Sundeep Bhutoria

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Kolkata’s Raj Bhawan

Went to the Raj Bhawan in Kolkata today to meet the Governor M K Narayanan. It was a courtesy call and I took the opportunity to brief him about my involvement with various socio-cultural events and activities in the city. The Governor made some comments on the book Speaking for Myself: An Anthology of Asian Women’s Writing. I had met him earlier and in the very first meeting he had kindly given his consent to host a dance program of Padmasree Ranjana Gauhar at the Raj Bhawan under the banner of The Bengal – an organisation of opinion makers in the state of which I am the current secretary general. I remember how the guests were touched by his warmth and hospitality.
I have been visiting the Raj Bhawan in Kolkata for many years now. I have met the Governors on many occasions and have also met the Presidents and Vice Presidents of India and other governors and state guests who come over to stay in Kolkata. 
I met Presidents Shankar Dayal Sharma (picture) and Pratibha Patil, Chandrasekhar and I K Gujral as ex-Prime Ministers and over a dozen state governors when they visited Kolkata. Besides, I have also attended many functions at the Bhawan. In fact former Governors Viren J Shah and Gopal Krishna Gandhi, both attended many functions that I had organised and I had shared the dais (pictures) with them several times.
I had once hosted a luncheon meet with the then ex-Governor of Bengal A R Kidwai who visited Kolkata as Governor of Haryana. Many of his friends, acquaintances and well wishers were there to greet him (picture).
Governors are often considered to be just figureheads with a decorative post. But I believe that the Kolkata Raj Bhawan has broken this myth especiallyin the regime of Gopal Krishna Gandhi.
ess bee 

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