West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday urged the Bengali intelligentsia to "break their silence" on what he described as the "decimation of democratic values" in the state.
Speaking to reporters after paying tributes to Syama Prasad Mookherjee on his birth anniversary, the governor claimed West Bengal should not become a place "where democracy breathes its last". "We have become a laboratory of human rights violations," he claimed.
Mr Dhankhar, who has had frequent run-ins with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) dispensation in the state since taking over as governor in July 2019. The TMC and the state government led by Mamata Banerjee have repeatedly accused him of being unfair and partisan.
Last month, the West Bengal assembly passed a bill seeking to make the Chief Minister the Chancellor of 17 state-run universities replacing the Governor.
Today, Governor Dhankar said, "The greatest threat to democracy and which we cannot allow to happen, is extreme appeasement." Stressing that the Constitution calls for a fair approach and equality for all, he said the central government has given a categorical indication towards it through the policy of 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas'.
Calling upon the people of the state to remember Syama Prasad Mookherjee's contribution at the time of Partition, the governor said that it was his significant role that resulted in what West Bengal is at present.
"The threat that was there at the time of Partition could be nullified by the great efforts of this great son of Bharat Ma (Mother India)," Dhankhar said.
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