Why appoint policemen, army men and officials as Governors?
What about the democratic political culture?
I was just reading the latest issue of the famed TLS (March-8-2013), The Times Literary Supplement, posted every week directly from London!
This has had been my favourite reading material for long, almost the past more than half a century! I have to thank my son for having paid the subscription so that I could read it at the home’s comforts!
This of course is a unique journal for literary and cultural criticism and the very latest issue carries a book review.
Briefly, it is a book, a history of the” Liberal Unionist Party “which was founded long ago, in 1886!
Then came the thoughts rushing through my mind, here in India.
Here, we have had the Indian National Congress founded in that very same era and in 1885 and I wondered, as a long-time Congressman and as perhaps the longest serving member of that party!
Now, I am perturned at the state of politics in India. One of the longest political parties in the world, the Congress today seems to be breaking point.
I was a student of the British Parliamentary History at Oxford and so I have had an affinity in comparing and contrasting the Indian Congress with the British Conservative party.
The Liberal Unionists, merged with the Conservatives in 1912(hence last year was the death of this great party) and the whole history of the British party or parties is their principles, their splits and their mergers.
Is the Congress today hurtling towards such splits, into many regional and local and geographical entities?
I guess so.
Anyway, at the thought of mulling over the future of the Congress comes the news about Sonia Gandhi appointing a new set of Governors, all policemen, army men and IAS officials.
This is an insult to the great traditions and principles and ideology of the Congress.
Does Sonia nor want the public go near the Raj Bhavans?
She has become so insulated from the Indian people and also so sensitive to the sentiments and feelings vast sections of the traditional and senior Congress leaders?
It looks so. In my opinion, this act or series of acts of the Congress President spells danger to the party’s future.
Sonia Gandhi has nominated new Governors, the list is released and there is also comment and criticism in the media.
In the list there are at least 15 names that are asked to occupy the Raj Bhavans in various states, all are former civil servants.IPS officials aloe outnumber others. There are former CBI bosses (Ashwani Kumar), ex-National Security Guard Chief Nikhil Kumar, as Governor of Nagaland, and he is also Governor of Kerala (?), the presence of policemen in Raj Bhavans has gone up from six to eight!
Those already serving in that post of Governor include two former Directors of Intelligence Bureau, M.K.Narayanan, ESL Narasimhan; they are Governors of West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
Another National Security Guard chief, Ranjith Shekhar Mooshahary is now Governor of Meghalaya. While the former former IPS officer, B.L.Joshi Governor of Uttar Pradesh. There is one other name. He is the ex-Special Protection Group director Bharat Vir Wanchoo, he is the special favourite of Sonia Gandhi it seems. He had got the plum post in Goa, the Raj Bhavan is sought by many for its scenic beauty.
Mr.Wanchoo, it is reported, has done long stings in IB. We are not told that it is that this official had done to get the favours he had now got.
The former DGP of Jammu and Kashmir, Gurbachan Jagat is the Governor of Manipur. Four former IAS officials, all former secretaries to the Union government, they are all considered heaven-born, thanks to our colonial rulers and also thanks to the inheritance no claimed by our rulers, even here we see the pity of government servants, assuming the role of ministers and also, heaven forbid the mantle of Congressmen, thanks to the Mahatma!
These lucky men are: N.N.Vora, J&K Governor, Shekhar Dutt, B.P.Singh and Jejendr Khanna, he is a so-called Lieutenant Governor, of Delhi. One more such Governor in Puducherry.
Now, Arunachal Pradesh has got a Governor in J.J. Singh, who was an Army chief and also one LG for Nicobar Islands and, Bhopinder Singh. Iqbal Singh is in Puducherry. The last named is also a former army officer, we are told, and he is also said to be an academic.
Now, the question is that the Constitution says that, any Indian citizen over 35 can be nominated as Governor of a state. Technically this is correct when we read these names from army, police and administrative services.
Of course, many of our wrong acts lately are justified under some pretext or other, more you appoint the lawyers-turned -politician as spokespersons, the more justifications you are sure to get for the wrong doings.
The comments on the appointment of Governors are full of new information.
One such new information is that three generation of policemen had handled the security of the three generation of Nehru family members.
The three generations of policemen have had the distinction of guarding Mrs.Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and now Sonia Gandhi! Mr.B.L.Joshi was part of the Indira Gandhi security team, we are told.
So too the Ashwani Kumar as part of Rajiv Gandhi security. The last Mr.Wanchoo was in the Special Protection Group for over two decades! Taking care of first Rajiv Gandhi and then his wife Sonia Gandhi!
So, the countrymen and women can now appreciate how you qualify yourself for Governors’ positions!
There are many stories doing the rounds in some states. In TN, I am often told of the names, all senior Congressmen, who all worked under Kamaraj and who, now the party had lost power in the state for over so many years, they all seek the audience of Sonia Gandhi and some of them, we are told, seek a Governor’s nomination to some remote North Eastern states and they are routinely rebuffed!!
So, they are all heart-broken and also with no chance of Sonia Gandhi breaking off the relations of the DMK, the arch rival to the Congress in the state. Such senior Congress leaders who are all left out in the scheme of things.
Now, there are some serious questions to be asked.
Is what Sonia Gandhi doing right?
Congress history is very sacred to many. TN was a base for legendary national leaders, right from1885 onwards. One wonders whether Sonia Gandhi knows any history of the party she presides over!
And yet, today we see that Sonia Gandhi .under of course wrong advice and also now after she realises that there is no virtual challenge for her ways of doing things with a supine and servile team of men and women who all seek only office and nothing else have taken the party to such a pathetic plight.
There are now any number of allegations of wrong doing, so many large scale corruption scams and scandals.
Now, Sonia Gandhi’s family members are also drawn into this sphere.
And given Rahul Gandhi’s flip-flops, there is almost no chance for the Congress party to grow in stature. May be some other transformation might be forthcoming.
The party might disintegrate into many regional outfits. The traditional and old Congress families are all left out, why neglected by a deliberate wrong advice.
The serious question is; the character of the Indian polity is sought to be destroyed.
We need lots of conventions and traditions, be it the Constitution or the Governance or the management of the Indian National Congress.
It is for the thinking sections to ponder over the deterioration of governance, be it the party or the government.