With a career as a policeman – he was an IPS and a former National Security advisor – MK Narayanan, is expected to believe in the doctrine of spare the rod and spoil the child. It may be this belief that has landed Narayanan, now governor of Bengal, into a controversy that is rare for his current position.
Prominent human rights group, Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) has complained to the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) against the governor who remarked a few days ago that students who thrashed teachers needed to be beaten up roundly.
“With grave concern we are drawing your attention to the remarks made by the honourable governor… such remarks especially from his seat of the state’s constitutional head is utmost objectionable. This would further degrade the deteriorating condition of human rights in the state,” Ranjit Sur, secretary of APDR’s BBD Bag unit, wrote in his complaint dated September 3.
Sources in the SHRC said that they have received the complaint and have asked the representatives of APDR to appear before the chairperson in person and place their arguments.
Narayanan, however, appeared undeterred by the controversy. “If my remarks have sparked off a debate, let it continue,” he said while attending a programme on Tuesday morning. He argued in favour of making the students’ unions free from political interference.
The complaint may be a test case also for the SHRC chairman, Ashoke Kumar Ganguly, who as a supreme court justice delivered the 2G scam verdict that sent former telecom minister A Raja behind the bars.
As the SHRC chairman, Ganguly has already turned out to be a tormentor for chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her government.
Ganguly has slammed the government on numerous occasions and even recommended that the government pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 each to Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and his friend Subrata Sengupta, who were arrested in 2012 for circulating an e-mail spoof on Mamata Banerjee.
A bigger embarrassment for the government happened when Ganguly recommended a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to Siladitya Choudhury, a farmer of Belpahari who was publicly labeled by Mamata Banerjee as a ‘Maoist’. Recently, the SHRC ordered a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of SFI member Sudipta Gupta, who died in police custody. APDR had field the complaint with the HRC on behalf of Shiladitya Choudhury.
“We appeal before you to take steps in ensuring that the Governor withdraws his remarks and begs pardon from the people of the state for making comments that provokes violation of human rights. If that does not happen, we expect from you to take appropriate steps that you deem fit and set an example,” reads the letter.