‘Violence, corruption part of governance in Bengal’: Governor Dhankhar in first YouTube address
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar compared West Bengal’s governance to the dictatorship depicted by Satyajit Ray in his landmark 1980 movie Hirak Rajar Deshe.Updated: Jul 31, 2020 08:47 IST
After criticising the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government almost incessantly on social media and in public statements since last year, West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar took to YouTube on Thursday night.
To mark the completion of his first year in office, the governor uploaded his first YouTube video. It is an address featuring photos of his meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, central ministers, the Lok Sabha speaker, Indian and foreign dignitaries and his visits to different places. All these have been compiled with background scores and Dhankhar’s voice-over.
It is the script of the address, however, that is not likely to go down well with chief minister Mamata Banerjee, although she too features in several photos with the governor and his wife.
Taking the acrimony between Raj Bhawan and the TMC government to a new crest, Dhankhar has compared the state’s governance to the dictatorship depicted by Satyajit Ray in his landmark 1980 movie Hirak Rajar Deshe (Land of the Diamond King). He drew the reference earlier in a tweet but this time the script gets longer.
Ray portrayed a king who was obsessed with his diamond mines and subjected farmers, labourers and students to slavery and clinical brainwashing before being ousted by mass revolution.
After praising the history, heritage and people of West Bengal and Kolkata, Dhankhar says, “Some facets of governance are cause of concern. Violence, corruption, hegemony and goondaism (ruffian activity) under police protection have become part of governance. I am sure Satyajit Day would have never liked the day he depicted in his movie to happen someday in the state of West Bengal.”
“It is very serious dilution of democratic values... women’s right have been compromised... Fear of operation by police is all pervasive... All this has led to steep decline in growth of trade and industry, education and service sector. Flight of our youth and workforce is alarming and needs to be contained. Ground level governance is sought to be superimposed by cosmetic projections in media that is controlled. I am tirelessly working to secure authentic, democratic governance,” says the governor.
Dhankhar also says that free and fair elections are necessary to normalise democracy but it is not possible if there is “institutionalised rigging of polls”.
The film was uploaded three days after Banerjee complained about Dhankhar, without taking any names, at a virtual meeting with the Prime Minister.
Quoting Tagore’s famous lines, “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,” Dhankhar says, “Sadly, in this state we are far distanced from the thoughts of Tagore.”
The film ends with the national anthem and some video clippings of Dhankhar taking to the media.
No senior TMC leader was available for comment on Thursday.