Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Raj Bhavan scandals


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West Bengal’s Governor CV Ananda Bose is in an unenviable situation. A female staff member of the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata has accused him of sexual molestation. Bose says the allegation was politically motivated. His claim must be taken with a pinch of salt. Prima facie, no woman in such a service would dare ‘invent’ a nasty charge against the highest authority of the state. Notably, this is not the first time a governor has been accused of molestation in Raj Bhavan premises. Banwarilal Purohit as Tamil Nadu governor faced a similar allegation from a Raj Bhavan staff in Chennai, but the matter was finally hushed up. There are more such stories. Nothing goes to show the complaint against Bose would be taken to its logical conclusion. Those in authority laugh their way out of such scandalous situations.
Ananda Bose is a seasoned administrator. He was part of the Indian Civil Service for several decades as a senior officer. He is known to have earned the trust of Prime Minister Narendra Modi though he was never known to have had any political links with the BJP. Some say Bose was in Modi’s inner circle in recent years, offering advice to the PM in certain matters. His posting as Bengal governor was a surprise to many. More surprisingly, he established a good rapport with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee soon after his arrival in Kolkata as governor. This was despite the big fight that the CM was waging with the Modi government on multiple fronts. In recent months, there apparently was less of a bonhomie between the governor and the CM. Yet, no one suspected that the two were on a confrontation course. The present allegation against the governor came out of the blue. Bose, unlike his name suggests, is not a Bengali but a diehard Malayali. He is currently strengthening his defences by issuing a decree to the Raj Bhavan staff not to share any information with the West Bengal Police, which has started sniffing around the governor’s seat. He cites a rule that the state police cannot investigate a governor under any circumstance.
Gone are the times when a minister or a governor or someone else in high authority would hang his head in shame and march out of office when faced with such huge embarrassments. The tendency today is to fight back and explore the legal loopholes to remain firmly in one’s seat. The dignity that the society once accorded to top positions in governance is now a thing of the past. Even the courts are game with attempts to whitewash lies. Perceptions are that courts give the guilty a long rope and generally allow final exoneration from the crime those in authority are accused of. So, why worry!


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