Many people have become bheegi billis on social media: Manoj Tiwary | India News
In a conversation with Timesofindia.com, Tiwary, who grew up in Howrah, talks about his decision to join TMC, why he is against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the Center and its frustration with celebrities who do not raise their voices for any cause.
Congratulations on joining TMC. How did this come about?
I try to be real in life and think in a practical way. I’m 35. No matter how well I do, I won’t have a chance (at the national level) because when I was giving very good performances, even then I didn’t have a chance.
So when you get injured and you don’t have a chance, you naturally start thinking.
CM Mamata Banerjee came up to me and told me that you have to fight the elections. I joined TMC for her. So I decided to join politics because there are many things you can do for society outside of cricket. My goal now is to win the elections and serve the people.
Did you get offers from other parties?
I got an offer from BJP. In fact, it came before TMC’s offer. But I joined TMC because my ideology does not match that of BJP. BJP couldn’t handle things in the lockdown period.
Manoj Tiwary greets the crow at a rally along with CM Mamata Banerjee after joining TMC, in Hooghly, on February 24 (ANI).
Many people lost their lives. Even at the farmers’ protest … I don’t support the raising of the flag at the Red Fort, but I think when you’re in government, you shouldn’t let things get to that point.
You must have the ability to solve problems.
Very little value is placed on the life of a human being in India. That is why people do not pay attention to how many migrant workers, farmers die in this country.
Tell me, if a Sonu Sood, by itself, can do so much, why can’t the government?
If they wanted to, they could have. When I see all these things, I feel really angry. The way things are going now, it’s not right. All of this made me join the party that works at the grassroots in Bengal, which is TMC.
The kind of politics that they [BJP] do, I do not like. They make people fight over religion. I can’t be a part of it. They do it Hindu-Muslim every time before the elections to win power.
The Jai Shri Ram that is happening here, if tomorrow there is a confrontation because of this motto, and they say that 50-100 people die in it, who would be responsible? I am not Bengali and Hindu. I respect and pray to all the gods.
What do you find in TMC that made you join?
Mamatadi is an inspiration and I feel like there is no better politics than her. She works for the poor. She is connected to the ground. She has been executing many plans for the welfare of the people. I don’t think BJP can win in Bengal.
BJP has come to power after lying and scamming people. Seeing all of this made the choice of TMC very obvious to me. Other parts are not relevant in Bengal.
I would have joined BJP if everyone had gotten the Rs 15 lakh they promised. If the government (BJP) had worked like Sonu Sood in the confinement, I would have joined the BJP.
You have acquired the image of a rebel during your cricket career. How could you work within a political party?
I just joined the party. The dynamics of the party, the inner workings and the system you would need to understand. I would try to think about the broader points with my goal of joining politics in mind.
But I can’t change my soul. I will try to find a solution to what happens. I will think and then I will speak. Every problem has a solution.
What are the problems you can face at a party? The only problem you will face is that your hands are tied at a party. But there are ways to let go. If I am not allowed to work, I will try to find the reason, I will talk to people. If I don’t like it, I always have the option to leave.
I wanted to ask you about a tweet you wrote a few weeks ago that said “When I was a kid, I never saw a puppet show. It took me 35 years to see one.” If you could tell us something about it.
[Laughs] This was after Rihana’s tweet about the farmers’ protest.
I believe that internal affairs must remain within the country. There are no two ways to do it.
But I wrote my tweet because I have observed that some people have adopted the “Yes man” strategy to live their lives. As soon as I saw it, I felt bad.
When I was a kid, I never saw a puppet show. It took me 35 years to see one 😊 https://t.co/AMCGIZMfGN
– MANIJ TIWARY (@tiwarymanoj) 1612426942000
In a span of just 10 minutes, they all started to do the same. My thought is that God has given us a platform and a stage. You should use it to help people. Whenever some problems arise in our country where one needs to speak out, I see that they all become bheegi billi.
But when they see an opportunity for doing this to get me praise and help from the government, they do it.
They don’t think about the farmers who committed suicide. I urge these people to think about them too. I urge you to write about our migrant workers who died on the train tracks. I have a problem with this culture of man yes.
You’ve also talked about it before in cricket …
I have suffered a lot for it. I’m not pointing out anyone in particular, but I feel like everyone wants to play it safe these days.
If you can’t talk about all the topics and just keep talking about a particular topic, don’t say so too. What is the need? That is what I feel. That’s why I got very angry.
You said you didn’t expect more opportunities at the national level …
The current Indian team is very strong. There are one or two places where there could be a vacancy in the future. Even if that opens, it won’t be open for me.
Do you think you are also a victim of the age barrier? That Indian selectors don’t usually select someone after they cross 30?
That is an excuse for people who don’t like them. I speak frankly. Has anything good happened to people who tell the truth? Apart from getting people’s love, do you have anything else? People in power go out of their way to annoy you if you say something.
Longtime teammates and colleagues, the 2021 assembly elections in West Bengal would see Ashok Dinda (R) and Manoj Tiwary (L) batting for opposing ‘teams’ as the former Indian fast bowler se joined BJP hours after Tiwary joined TMC.
Are you still talking about these things, about your career or have you moved on?
It definitely hurts when you watch the games. The one who says it doesn’t hurt is definitely lying [laughs].
Kharab lagta hai toh lagta hai bhai. Mera saath hua hai bura.
Have you ever heard someone score a hundred, get a man of the match, and then sit on the bench for 14 matches? That’s 14 games in six months. Why couldn’t I play? Does anyone have an answer to this question to date? No one has been able to answer this.
You did not enter the IPL auction this year …
Yes I did not enter. Me [ligament] injury is the reason for it. In fact, I had filled out the forms, but then I withdrew my name because this injury would take time. [to heal]. You cannot hide your injury and go to an auction without being fit. I do not want to do that.
But you still want to play IPL, right?
We will see. Right now I know that I have to fight and win the elections.