What is your view on political appointees as governors?
Sri Prakasa (1956 to 1962) was the earliest of governors here in Mumbai. He was a politician. I am talking about Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's time, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's time.
Governors, or politicians being made governors, neither by convention nor by any other benchmark, can be ruled out or can be prohibited. I don't think gubernatorial assignments can be designed like this or that.
You mentioned Independence. Those days, the standards of politics were very different from today.
You were too young. Do you know the differences between Pandit Nehru and Sardar Patel?
It is a matter of history.
It is a matter of history. Okay. Do you know the differences between Babasaheb Ambedkar and Panditji?
(long pause)… There are so many instances…
So many, sure. Now you find governors dismissed or appointed on the basis of their political loyalties. This is no reference to you, of course.
I understand we are talking of an institution.
The appointments take place more on the pleasure of the government of the day. When the National Democratic Alliance was in power, it saw to it that its people got appointed as governors. When the United Progressive Alliance government came to power, it did likewise. These things have been happening. That is why the question…
I understand that. I understand the spirit of the question.
A governor is supposed to shed political inclinations. He will have to be very, very objective.
As long as the standards are met -- a. objectivity b. being apolitical in his approach to problems and c. being fair minded -- that should be good enough.
Photograph: Rediff Archives
Also see: Why we need to change the Constitution