Will Cooperate with WB Govt on What It Does, Not Whatever It Does: Governor Bose 


GG News Bureau

Kolkata, 29th Aug. West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose on Tuesday said that while he will always cooperate with the state government, his support may not extend to ”whatever it does”.

In an exclusive interview with PTI, Bose made it clear that in a democracy, while the front face of a state is the chief minister and not the nominated governor, each has to stay within the constitutional provisions of their respective ‘Lakshman Rekha’ (a boundary that should not be crossed).

”The chief minister is the esteemed constitutional colleague of the governor. In a democracy, the front face of a government is the elected chief minister, and not the nominated governor,” he said.

Bose, in his free-wheeling interview said, ”As the governor, I will cooperate with the (state) government on what it does, not whatever it does.” ”Each should play their role within their turf. Everyone has a ‘Lakshman Rekha’. Don’t cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’. And most importantly, don’t try to draw the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ for the other. That is the spirit of cooperative federalism,” the governor said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Monday alleged that Governor Bose was violating constitutional norms, and that she does not support his ”unconstitutional activities”.

”Don’t take ‘panga’ (challenge) with an elected government. I respect the chair, but cannot respect him as an individual since he disregards the Constitution. He is appointing his friends as vice-chancellors of universities,” the chief minister had said, referring to Bose.

Governor Bose pointed out that the university statutes do not state that vice chancellors have to be necessarily academics. ”I have appointed a former chief justice and a retired IPS officer as officiating VCs because of their qualifications,” he said, adding, ”Anybody can be appointed as Interim VCs”.

In his capacity as chancellor of West Bengal’s state-run or state-supported universities, the governor has appointed Justice S K Mukherjee, former chief justice of Karnataka as interim VC of the Rabindra Bharati University and retired IPS officer M Wahab as interim VC of Aliah University.

The governor pointed out that Calcutta High Court has said that on appointments of vice chancellors, the governor needs to consult the state government, but has upheld that he does not need the state’s concurrence in appointment of VCs.

”There are many people from West Bengal in top academic positions in prestigious foreign universities, IIMs and IITs who are interested in serving the state, we will see how we can make the state a thriving educational hub,” he said.

Drawing attention to the recent case of a Jadavpur University student who died after being allegedly ragged, besides incidents of campus violence, the governor said, ”Our universities have become highly politicised. It is natural for political parties to wish to control universities but we need to bring some sanctity to our educational system.” With a wry smile, he said that while no party would want ”another party to control universities, I believe that they will also not object to genuine autonomy for universities”.

”Universities are also suffering from hooliganism which outsiders have imported into the campuses,” Bose said, adding, ”That is why we need to check the presence of outside elements.” In the case of alleged ragging and subsequent death of a first year student of Jadavpur University, a number of former students of the premier institute who were overstaying in the campus hostel were found involved.

”The universities belong to the students. Campuses belong to the new generation. Every teacher, every functionary in the university should realise their first duty is to the student, second duty is to the student and third duty is to the student,” he said. He underlined that poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore ”has given us the dream of that land where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; where knowledge is free”. However, in place of that, ”Our universities have become places where the mind is full of fear and the head is held low… in the background of the mounting violence and the presence of miscreants in the campuses,” he said, adding, ”We need a transformation from this — from chaos to order, from the ridiculous to the sublime.” (PTI)

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.