NEW DELHI: Known for stoking controversy on social media, Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy has again raked up a storm by posting a series of anti-Bengali tweets, saying that the greatness of Bengalis was long gone and that Bengalis were either "sweeping floors" or working as "bar dancers" in Mumbai.
The former BJP leader, who hails from West Bengal, was offering his views on states opposing making learning Hindi mandatory in schools.
"There is no great opposition. They are only making empty noise for political reasons. Assam, Odisha and Maharashtra are also non-Hindi speaking states, but they don't oppose Hindi," Roy tweeted in Bangla on Tuesday.
He further said: "The second argument is that Bengal being the land of Vidyasagar, Vivekananda, Rabindranath and Netaji, why should Bengalis learn Hindi. I fail to understand what is the connection between these four great men and learning Hindi.
বাঙালি ছেলেরা ঘর ঝাঁট দেয়, বাঙালি মেয়েরা মুম্বাইতে বার ডান্সার, এই সব আমি টুইট করেছিলাম বলে অনেকে ব্যথিত হয়েছেন | অথবা ব্যথিত হবার ভান করেছেন, "আমাদের মা-বোনেদের অপমান" বলে খুব রাগ দেখাচ্ছেন, ইতর ভাষাও প্রয়োগ করেছেন | আমি ইচ্ছে করে এগুলো বাংলায় টুইট করেছি যাতে— Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) June 5, 2019
"Who will explain to them that the era of these stalwarts is long gone, and the greatness of Bengal is gone too. Now from Haryana to Kerala, Bengali boys are sweeping floors and Bengali girls are bar dancers in Mumbai, which was unthinkable before."
While many of Roy's Twitter followers supported his views, they also drew a lot of flak from social media users who criticised the Meghalaya Governor for making generalised statements about Bengalis, arguing that youth from many other states also did similar works, not because they didn't know Hindi, but due to the lack of opportunities.
In February, Roy had stoked a major row by supporting an appeal made by a "retired Colonel of Indian Army" asking people to "boycott everything that is Kashmiri" in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
"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 had tweeted.