Friday, November 30, 2012


Letter to West Bengal CM

Dear Mamataji,

You must have learnt that the Chief Minister of Maharashtra has ordered the suspension of the police officers who ordered the arrest of the Mumbai girl who posted on Facebook her objection to the shutdown of Mumbai on the death of Bal Thackeray.

I request you to do the same to the policemen who ordered and implemented the arrest of Prof. Mahapatra of Jadavpur University and Siladitya Choudhari, and you should immediately withdraw the cases against them and apologize to them.You should also immediately restore Damyanti Sen, the upright police officer, whom you wrongly victimized,and you should openly apologize to her for your wrong. We are all human beings and we all make mistakes, but a gentleman is one who realizes his mistake and apologizes. You should also apologize to Tanya Bharadwaj whom you insulted on the CNN IBN show.

I can assure you that if you do so you will go up in the esteem of the people of West Bengal, and indeed the whole country.

From what I could gather during my visits to Kolkata, your Ministers and bureaucrats are afraid to speak out their minds fearlessly before you, and are terrorized by your unpredictable and whimsical behaviour. To say the least, this is a very unhealthy state of affairs, and you will not be able to remain as Chief Minister for long unless you change your ways and become more tolerant. 

Kautilya has said in the Arthashastra that a successful ruler is one who appoints good advisers, and listens to their advice. Of course, after listening to their advice it is ultimately for you to take the final decision, but your advisers should feel free to express their opinions fearlessly. In this connection I may mention that Sardar Patel, the first Union Home Minister, told his Secretaries (senior I.C.S. officers ) that they should express their views freely, even if their view is totally different from his own, and he would never take offence. In fact if they do not express their views freely they were of no use to him. This is the way you should also conduct yourself.

 It is still not too late for you if you listen to my advice and change your ways. I am your well wisher, and would like you to do well, and in fact, if you remember, I had praised you at one time. But of late you seem to have become increasingly intolerant and whimsical, which is only going to land you in big trouble.

 Justice Katju

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