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   They seem to be having trouble about finding an acting governor... (August 20, 1990)

They seem to be having trouble about finding an acting governor for Maharastra. I find that surprising, I thought people would jump at the idea. Not the post of a governor, that is definitely a job for pensioners, but an acting governor is different thing. You are a governor and yet you know you are not being pushed into retirement.

The job has tremendous perks. You live in the best house in Bombay, complete with a battalion of sevants, ideally located, by the sea, with a private beach, a helipad, a large garden with 19 gardeners working at it all times, and total privacy, with policemen at the gates keeping all undersirables out.

Plus a house at Godhkhind in Pune, another house in Mahableshwar.

Your board is looked after by your employers: cokks to cook your meals, the meals of your guests, get the bazar, bearer to serve at the table. So also the other expenses: petrol for the car (cars), drivers' salaries, air-tickets for when you have to go to Delhi to attend conferences of governors. Also, I suppose, you medical expenses in full. Though I do not know why, if you are going to America for surgey, you have to take your panel of local doctors along with you.

And there is really no work, unless and until you want to go out of your way and offer to do some work. Like, for instance, Air Marshal Idris Latif, who got himself involved, in his capacity as chancellor, with the affairs of the universities in the state.

The only work is occasionally presideing over something or inaugurating something. And if you have to make a speech on the occasion, if is written for you and you have to simply read it out. Then there are courtesy calls by visiting dignitaries, when you sit on a sofa with then and exchange pleasantries. You do not even have to put them up at your house any more, since most visitors these days prefer to stay at the Taj or the Oberoi.

Sometimes, though the chances are it would not be during your term of office, there may be a constitutional crisis. Even then, you do not have to make any decisions; your lawyeres advise you and the central government act on this advice and makes the decision.

And for all this you get paid. And it must be a handsome salary. For if governors of the Reserve Bank go paid so well, governors of the states must be paid better.

The soft life, of course, can after a while get to be a bore. Because of this I say, do not become a governor, but because an acting governor, but become an acting governor. Then, after a short holiday, you can return to the real world.

 
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