I remember meeting Mr. Jagmohan in Goa. He was the governor ther, and he had come with a bloody reputation as the butcher of the Emergency, Sanjay Gandhi's henchman, the man who had bulldozed entire human colonies for the vanity of beautifying Delhi.
A group of journalists, with wives and children, a party of about 100, had come to Goa from UP. They had been to a meeting of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists in Karnataka, and on their way back had stopped for a holidya in Goa at state government expense. Government tourist lodges had been booked for them, transport provided, and Governor Jagmohan was hosting a dinner. Most journalism is like that, full of little perks. Small wonder people say the kind iof things they do about us.
Besides the Up journalists, Bikram Vohra, who was then editor of Navhind Times, was invited, and myself, who happened to be visiting Goa.
First, from my hotel, I went to Bikram Vohra's house. There was a large TV set placed prominently in the drawing-room. At that time Goa did not have television. Then, with Bikram Vohra, I drove down the long causeway to the Cabo, which was the residence of old Portuguese governors and had become the Raj Bhavan of Jagmohan and his successors.
It is an impressive place. Spanish cobbled courtyards, stables, orchards ripe with mangoes (it was the mango season), ancient lamps swinging in the breeze and making romantic patterns on the walls. You climb a grand staircase to enter the governor's picture gallery and audience hall, rich in colonial portraits, though the Indian occupants had started putting their own portraits on the walls and rightly so. Except that the Indians could have used a little less of green and yellow in their portraits.
Mr. Jagmohan turned out to be a decent, harmless sort of persons, very polite and courteous to the wives of the UP journalists. The apperance was wuite unlike what I would have expected after reading his records.
I can recall that evening in detail. The food, which was UP, probably in honour of the guests and the host, and a magician who had come along with the journalists from UP and did some parlour tricks with Mr. Jagmohan's handkerchief. I later asked the magician whether he was a journalist. No, he said, but he was very friendly with the journalists and so thery had asked him to come along on the trip.
The following day I interviewed Mr. Jagmohan in an office facing the open sea. He talked freely about his emergency days, rationalising his actions. Whatever he had done was on the government's bidding. He will way the same about his strint in Kashmir also. And this time he will be justified.