Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy today credited RSS idealogue Shyama Prasad Mukherjee with the formation of West Bengal at the time of partition in 1947, saying "he practically snatched the state out of the jaws of (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah".
He also said that it was a "misimpression" that the Bengalis are revolutionaries and Left-oriented since time immemorial.
Roy, at the launch of his book "The Life and Times of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, "I personally think that the greatest achievement of Dr Mukherjee was the creation of West Bengal. He practically snatched the state out of the jaws of Jinnah."
While Mukherjee always stood by "constitutionalism", he took a different route when required, the governor said.
He said that Dr Mukherjee took to the streets and created public opinion in favour of partition, and a newspaper survey revealed that 97 per cent of the Hindus were in its favour.
"It had nothing to do with the 1905 partition... This partition was done for the sake of the Hindus. That was one time he left the constitutional path," he said.
Roy said it's a "misimpression" that the Bengalis had been revolutionaries and Left-oriented people "for a very long time or practically since time immemorial. It's nothing like that".
He said there were roughly 24 crore Bengali-speaking people in the world, of which around 7 crore were Hindus and 17 crore Muslims.
"These 17 crore Muslims have never been revolutionaries. They have never taken the law in their hands. The participated in a bloody freedom struggle in 1971... prompted by entirely different nationalistic compulsions and not by leftism," he said.
He said that before 1930, there was no leftism in Bengal and since then the cultural scene there has been "totally permeated with leftists with practically no competition". It gave rise to the impression that Bengal was always a Left- leaning state.
Roy said that just before the 1930s, people like C R Das, Aurobindo Ghose who later came be to known as Sri Aurobindo and the revolutionaries of Agni-yuga were "not leftists".
"They used to swear in the name of the Gita and Goddess Kali... as we got closer to the Independence, we find fewer and fewer politicians from Bengal in the all-India scene... People like Jyotindra Mohan Sengupta, his wife Nellie Sengupta, C R Das they were nowhere near leftism," he said.
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