India Today Conclave East 2022: Here’s what’s in store on Day 2

The fifth edition of the India Today Conclave East kicked off on Monday, July 4 with a galaxy of renowned leaders and personalities from across the fields of politics, business, among other areas, gracing the platform and exchanging ideas on building a better world.

Day 2 of the Conclave East promises to be just as thought-provoking with a line-up that includes Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and actor Rajkumar Rao.

The day 2 will kickoff with talks on Bengal music with pianist Sourendro Mullick and vocalist Soumyojit Das, followed by a discussion on the art of building consensus in the age of disruptions with Congress MP Pradyut Bordoloi, TMC’s Sukhendu Sekhar Ray and BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi.

Later in the day, TMC MP Mahua Moitra will speak on “Power Reset: The New Structure of Indian Federalism”. Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command will grace the event and talk about the new military recruitment scheme — Agnipath.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma will speak on the state’s model of governance, reforms and performance, followed by West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar who will discuss “Indian Federalism: Constitutional Vision vs Realpolitik”.


Assam’s first all-girls rock band, Hurricane Gals, during a session of the India Today Conclave East 2022, talked about how their band was formed and much more. The Hurricane Gals started the session with an absolutely soulful rendition.

“Arju Begum, my bestie, plays drums. She is a very good drummer. We both thought that we should start a band and that had to be unique. We don’t see too many girls playing. So, we just wanted to start and see how it goes. On Friendship Day 2010, we started our band Hurricane Gals,” said Mamoni Kalita, the lead vocalist.

In the next session, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee echoed NCP chief Sharad Pawar, saying that the new Maharashtra government, led by CM Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, will fall soon.

READ | ‘They have won govt, not hearts’: Bengal CM Mamata says Maharashtra govt will fall soon

Attacking the BJP over the change of guard in Maharashtra, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said the current government was a vindictive and illegal one that was misusing its power. “They have won Maharashtra but haven’t won the people’s hearts.”

Shortly after, the TMC MP Nusrat Jahan spoke about creative freedom but said she does not believe in hurting religious sentiments.

ALSO READ | Nusrat Jahan at India Today Conclave East 2022: I don’t believe in hurting religious sentiments

“Look, I have always supported creativity and individuality. Having said that, I also believe religious sentiments shouldn’t be hurt,” she said.

Speaking at a session titled The Myth Of India’s East: Going Beyond the Divisive Binaries of Fact and Fiction, mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik too spoke about the Kaali controversy.

“Anger is a political dividend. It’s a currency. If I get angry, I get votes,” he said.

During a session on police reforms, Gautam Mohan Chakraborty, former Commissioner of Police, Kolkata said politicians should not dictate the police on their jobs. He said that in the same manner that the defence minister does not ask about the war plans to the army chiefs, politicians should also give functional autonomy to the police.

During a discussion on the concepts of Hindutva and civilisational identity, Kanchan Gupta said the first treatise on Hindutva was penned in Bengal.

“Hindutva stands for cultural civilisational identity. If you add nationalism to it, it becomes cultural nationalism. And Bengal is a classical example of cultural nationalism,” he said, refuting the claims of TMC’s Saugata Roy who said Bengal has accepted Tagore’s nationalism instead of Savarkar’s idea of nationalism.

ALSO READ | First treatise on Hindutva was penned in Bengal: Kanchan Gupta

Back and forth between the TMC and BJP continued with Bengal minister Dr Shashi Panja claiming bulldozing democracy provoked violence in the country. This was in response to BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul, who said the TMC destroyed democracy in the state.

During a session on India’s economic growth, Sanjiv Goenka, the founder and chairperson of RPSG Group, spoke about economic growth in a time of uncertainty.

“Investment plans have already been drawn up and once the uncertainties surrounding Covid and the Russia-Ukraine war ends, there will be a huge rush of investments happening in the country,” said Sanjiv Goenka.

Later, during a session on the topic of polarisation vs performance in electoral politics, TMC’s Sushmita Dev said polarisation has become the harsh reality of Indian politics.

Polarisation is the harsh reality of Indian politics and there is no denying that it plays an important role. We have to make a distinction between social engineering and polarisation. I like to believe that performance matters,” MP Sushmita Dev said.

Congress MP Abhishek Singhvi, too, spoke about the climate of fear in the country and said it has permeated Indian judiciary.

“There has been a certain climate of fear and hesitation created and that has permeated judiciary. There are cases where your promotions or appointments are held back,” Abhishek Singhvi said.

Day 1 ended with a discussion on how OTT broke the language barrier, with regional movies gaining viewers from over 50 countries.

“In the Oscars, 35 nominations came from digital platforms. So, nobody is going to eat into each other’s space. If we are creating for OTT, then we have to keep in mind the screen, can’t create a Ben-hur for OTT,” said actor-director Arindam Sil.

ALSO READ | Climate of fear, hesitation has permeated judiciary, says Congress MP Abhishek Singhvi

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