The Other Gandhi: 10 Things You Need to Know About Probable Presidential Pick Gopalkrishna Gandhi


He is a retired IAS officer and diplomat who joined as an Officer in 1968 and served in Tamil Nadu state till 1985.

As the time to pick Presidential candidates grows closer, the Opposition Party has its name set on a certain Gandhi. A Gandhi who held prestigious administrative political positions in the past. One who was criticised for his stance against the Nandigram violence in West Bengal in 2007, where 14 people lost their lives due to police aggression. He said the spiralling violence filled him with “cold horror.” The Hindustan Times reported that if the government asked the Opposition leaders, the Congress and the Left would most likely suggest Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s name for President.

So, if you haven’t heard much about the prospective Presidential candidate, here are 10 things you should know about Gopalkrishna Gandhi

1. Gopalkrishna Gandhi was born on April 22, 1945, and is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, son of Devdas Gandhi and Lakshmi Gandhi.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

2. He completed his Masters in English Literature from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

He is a gifted multi-lingual scholar who translated Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy into Hindi, wrote a novel, Refuge, on Tamil plantation workers in Sri Lanka, and a life of Mughal scion Dara Shikoh in verse.

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3. He is a retired IAS officer and diplomat who joined as an Officer in 1968 and served in Tamil Nadu state till 1985.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

4. He served as a Secretary to Vice-President of India from 1985-1987 and 1997-2000 and Joint Secretary to President of India (1987-1992).

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5. In 1992, he became the first Director of The Nehru Centre, London, UK and served as Minister (Culture) in High Commission of India, UK.

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6. He was also appointed High Commissioner of India to South Africa and Lesotho in 1996 and Sri Lanka in 2000.

He is reported to have gone off quietly to do earthquake relief work in rural Gujarat before taking on the assignment as High Commissioner of India to South Africa.

7. He served as Ambassador of India to Norway and Iceland in 2002 and retired from IAS in 2003.

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8. He was appointed as Governor of West Bengal from 2004 to 2009 and for a few months in 2006 also took on additional duties as the Governor of Bihar.

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9. Gopalakrishna Gandhi is Professor of Political Science, History, and Indian Civilizations at Ashoka University.

10. He has also edited the Essential Writings of Mahatma Gandhi for Oxford University Press

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