It has been the practice of Governors to share some thoughts with the people of the State on the eve of their departure.
I would like to continue that practice, with reverential gratitude.
The affection and the understanding that has been shown to me, and the good wishes that have been showered on me, are a treasure that I never expected. I pray that I may deserve it.
It has been my privilege to receive the sustained kindness of India’s elder statesman, Shri Jyoti Basu. His wisdom and his subtle humour have made a difference to my time in West Bengal. Knowing Shri Siddhartha Shankar Ray has, likewise, been a most valued and enriching experience for me. I convey to both my grateful namaskar.
To the Government of West Bengal and, in particular, to its Chief Minister, the Hon’ble Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, I convey my sincere appreciation for all the cooperation and courtesies extended to me. I would like to place on record my sincere appreciation of the officers of the Government of West Bengal in all its ranks, for their able assistance to me.
To the political parties in the Opposition, and their leaders, too, I owe cordial thanks. To Smt. Mamata Bandyopadhyay I extend my appreciation for the warmth she has shown to me. Likewise, to Shri Pranab Mukherji for enlightening me by his astonishing grasp of history and, equally, by his perception of current issues.
In how many places can one find a bibliophile Chief Minister who also writes poetry with sensitivity, an Opposition leader who sings and paints with feeling, and an expert in finance whose knowledge of political science and history has become a national asset?
Countless people outside of politics have enriched my knowledge of the liferhythms of our State. Of these I must mention Professor Amartya Sen who I had the privilege of accompanying to the archaeological site at Chandraketugarh site, Shri Biman Basu whose knowledge of the topography of our State has amazed me, Shri Tushar Kanjilal, who introduced me to the Sunderban, Smt. Mahasweta Devi whose original sensibility is a wonder and Sister Cyril of Loreto, Sealdah who is the very symbol of hope – triumphing.
To West Bengal’s talented professionals, its skilled medical fraternity, its scientists, academics, teachers and subject matter specialists in fields as varied as music and museuology, art and architecture, engineering and the law, I offer my tribute and my thanks.
To several individuals, each in her or his own right, I owe a deep personal debt of gratitude for their insights. I would like to mention, in particular, 2
Shri Justice Chittatosh Mookherji whose wise counsel has been of immense benefit to me. Two men of extraordinary intelligence and sensitivity – Shri Ashok Mitra and Shri Amlan Datta have, likewise, been of great help to me in understanding contemporary issues.
To all the Vice-Chancellors of the Universities I was privileged to serve as the Chancellor, and to my colleagues on the Boards that I had the honour to head ex-officio, I express my best wishes. As Governor, I have been Patron of various non-governmental organizations that are serving the people of the State with devotion in diverse fields. To all of them I offer my appreciation. The State’s administrative structure, including that of the extraordinarily diligent personnel at Governor’s establishments at Kolkata, Barrackpore and Darjeeling at all levels have given of their time and attention to me in a manner that I will cherish always.
I offer my admiration to the three wings of India’s Armed Forces working in our region under exceptional officers, and to the para-military wings. Their vigil and quick reflexes, as that of the State Police, are something we should be thankful and proud about.
To those police personnel who provide the Governor personal security at headquarters and on his journeys I...