By Ajit Ujjainkar
On the eve of Republic Day, the Modi government is celebrating the values of our republic by using the office of the Governor to destabilize a State and then using that as an excuse to recommend President’s rule.
The recommendation to impose President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh reflects the intolerant mindset of the Union government. Cooperative federalism has been thrown into the dust-bin and ‘coercive federalism’ is the order of the day. The Union government’s agenda is to destabilize all non-BJP led governments through the office of the Governor. Arunachal Pradesh is just one such example.
Recent events in Arunachal Pradesh have demonstrated how the Governor, the BJP, and the Central government conspired to destabilize a democratically elected government. The Governor’s agenda was to help the 11 BJP MLAs along with 2 independent MLAs to create a constitutional crisis by not playing by the book and distorting the law. The decision of the Cabinet on 24th January 2016, recommending President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh is mala fide. This recommendation suggests that the ruling dispensation in Delhi places the interest of the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh above the national interest.
This crisis is the result of appointing Governors who have been groomed by the RSS.
Other Governors have also, in a sense, trivialized the high office of the Governor by acting as Pracharaks of the RSS and the long arm of the Union government.
The actions of Governors appointed on this basis are proof of this.
West Bengal, Governor: Kesri Nath Tripathi
“We have to find out why they are returning the awards now…… there is a need to look into their political affiliations”. (On “Award Wapasi”; speaking on the sidelines of the launch of a Coast Guard ship at Kolkata), Oct. 16, 2015.
When he was Governor of Bihar: In Feb. 2015, Kesri Nath Tripathi granted approval to a series of state cabinet decisions included bringing Paswan’s under the umbrella of Mahadalits, and creating a quota for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in government contracts, when it was yet to be seen whether the then Chief Minister, Jitan Ram Manjhi enjoyed the confidence of the Assembly.
Rajasthan Governor: Kalyan Singh
“Jan gan man adhinayak jai ho kiske liye hai?…..feel the national anthem should drop the word ‘adhinayak’,” (Commenting that the national anthem should be amended, while speaking at the 26th convocation ceremony of Rajasthan University, July 9, 2015)
Tripura Governor: Tathagata Roy
“People have the right to eat what they want but the scales would be even when Muslims come out and have pork in the open. And that day, we can really call it war against intolerance,” (Tweet on Nov. 18, 2015)
Whatever gave you the notion that I am secular? I am Hindu! My state, India, however, is secular-since 1976 (Tweet on Sept. 7, 2015)
Assam Governor: P.B. Acharya
Hindustan is for Hindus. There is nothing wrong with that. (In reply to a question on updating the National Registration of Citizens (NRC) list, Nov. 21, 2015)
“They (Indian Muslims) are free to go anywhere. They can stay here (in India). If they want to go to Bangladesh or Pakistan, they are free to go. (On being asked a question on Indian Muslims who face persecution, Nov. 22, 2015).
Uttar Pradesh Governor: Ram Naik
There is no provision of resigning from RSS. One is a Swayamsevak as long as he feels to be one. I consider myself a swyamsevak” (While defending his decision to hold a dinner for RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at Raj Bhawan, in Oct. 2014)
“Ram Mandir should be built as soon as possible. That is the wish of the Indian citizens and the wish should be fulfilled.” (While speaking at the convocation ceremony of Awadh University in December 2014 at Faizabad)
He also had a faceoff with the Akhilesh Yadav government, refusing to approve its Lokayukta nominees and has been accused of sitting over the State’s nominations for 5 members to the Legislative Council.
Governor of Karnataka: Vajubhai Vala
“Some people deem education in Indian culture and refinement as saffronisation. Irrespective of these objections…….We are committed to continuing with this task” (While inaugurating the centenary celebrations of Vivekananda Degree and Pre-University College at Puttur, Jan. 6, 2016.)
“You come to college for studying, not to take part in any beauty competition. There is no need to get your eyebrow done to come to college, there is no need to do your hair”. (At the concluding day of Indian Science Congress, Jan. 7, 2016, reportedly to female students)
Never before in the history of India has a Governor abused his office to propagate a particular ideology. If the Union government, the BJP and the RSS continue to appoint Governors with RSS credentials who espouse RSS ideology, our democratic fabric is in danger. Pluralism and diversity are the bedrock of the Indian State and the only way India can prosper is to allow diverse cultures and thought processes to flourish. The Modi government is the first government since independent India, which has sought to throttle dissent and attack the liberal mindset. The Congress party will not allow Institutions to be misused to further the political ideology of the BJP and the RSS.
Since May 2014, the BJP has demonstrated that it is not prepared to tolerate any opposition to its ideology. The slogan of “Congress Mukt Bharat” is also the result of that intolerant mindset. Rohith Vemula was a victim of the forces of intolerance. What else can we expect from a Prime Minister who himself is an RSS Pracharak and remains silent when his ministers and RSS ideologues spew venom and persecute those who stand-up to protest?