BJP politician's tweet on status of Hindus in Bengal sparks social media debate (IANS SPECIAL)
A meme shared by former Meghalaya Governor and senior West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Tathagata Roy on a social networking site sparked serious controversy over the status of Hindus living in West Bengal.
The issue triggered netizens to engage in a raging debate, with just five months left ahead of the state assembly polls.
"The meme shared by the senior politician, read: A child and his father, refugees from West Bengal in 2050, in Bengali Hindu refugee colony in Jharkhand. The child asks what they had left back, how his aunt was picked up by 'them' and killed. Father says: Karim chacha (uncle) was very kind; He was crying when he saw us off at the border. The little boy asked: Then why did my grandmother say that they picked up my aunt and killed her?"
The controversial post of Roy reminded of the atrocities against Hindus in neighbouring Bangladesh when thousands of Bengali-speaking people were brutally killed in the hands of Muslims in undivided Bangladesh, then known as East Pakistan.
"Yesterday I tweeted a meme of a Bengali Hindu father and son in 2050, forced to leave Muslim-dominated West Bengal. Some called me mad. Ask any Hindu who lived in Dhaka or Barisal in the 1930s. If u told them then that you will have to leave your home in 10-15 years, they would have laughed at you," he tweeted on Friday.
Always accepted by the educated middle-class Bengalis for his erudite nature and intellectual refinement, Roy was the state BJP president between 2002 and 2006 and also a member of the BJP's national executive committee from 2002 to 2015. Later, he was appointed as the governor of Tripura in May 2015. In August 2018, he took over as the governor of Meghalaya.
Roy's post was retweeted by various members of the Twitterati who supported him for championing the cause of the Hindus in West Bengal.
"They laughed at the minority complex of the majority in Central Asia, Khurasan, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey (Asia Minor) of today. Buddhism, Saivism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Yezidis, Pagans vanished like a hare's horn after a few beheadings. God saved India till now," tweeted Anand Kumar.
Another member, Sid M wrote: "India won't be saved in future, not because coz of Muslims; but because of liberals and seculars who will ensure India's transformation to a Muslim state! Just a matter of time! The only solution to survival -- forceful conversion of X and M to the Hindu fold and you will have Sanatan Bharat again!"
The West Bengal Police had to turn to fact-checkers on communally sensitive posts ahead of the crucial state assembly polls.
Earlier, the state police had tweeted a screen grab of a post by BJP MP Arjun Singh calling it misleading.
They wrote: "Misleading. Legal action is being taken. Please do not get carried away by provocative and mischievous posts." The tweet by the Barrackpore MP had referred to vandalism of a temple in Murshidabad district. The district police said a fire had damaged the temple.
On August 28, they had also taken note of a video tweeted by Pakistani-born Canadian writer Tarek Fatah and called it fake.
"A video clip from Bangladesh is being circulated intentionally to defame the West Bengal administration. Legal action is being taken," the state police had tweeted from their official Twitter account.
Amid political speculations on who would become BJP's poster boy in Bengal for the upcoming assembly elections, Roy's comeback definitely stands out as the most significant one. He had also met state BJP president Dilip Ghosh and other central leaders like Kailash Vijayvargiyaji upon his return.
He has been a senior BJP leader for a pretty long time and held many important posts in the past. Being a Hindu leader he has always been vocal about various issues on social media which drew a substantial fan-following for him nationally. Being a senior member Roy knows a lot of people in the saffron fold.
According to the 2011 Census of India, West Bengal has over 24.6 million Bengali Muslims who form 27.01 per cent of the state's population.
Bengali Muslims form the majority of the population mainly in three districts -- Murshidabad, Malda and Uttar Dinajpur. Their population in the state, before 1947, was around 30 per cent and during the time of independence, it went down to just 18 per cent.
After Partition of Bengal in 1947, the majority of Bengali Muslims from West Bengal had migrated to East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh). Estimates show that nearly 15,34,718 Bengali Muslims had left Bengal permanently for East Pakistan during 1947-1951.
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