So 2017 is also about to go! What happened during the year?
All in all, a rather unremarkable year. Sitting in the Governor’s chair at Agartala, mainly watching as life goes by. And that is why this is going to be, maybe a relatively short blog, at least compared to other, more eventful years.
The highlight of the year has been the birth of my third grandchild, a son for my younger daughter Momo and her husband Ajinkya. A third U.S. citizen added to the considerable strength of the North American resident descendants of the late Girish Chandra Roy, my grandfather. We were due to be with her at the birth, but had to cancel the trip at the last moment. So, no trips abroad this year.
Right through the year I have mostly been writing, and whatever remarkable that has happened during the year have been in this regard. First, the Bengali translation of my book My People,Uprooted, the story of the persecution and exodus of Hindus from East Bengal, titled Ja Chhilo Amar Desh, sold like hot cakes. The book came out in late 2016, and by the end of 2017 it has run to the third reprint. Thanks are due principally to Indrani, daughter of the redoubtable Bhanu babu (Sabitendranath Ray) of Mitra & Ghosh Publishing, who correctly predicted that the Bengali edition would sell better compared to the English one, and pushed me into writing it. Also my other book, the biography of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, my idol, is currently under translation into Bengali, again at Indrani’s pushing. And finally, this book has been taken up by Penguin-Random House, a great honour. But there’s a catch. They wanted me first to shorten the book which I did. Now they want me to quote all the references, for which I have to hunt up references that I saw some seven years back. Tough job, amounts to reverse engineering the book. This is what is keeping me busy right now.
Meanwhile I had taken up writing my memoirs, and had gone up to 1990, that is the point when I entered politics, but that now lies in abeyance. I seem to be able to write well in both languages. Maybe this is going to be my calling in my remaining years, not politics. Who knows?
I remain a devout Modi-Bhakt, the lacklustre results in Gujarat notwithstanding. In Gujarat he had to combat anti-incumbency of 22 years, caste politics of the Congress and the Hardik-Alpesh-Jignesh trio, hostility from a section of the media (Saudi-funded, I suspect) and the fallout of the daring moves that only he dared to make, namely demonetization and GST. At long last we have a Prime Minister who is a towering personality, of unimpeachable integrity, courage to push through unpopular reforms, undying love for the country, consummate political skill, and, above all, Hindutva in his heart. God speed to him.
My umbilical cord to the RSS remains intact. Saw Mohanji Bhagwat recently at Smt. Mahua Dhar’s house. The man exudes power. To think what the Pracharaks have been through, including three bans, and persecution during the Emergency.
On the family front the year began with my elder daughter and her family, especially my delightful grandchildren visiting, and as the year ends they are visiting again. Presence of the grandchildren and my daughter is an unalloyed pleasure. Kiran, my son-in-law and his mother Vijaya are also visiting.
And on the personal front again, I got my right eye operated for cataract. By God’s grace the operation has worked out well, and my right eye is back to where it was at age 11, though near vision is impaired. And by God's grace my wife and I are all right healthwise, considering our ages of 72 and 68
My wife and I had received Deeksha from Swami Prabhanandaji, vice-president of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in 2016 and now I am quite steeped in the rituals that a Deekshita is required to do. After Deeksha I saw Prabhanandaji a number of times, and sheer contact with the monk gives me great peace of mind. Meanwhile Swami Atmasthananda, President Maharaj, left his earthly abode. He was the first senior monk of the Math and Mission with whom I had close contact, together with Swami Muktinathananda (Sujit Maharaj) presently of Lucknow. All this happened through the good offices of my late friend Adhip Ganguly. I miss Adhip. I saw the new President Smarananandaji (Jairam Maharaj) and the new General Secretary Suveeranandaji the last time I visited Belur Math.
I keep contacts with Bharat Sevashram Sangha also and see Swami Biswatmanandaji (Dilip Maharaj) fairly regularly. Recently I arranged for the visit of some of their monks to Arunachal, by the courtesy of Dr. Joram Beda, Secretary to the Governor there.
My tweeting goes on, slightly subdued. The number of my followers has swelled to over. 83,000. But still twitter will not verify me, give me the blue tick. Can you guess why?
That’s all for today. See you on 31st December 2018.