Intellectuals ask President to act against Tripura Governor

In a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of Bengali intellectuals accused Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy of triggering tension in the state through some of his social media posts

Photo by Arindam Shivaani/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Photo by Arindam Shivaani/NurPhoto via Getty Images


Accusing Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy of triggering tension in the state by some of his social media posts, a group of Bengali intellectuals on Friday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind asking him to take Constitutional steps against Governor Roy.

In the letter, they claimed Roy's comments, particularly after the declaration of the assembly election results, triggered tension in the state.

The signatories include Bengali authors Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, painter Shuvaprasanna, Nabanita Dev Sen, theatre personality Manoj Mitra, singer Kabir Suman, poet Joy Goswami and filmmaker Goutam Ghosh, among others.

"We are passing through a phase when passion is running high. So, any tweet should take into account the prevailing circumstances," writer Mukhopadhyay said.

On March 6, Roy said in a tweet: "From the telephone calls I receive, it appears that a concerted and motivated campaign is afoot to spread a canard that murder and mayhem have broken out in Tripura. Nonsense! Even the uprooting of the statue has not precipitated any breach of peace."

A controversy erupted after a statue of Communist icon Lenin was pulled down by some people with an excavator machine in the northeastern state.

He had further said: "Fundamental questions coming up. We removed George V from India Gate, New Delhi, Queen Victoria from in front of her memorial in Kolkata, renamed Aurangzeb Road, all by government fiats. What if the government similarly decides to remove Lenin's statue, rename Lenin Sarani? Any answers?"

Going a step further on Friday, Roy alleged the letter to the President was written by someone else, and not by the signatories to it.

"Shirshendu, Naboneeta and a few others have written to the Hon'ble President for action against me for my tweets. But when quizzed on ABP-Ananda (a Bengali news channel), Shirshendu's evasive answers showed it was written by someone else and he was forced to sign on it. No prizes for guessing who," he said in a tweet.

The Tripura Governor set aside all pretence of neutrality early in his tenure and remains true to form, openly celebrating the victory of the BJP in the Tripura elections.

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