Gopalkrishna Gandhi

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Gopal Krishna Gandhi
Gopalkrishna Gandhi - Chatham House 2010.jpg
Gandhi speaking at Chatham House in 2010
22nd Governor of West Bengal
In office
2004 – July 2009
Preceded by Viren J. Shah
Succeeded by Devanand Konwar
Personal details
Born (1945-04-22) 22 April 1945 (age 73)

Gopalkrishna Gandhi (Bengali: গোপালকৃষ্ণ গান্ধী Gopalkrishno Gandhi; born April 22, 1945) is an Indian civil servant and diplomat, who was the Governor of West Bengal serving from 2004 to 2009.[1] As a former member of the Indian Administrative Service, he served as Secretary to the President of India and as High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka, among other administrative and diplomatic posts.[2]

Early life and background

He is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi,[2] and son of Devadas Gandhi and Lakshmi Gandhi. His maternal grandfather was C. Rajagopalachari (Rajaji). Gopalkrishna Gandhi is the younger brother of Rajmohan Gandhi, and the late Ramchandra Gandhi, and Smt. Tara Bhattacharjee (Gandhi), all of whom are distinguished in their own right.

Gandhi graduated with a master's degree in English literature from St. Stephen's College of Delhi University.[3]


He joined IAS as an Officer in 1968 and served in Tamil Nadu state till 1985. Thereafter, he remained Secretary to Vice-President of India (1985 - 1987), Joint Secretary to President of India (1987 - 1992).

In 1992 he became Minister (Culture) in High Commission of India, UK and Director, The Nehru Centre, London, UK. This was followed by various diplomatic and administrative positions for the rest of his career including High Commissioner of India to South Africa and Lesotho (1996), Secretary to President of India (1997-2000), High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka (2000), and Ambassador of India to Norway, and Iceland (2002), before his retirement from IAS in 2003.[4]

On 14 December 2004, he was appointed Governor of West Bengal following the expiry of the term of office of incumbent Viren J. Shah. He was succeeded by Devanand Konwar (the serving governor of Tripura), who was given additional charge of West Bengal. For a few months in 2006 he also took on additional duties as the Governor of Bihar.[5]

He has authored one novel (Saranam - "Refuge" in English) and a play in verse (Dara Shukoh). His other books are - "Gandhi and South Africa", "Koi Acchha Sa Ladka" (translation into Hindustani of Vikram Seth's novel 'A Suitable Boy'), "Gandhi and Sri Lanka", "Nehru and Sri Lanka", "India House, Colombo - Portrait of a Residence", "Gandhi Is Gone. Who Will Guide Us Now?" (edited), "A Frank Friendship/ Gandhi and Bengal: A Descriptive Chronology" (compiled and edited).

He was the Chairman of Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai from December 2011 to May 2014.[6] He was the chairman of governing body of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, and president of its society on March 5, 2012 and served until May 2014. [4][7]

Mr.Gandhi teaches Indian Civilizations at Ashoka University, where he is Professor of History and Politics. [8]

Controversial comments

While delivering the 15th D P Kohli Memorial Lecture for CBI on "Eclipse at Noon: Shadows Over India's Conscience" with nearly 3000 officers of the agency in the audience, Gandhi noted that "[The CBI] is seen as the government's hatchet, rather than honesty's ally. It is often called DDT — meaning not the dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane, the colourless, tasteless, odourless insecticide it should be, but the department of dirty tricks."[9]

Personal life

Gopalkrishna Gandhi and his wife Tara Gandhi have two daughters.


  1. "At farewell, Gopalkrishna Gandhi calls for change in mindsets - The Hindu". December 13, 2009. Retrieved 2013-11-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gopal Gandhi Apr 23, 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2014
  3. "Hon'ble Governor of Bihar - Gopalkrishna Gandhi Profile". Governor of Bihar website. Retrieved 2013-11-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Chairman's Profile: Shri Gopalkrishna Gandhi". Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Retrieved 2013-11-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Veteran politician R S Gavai new Bihar Governor". One India. Greynium Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 22 June 2006. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Gopal Gandhi is IAAS chairman". The Hindu. March 6, 2012. Retrieved 2013-11-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Viren J. Shah
Governor of West Bengal
Succeeded by
Devanand Konwar