Should the Office Governors Be Abolished?


The office of governors has become the subject of a lot of controversy and debates in recent years. Before we study the question posed in the title of this article ,it would not be out of place to refer to some of the constitutional provisions in respect of the governors. The founding fathers of our constitution envisaged the role of a governor as an agency to maintain the basic balance of the people of the state and act as a watchdog to oversee that the elected government of the state duly complies with and respects the mandates of the constitution. According to Article 155 of the President of India appoints a governor and he holds office during the pleasure of the President as per the provisions of Article 156 of the constitution of India.


It is evident that the founding fathers very rightly and pragmatically foresaw the need for an impartial and independent agency in the form of the office of governor and hoped the incumbent would rise above partisan interests and raise his conscientious voice whenever there is a crisis or conflict in a state. Unfortunately our experience over the years has been bitterly disappointing giving rise to occasional and strident calls for abolition of this constitutional office.


The critics have a lot of ammunition to buttress their points. They often go to the extent of calling them “white elephants” and a drain on national exchequer! Their rather strong feelings on this issue is not difficult to understand. As the sizable section of the critics belong to a motley group of political parties , the leaders of which have own angles of viewing the matter. But to any rational mind it should to be clear that controversies basically have stemmed not as much from this august office of the constitution as from the persons who hold these positions.


Whichever party formed the government at the centre , has viewed the appointment to gubernatorial as opportunities to reward the loyalists of the party who are into twilight years in their political careers and these appointees have been more loyal to their former party than the constitution of the country. And here lies the rub!


A study would reveal that governors who did not belong to any political parties and owed their positions to merit have been less controversial than their counterparts who earned the positions purely on political grounds.


Thus,it can be said those advocating the abolition of this is simply missing the rational of this well-meaning provision which our farsighted founding fathers made and in the process want to throw the baby with the bath water!

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