Un’advise’able duo

Tuesday, 27 October 2020



Un’advise’able duo

Swapnil Bharali | June 27, 2018 16:51 hrs

Chief Minister (CM) Sarbananda Sonowal needs to be wary or at least start getting worried about the advice he is getting from his two trusted advisors – media advisor Hrishikesh Goswami and legal advisor Santanu Bharali. Both somehow seem to be wielding massive extra-constitutional powers and have this unwarranted propensity to project themselves as dignitaries rather than as staff of the chief minister’s office. Both sit on the same platform and hog the same footage as the CM even as the impression that they portray of themselves makes us lesser mortals wonder what great virtuosity had they acquired in their lives to deserve this lofty slot.


From the media’s perspective, it often leaves us wondering whether the stoic, unsmiling, mirthless countenance of the media advisor has at all worked towards making the chief minister more accessible to the media – the need of the hour on more occasions than one. I don’t think so. Official calls to him are received with a profound sense of indifference that borders on the offensive to the well-meaning caller. And sure enough, his apathetic response and urgency to disconnect leaves one wondering what at all qualifies him for the role. Other than organizing press conferences and choosing photographs that should go on the media, I find precious little contribution from him towards bolstering the CM’s public image.


The case is no different with the legal advisor and it is clear in the role that he is playing which disallows the CM from making the desired bold statements vis-à-vis the current burning topics of the state. Sarbananda Sonowal was never the non-committal person that he is slowly turning out to be. His latest stance on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is the clear case in point. He is being wrongly advised, take my words.


Former CM, Tarun Gogoi, never ever had a legal advisor. Guess he never felt the need for one. Yes, he did have a media advisor in the form of the very affable Late Debo Kumar Bora; dealing with him was always a pleasure. The fine gentleman passed away while holding this office and was never replaced. And yet, Tarun Gogoi had always remained an accessible CM.


Yes, Sarbananda Sonowal should really be worried about this doubtful duo because we mean him well.

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