ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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​Few Enemies, Many Friends


“The Soul of EPW: Ashok Mitra” by C Rammanohar Reddy (EPW, 16 June 2018) was the most moving tribute to Ashok Mitra (AM) that I have read so far, in Bengali and English. AM’s contribution as a senior official in the Government of India, or as a minister in Jyoti Basu’s government, was not particularly memorable, and his caustic tongue, no doubt, made many enemies. However, his brilliance as a writer, both in his native Bengali and English, will be remembered for long.

I had invited him to deliver a talk to the Indian Administrative Service probationers at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie, in early 1989. Some of my colleagues thought that AM would try to indoctrinate the young administrators with his Marxist ideology. They were proved wrong. AM spoke professionally and scintillatingly on the concept of federalism in the Constitution, without ever alluding to his political leanings. He was the epitome of patience, and answered even angry questions quietly and convincingly. The lecture was a great success.

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Updated On : 3rd Aug, 2018
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