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Governor Ananda Bose — lauded by 2 PMs, Malayali by birth & emotionally connected to Bengal

An IAS officer from the Kerala cadre, Bose was named after Subhas Chandra Bose by his father. He retired from civil service in 2011 and has since been ‘upholding India's heritage’.

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New Delhi: The new Governor of West Bengal, C. V. Ananda Bose, claims on his website that he’s been called a “man of ideas” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an “inspired civil servant” by former PM Manmohan Singh and “lord of ideas” by the Kerala government, and that he was known as the “make over man” of the civil service.

Appointed to the governor’s post Thursday, Bose is a retired IAS officer of the 1977 batch who served long stints both in Manmohan Singh’s government and in his home state, Kerala.

Although he’s a Malayali, he and others among his seven siblings have a Bengali surname  — Bose. According to one of his peers, a retired IAS officer from his cadre, Bose’s father P. K. Vasudevan Nair was inspired by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and named his children after the leader.

Senior IAS officers claim that Bose is a favourite of the prime minister. His website also has a letter from Modi in the testimonials section. Dated 19 May 2014, three days after the results of the general election were declared, the letter thanks Bose for his “support” in winning the polls.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your constant support and wishes. I derived immense strength from your wishes and encouragement. This victory is as much yours as it is of the NDA or the BJP,” it reads.

This letter came three years after Bose retired as from the civil service, his last posting being as administrator (secretary) of the National Museum. Modi’s precise reason for thanking him is unknown.

Eight years later, Bose was named governor of West Bengal — a state BJP leaders often characterise as a politically sensitive one where the governor has a very important role to play.

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‘Emotional connection’ to Bengal

Bose is the second senior civil service officer to become Bengal’s governor during Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s tenure, after M. K. Narayanan (2010-2014).

“He cannot speak Bengali, but he is emotionally connected with Bengal,” claimed the senior officer quoted above. He added that Bose has always been seen as a “perfect gentleman who goes by the book”.

“He is the son of a freedom fighter, and a fan of Netaji, which adds to his credentials of being a nationalist. He seems to be the perfect choice for the (central) government because the opposition will not find any RSS connection here,” he claimed. Bose has previously written for the RSS’s English mouthpiece, Organiser.

The newly appointed governor, who is currently serving as advisor to the Meghalaya government, will join the office at Raj Bhavan in Kolkata early next week, according to his associate.

“He is very busy as senior officers, politicians and chief ministers are calling him. He is flooded with greetings and wishes. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also spoke to him today,” he added.

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Senior civil servant & ‘internationally renowned orator’

In addition to the letter from Modi, Bose also has a 2018 message from former PM Manmohan Singh on his website.

During his civil service career, Bose had served under Singh as joint secretary, atomic energy, as additional secretary, agriculture, and as managing director of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED).

He was also the head of the 2011 Supreme Court Committee on the treasures of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala.

In the biography section of his website, Bose is described as “an internationally renowned orator”, who has addressed many prestigious global fora, including the United Nations General Assembly.

Such activities have also defined his post-retirement life. “Since his superannuation from IAS in 2011, Dr Bose has been devoting his time and efforts in upholding India’s heritage, nationalism in his writings, lectures and media interviews. His efforts at social integration and mainstreaming of minorities has made a perceptible impact in society,” the biography claimed.

(Edited by Theres Sudeep)

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