Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy, well known for making provocative comments not worthy of someone holding a constitutional position, stoked a new controversy on February 19, by tweeting out a call to boycott "everything Kashmiri", including taking part in Amarnath Yatra and purchasing the state’s products, as a response to last week's Pulwama suicide bomb attack that killed over 40 CRPF jawans.
"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," Roy tweeted.
It is extremely strange that the Colonel was not identified and similar Whatsapp forwards have been doing the rounds for the last few days, again without identifying the Colonel.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah expressed outrage at the comments.
Abdullah wrote: “These are the bigots driving Kashmir over the abyss. While you are at it Tathagata why don’t you stop using our rivers to generate your electricity as well?”
"Deplorable statement coming from the Governor of Meghalaya. GoI must sack him immediately . If they fail to do so, it means he has their tacit approval and are using it as an election ploy to polarise the situation," Mufti tweeted.
This is possibly the first time in the history of independent India that a Governor of a state is calling for economic boycott of another state of the country. One wonders if this amounts to subversion of the Constitution of India. As governors are representatives of the President of India, one hopes Ram Nath Kovind will clear the air about his thoughts on Roy’s comments.