For a democracy, if it has to be vibrant and relevant to contemporary times, intro-spection is a must. In the ever-changing scenario of needs, desires, values, demands of society, the Constitution of any democratic country cannot be static. It should be alive, dynamic and continually changing itself to suit present-day conditions. Perhaps this is the reason why more than 100 amendments were brought to the Constitution of India since it was first enacted in 1950. This principle holds good even for the Institution of Governor in Indian polity, especially in the context of the appointment of governors to five states recently. Some constitutional experts are of the opinion that the spirit of cooperative federalism is missing in these appointments and there is a need to appoint apolitical governors.
Since its inception as the pivot of Indian federal system, the office of the governor has remained a controversy. Governors today are being disparagingly termed as the agents of the Centre. The issue becomes more relevant with the appointment of nine new governors since July. When the controversy over the institution of governor became a nation-wide debate in the early ‘80s, the Union Government of the day appointed Justice Sarkaria Commission to prepare a report.
Sarkaria Commission, in its report in October 1987, suggested that the governor should be a person of some eminence in some field and should be a detached figure with little record of participation in the local politics of the state. He or she should be a person who has not taken a keen part in politics generally and particularly in the recent past of his or her appointment. It is desirable that a politician from the ruling party at the Centre should not be made the governor of a state headed by another party. It should be ensured that there is effective consultation with the chief minister of a state while appointing a governor in that state. None of these are apparently followed.
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September 09, 2019