Gopalkrishna Gandhi

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Gopalkrishna Gandhi
Gopalkrishna Gandhi - Chatham House 2010.jpg
Governor of Bihar
In office
31 January 2006 – 21 June 2006
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
Preceded by Buta Singh
Succeeded by R. S. Gavai
Governor of West Bengal
In office
14 December 2004 – 14 December 2009
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee
Preceded by Viren J. Shah
Succeeded by Devanand Konwar
Personal details
Born Gopalkrishna Devdas Gandhi
(1945-04-22) 22 April 1945 (age 73)
Delhi, British India
Political party Independent
Other political
affiliations
United Progressive Alliance
Spouse(s) Tara Gandhi
Children 2 daughters
Parents Devdas Gandhi
Lakshmi Gandhi
Alma mater University of Delhi
Occupation Professor of History and Politics at Ashoka University

Gopalkrishna Devdas Gandhi (born 22 April 1945) is a retired IAS officer and diplomat, who was the 22nd Governor of West Bengal serving from 2004 to 2009.[1] He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. As a former IAS officer he served as Secretary to the President of India and as High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka, among other administrative and diplomatic posts.[2] He was the United Progressive Alliance nominee for Vice President of India 2017 elections [3] and lost with 244 votes against NDA candidate Venkaiah Naidu, who got 516 votes.

Early life and background[edit]

His paternal grandfather was Mahatma Gandhi and maternal grandfather was C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji).[2] He is the son of Devadas Gandhi and Lakshmi Gandhi. Gopalkrishna Gandhi is the younger brother of Rajmohan Gandhi, Ramchandra Gandhi, and Smt. Tara Bhattacharjee (Gandhi). Gandhi graduated with a master's degree in English literature from St. Stephen's College of Delhi University.[4]

Career[edit]

He joined IAS as an Officer in 1968 and served in Tamil Nadu state till 1985. Thereafter, he remained Secretary to Vice-President of India (1985 - 1987), Joint Secretary to President of India (1987 - 1992).

In 1992 he became Minister (Culture) in High Commission of India, UK and Director, The Nehru Centre, London, UK. This was followed by various diplomatic and administrative positions for the rest of his career including High Commissioner of India to South Africa and Lesotho (1996), Secretary to President of India (1997-2000), High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka (2000), and Ambassador of India to Norway, and Iceland (2002), before his retirement from IAS in 2003.[5]

On 14 December 2004, he was appointed Governor of West Bengal following the expiry of the term of office of incumbent Viren J. Shah. He was succeeded by Devanand Konwar (the serving governor of Tripura), who was given additional charge of West Bengal. For a few months in 2006 he also took on additional duties as the Governor of Bihar.[6]

He was the Chairman of Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai from December 2011 to May 2014.[7] He was the chairman of governing body of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, and president of its society on 5 March 2012 and served until May 2014.[5][8]

Mr. Gandhi teaches at Ashoka University, where he is a Professor of History and Politics.[9]

Controversies[edit]

While delivering the 15th D P Kohli Memorial Lecture for CBI on "Eclipse at Noon: Shadows Over India's Conscience" with nearly 3000 officers of the agency in the audience, Gandhi noted that "[The CBI] is seen as the government's hatchet, rather than honesty's ally. It is often called DDT — meaning not the dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane, the colourless, tasteless, odourless insecticide it should be, but the department of dirty tricks."[10]

In 2015, he wrote a letter to the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, to reconsider the rejection of the mercy plea of the 1993 Mumbai serial blast convict, Yakub Memon.[11][12]

Personal life[edit]

Gopalkrishna Gandhi and his wife Tara Gandhi have two daughters.

Bibliography[edit]

Hindi

  • Saranam, translated as Refuge in English
  • Dara Shukoh, a play in verse
  • Koi Acchha Sa Larka (translation into Hindustani of Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy)

English

  • Gandhi and South Africa
  • Gandhi and Sri Lanka
  • Nehru and Sri Lanka
  • India House, Colombo: Portrait of a Residence
  • Gandhi Is Gone. Who Will Guide Us Now? (edited)
  • A Frank Friendship/ Gandhi and Bengal: A Descriptive Chronology (compiled and edited).

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "At farewell, Gopalkrishna Gandhi calls for change in mindsets". The Hindu. 13 December 2009. Retrieved 2013-11-29. 
  2. ^ a b Gopal Gandhi outlookindia.com. 23 Apr 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2014
  3. ^ "Gopalkrishna Gandhi is opposition's nominee for vice president: He lost the Vice Presidential elections miserably Report - Times of India". 
  4. ^ "Hon'ble Governor of Bihar - Gopalkrishna Gandhi Profile". Governor of Bihar website. Retrieved 2013-11-30. 
  5. ^ a b "Chairman's Profile: Shri Gopalkrishna Gandhi". Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Archived from the original on 2013-09-14. Retrieved 2013-11-29. 
  6. ^ "Veteran politician R S Gavai new Bihar Governor". One India. Greynium Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 22 June 2006. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Gopalkrishna steps down as chairman of Kalakshetra, IIAS". 
  8. ^ "Gopal Gandhi is IAAS chairman". The Hindu. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 2013-11-29. 
  9. ^ University, Ashoka. "Faculty/Staff - Ashoka University". Ashoka University. 
  10. ^ "Former Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi calls CBI 'department of dirty tricks', RIL a parallel state - Times of India". 
  11. ^ "Pardoning Yakub Memon will be a tribute to Dr. Kalam: Gopalkrishna Gandhi". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-07-17. 
  12. ^ "Gopalkrishna Gandhi tried to save Yakub Memon, claims Sena: Here's what Congress Vice-Presidential candidate said in 2015". The Financial Express. 2017-07-17. Retrieved 2017-07-17. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Viren J. Shah
Governor of West Bengal
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Devanand Konwar
Preceded by
Buta Singh
Governor of Bihar
2006
Succeeded by
R. S. Gavai