By Arun Srivastava
The BJP card holder governors in their quest to project themselves as the conscience keepers of the saffron brigade are least bothered to transgress the ethical laxmanrekha and sermon the chief ministers of their respective states to fall in the line and follow the political line of Hindutva, practiced by their political masters.
Earlier the governor of West Bengal, Jagdeep Dhankhar has been audaciously performing this task, and now his friend B S Koshyari, Governor of Maharashtra has taken this task upon himself. Calling the chief minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray a “strong votary of Hindutva”, the governor said that he wondered if the CM is “receiving any divine premonition to keep postponing the reopening of places of worship time and again’. ”Or have you turned ‘secular’ yourselves, a term you hated?” the governor wrote in his sarcastic letter.
This is nothing but the worst nature of jibe hurled by Koshyari against Thackeray. His action has irked even a person like Sharad Pawar to such an extent that he was forced to write to the prime minister and bring this nasty matter to his knowledge. Why should Koshyari ask such a question? Does he intend to say that only opening places of worship is Hindutva and not opening them is secular. Secularism is the core part of the Constitution based on which he took oath as Governor.
Pawar in his letter said he is shocked and surprised by the Governor’s letter and its tone and tenor, calling the language “intemperate”. He described it as an “erosion of standards of conduct by the office of Governor”. Koshyari has violated the constitutional norms and decorum by seeking to know his stand on reopening places of worship in the state.
Pawar correctly mentioned; “Unfortunately Governor’s letter to the Chief Minister invokes the connotation as if written to the leader of a political party.” Koshyari has been nursing bias and ill will against Thackeray is clearly manifest in his use of the word secularism. He has tried to demean and insult the word secularism. It is a matter of utter shame for him that he was insulting the Constitution to which he swore while being installed as the governor. How could dare to insult the Constitution.
He seeks to know from Thackeray; “have you turned ‘secular’ yourselves, a term you hated?” How could he do this? Pawar has rightly mentioned; “In the very Preamble of our Constitution, the word ‘secular’ is added that equates and shields all religions and hence the Chair of the Chief Minister must uphold such tenets of the Constitution”. Why Koshyari was worried if at all Thackeray has turned secular? Does Koshyari not think himself a secular person after swearing by the Constitution?
Besides who is Koshyari to question him? Will he put this question to all the RSS leaders who have sworn by the Constitution and holding offices. The question arises as longback the RSS had ridiculed the Constitution and refused to accept it. The narrow mindedness of Koshyari gets manifest in his letter where in he reminds Thackeray of his devotion for Lord Rama that resulted in the CM’s Ayodhya visit after taking charge of the state, the trip to Vitthal Rukmini Mandir in Pandharpur and puja on Ashadhi Ekadashi. It is beyond comprehension why he has been worried on reopening of the mandirs?
Pawar is absolutely right in saying; “I am sure he too would have noticed the intemperate language that has been used and also the kind of language used in the letter which does not behove well for a person who holds a constitutional position”.
Thackeray taking strong objection to his words, had rebuffed Koshyari saying that he doesn’t need lessons on Hindutva from anyone. Thackeray informed Koshyari that a decision on reopening places of religious worship will be taken after careful consideration of the Covid-19 situation in the state.
Koshyari had mentioned in his letter to Thackeray that he has received three representations from delegations demanding that places of religious worship be reopened. In fact Koshyari has been playing the BJP’s game. It is a well-known fact that BJP has been using all possible occasions to insult and humiliate Thackeray. This manifests inability of the BJP to digest loss of power to Thackeray. Ever since the BJP lost the power battle its leadership has been indulging in the game of hitting below the belt. In fact all the three letters Koshyari mentioned were from BJP office-bearers and supporters. Koshyari has even promoted actor Kangana Ranaut to launch a tirade against Thackeray.
Will Koshyari clarify whether Hindutva meant merely reopening places of religious worship and if not opening them amounted to being secular. Really his observation casts serious doubt on his being fit to hold the august office of Governor, who is supposed to be guided by and follow the Constitution.
Thackeray was right in his assertion; “Isn’t secularism a key component of the Constitution, by which you swore while taking oath as the state governor. While considering the sentiments and beliefs of the people, it is also important to take care of their lives and it is wrong to impose and lift lockdown suddenly”. He rightly said that he does not need a certificate for his Hindutva from Koshyari, or any lessons on Hindutva. Also, I don’t need to learn it from anyone. It does not fit into my Hindutva to welcome home, with a smile, those who call my state or the capital of my state Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” remarked Thackeray.
Dhankar has been pursuing the same nature of politics and indulging in insinuating Mamata Banerjee. Ever since Dhankar took charge of the office of Governor he has been goading and coercing the state’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee to follow his diktat. Recently he compared her outburst against the two key farm bills, passed in the Parliament, with “crocodile tears”, after she called all other Opposition parties for a united fight against the BJP at the Centre.
Nature of his audacity could be understood from his remark against the chief minister that had she taken timely and due steps, over 70 lakh farmers in West Bengal would have been benefited from PM-Kisan Yojana. Each of the over 70 lakh farmers would have so far got Rs 12,000 directly in the bank account without any intermediary. This was not for the first time he was accusing Mamata Banerjee of being an incompetent ruler, he has been indulging in such kind of nasty activities ever since he became the governor.
He has been worried of the law and order prevailing in the state. It is not that people are not aware of his political acumen and intellect. True enough he has been working on one point programme of preparing ground for BJP to win the coming assembly polls.. It is also a known fact that he has been taking order from Amit Shah. Recently he met him and discussed the overall prevailing “worrisome” situation in the state. According to officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Governor apprised the Home Minister about the prevailing political, law and order and COVID-19 situations in West Bengal, which, he is learnt to have claimed, are deteriorating at an alarming pace to become “worrisome”. (IPA Service)