The date for the Presidential election is drawing nearer and the nation is waiting to welcome its new President by the end of the month. As much speculation about the candidates of Vice-President was enveloping the political aura of the country, the Opposition on Tuesday announced their choice for the same. Gopalkrishna Gandhi is the Opposition’s choice for the post.
People know him because he has been the former Governor of West Bengal and that he is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. However, there is a lot more to know about this multi-lingual scholar.
Gandhi was born on April 22, 1945, to Devdas Gandhi and Lakshmi Gandhi and is an alumnus of Stephen’s College, Delhi University.
He is a retired IAS officer( 1968) batch and a diplomat. He was posted in Tamil Nadu till 1985.
Gandhi has served as a Secretary to Vice-President of India from 1985-1987 and 1997-2000 and Joint Secretary to President of India (1987-1992).
He was the first to become the Director of The Nehru Centre, London, UK in 1992 and served as Minister (Culture) in High Commission of India, UK.
Also, he was appointed as the High Commissioner of India to South Africa and Lesotho in 1996 and Sri Lanka in 2000.
Before taking on the assignment as High Commissioner of India to South Africa, Gandhi is reported to have gone off quietly to do earthquake relief work in rural Gujarat, thus, showing the humanitarian side of his dynamic personality.
He also served as Ambassador of India to Norway and Iceland in 2002.
Gandhi retired from IAS in 2003.
In 2004, he was appointed as Governor of West Bengal and continued office till 2009. He also took on additional duties as the Governor of Bihar.
Besides holding offices of high-ranking posts, Gandhi is also a well-read man. He is known to have translated Vikram Seth’s, A Suitable Boy into Hindi, and has written a novel, Refuge, which is based on Tamil plantation workers in Sri Lanka. He has also penned down the life of Mughal scion, Dara Shikoh in verse.