbarma, Jamatiya, Reang) are quite cordial. There are intermarriages also. So long the troublemakers are kept in leash, there is not much possibility of trouble,” the Governor tweeted.
The tweets came hours before protesters reached the entrance of the Raj Bhavan where they were lathi-charged and tear-gassed.