Monday, June 07, 2010

Bong age in Raisina Hill: Bengali Bhadralok Pulok Chatterji’s possible homecoming next year may change power dynamics

CALL it a resurgence of Bengali babus in power dynamics of Raisina Hills. If Pulok Chatterji, 1974 batch IAS officer known for his proximity to 10 Janpath, is back in corridors of power as cabinet secretary next year, it could be the beginning of Bengali Bhadraloks’ super-challenge to the dominance of Malayali officers that has prevailed for the last few years. Mr Chatterji (in picture) who was an influential secretary in PMO during UPA-I, is now India’s executive director in the World Bank. Yes, Kissinger-type master bureaucrat and principal secretary to PM TKA Nair who every Kerala cadre officer looks upto for suggestions, will remain strong next year too, but the sheer rise of Bengali secretaries in key Central government departments may rewrite the script of power equations on community line.
In fact, the coming of the Bong age in Raisina Hills was demonstrated recently in a party organized by Tarun Das, ex-chief mentor of the industry lobby CII and Shekhar Datta, ex-MD of Crompton Greaves at New Delhi’s Jor Bagh area. According to reports, revenue secretary Sunil Mitra of 1975 batch, divestment secretary Sumit Bose of 1976 batch, agriculture secretary Prabeer Kumar Basu of 1976 batch, chemicals secretary Bijoy Chatterjee of 1973 batch and government’s chief statistician Pronab Sen and his elder brother and Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen, hobnobbed with a select few from corporate India. And the menu included chingri malaikari (prawns in coconut gravy) and luchi (puris) in addition to some typical Bengali delicacies brought specially from famous restaurant, ‘Oh Calcutta’.
In fact, the induction of Sunil Mitra and Sumit Bose, both finest Bengali officers, into the finance ministry at the behest of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in January this year gave an early indication that Bengali officers may now occupy influential positions. (Read: FM gets Bengali officers)
The other influential Bengali secretaries in Delhi include tourism secretary Sujit Banerjee of 1972 batch, cultural secretary Jawahar Sircar of 1975 batch, public enterprises secretary Bhaskar Chatterjee of 1975 batch and Dr Srikumar Banerjee, secretary of department of atomic energy to name a few.

Action and Appointments
a) Goa’s leader of opposition Manohar Parrikar has demanded a senior IPS officer or the CBI should investigate the death of tourism minister Francisco 'Mickky' Pacheco’s close friend Nadia Torrado.
b) Chhattisgarh Congress has slammed the move to reinstate Babulal Agrawal, a 1988 batch Chhattishgarh cadre IAS as probes by Economic Offences Wing and the Income Tax department are continuing.


  1. It sounds parochial to talk about Malayali and Bengali officers. But good babu blogger, you have very rightly provided the real insight of power politics on community line.

  2. It is good news that Shri Pulok Chatterji,IAS of 1974 batch will soon ( from 1st Oct. 2011 ) be posted at PMO again.He is a very dynamic Officer,and certainly a good decision of govt. for the the betterment of the country.However, Shri Chatterji is being retired on 31st of August 2011,then, hope he may be given extension or the retirement age may be increased to 62 years.It is always better to Increase the retirement age to 62 years. It would be appriciated by the public at-large,and Congress/UPA may again come in to power after the election 2014.