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   I do not know what sort of a governor Mr. C. Subramaniam will be... (February 2, 1990)

I do not know what sort of a governor Mr. C. Subramaniam will be. Going by his ministerial record, he is well-spoken, knowledgeable, practical, properly South Indian. But different governors have different styles.

I never did come to know what sort of a style Mr. Brahamananda Reddy had. He was not a very visible governor, and, at least, I saw him only once, presiding over some function. He shuffled into the room, practically propped up by an ADC, read out a brief speech, then shuffled out, I though he was too old even to be a governor.

Probably his most interesting and human act was the day his governorship ended, delaying his departure in order to see the Sunday morning episode of Mahabharat on a TV set at Santacruz airport.

Mr. Reddy’s predecessor also was not very visible. And I have even forgotten his name, which should indicate how forgettable he has. All I recall is that he left under a cloud, something to do with marks of a daughter or mece.

But his predecessor, Air Marshal Idris Latiff, was very visible, and his wife, the Begum Latif, was even more visible. For a services officer, he had a lot of interests: he studies Marathi, a teacher used to go to Raj Bhavan to teach him, he grew roses in the Raj Bhavan and knew all gardeners by their names, and, if he could not do much as a governor, because of all the constitutional provision, he was very active as chancellor of all the various universities in Maharastra. He must have been the most active chancellor in the history of Maharastra and Bombay.

Mrs. Latif (Begum sounds so Pakeesaish) was equally active as a social worker and did a tremendous amount of constructive work in Dharavi, work that Mrs. Bakul Patel is continuing.

Begum Zehra Ali Jung, wife of Nawab Ali Yavar Jung, also made a very good governor’s wife. You could refer to her as Begum without feeling you were acting in a drama.

But a wife who was more of a governor than the governor was Mrs. Tara Cherian. She addressed meeting, became president of various societies, raised large amounts of funds for ex-army men, grew trees on Chowpatty, got her daughters married at the Raj Bhavan, and, when her husband died as governor, bravely led his funeral cortage to the airport. There was some talk of her returning as governor, but it did not happen

About Mr. Subramaniam, as I said, I know very little. I do not even know if he has a wife. What I do know is that we do not really require him or any other governor. Maharastra, like so many other states in the country, has been without a governor for more than a week now, and nobody has felt the absence.

 
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