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TOI unique: DMK’s ideology parochial, lifeless, says TN Guv RN Ravi

Tamil Nadu governor R N Ravi pulls no punches when he talks in regards to the function of the governor and his personal revel in within the state in coping with the DMK executive. Excerpts from an interview to Jaya Menon
Had been you proper in strolling out ahead of the nationwide anthem used to be performed after the governor’s deal with in January this 12 months? You disregarded essential leaders’ names too.
Ahead of I addressed the meeting within the 12 months 2022 for the primary time, I used to be instructed that they don’t play the nationwide anthem within the meeting. Ahead of I addressed, I insisted that the nationwide anthem will have to be performed. And the nationwide anthem will have to be performed each on the arrival and departure of the governor and the Thamizh Thai Vazhthu too. Regardless of my insistence, they didn’t play the nationwide anthem at first regardless that they performed on the time of departure. This time, when the speaker got here to ask me, officially, I once more asked him. In Parliament, in all assemblies, the nationwide anthem is revered. After orally soliciting for him, I instructed him I’m additionally sending him a letter. I despatched him a letter, and to the executive minister as effectively. They didn’t play the nationwide anthem.
As for the speech that the state prepares, it’s generally at the executive insurance policies and programmes. This is the way it will have to be, and the governor is to learn it out. However the speech given to me used to be filled with fabrics the place it used to be neither insurance policies nor programmes, however propaganda. They have been faulty, they have been lies. They mentioned Tamil Nadu is a ‘haven of peace’ in the case of legislation and order. I quoted some cases. In Tamil Nadu, from the very subsequent day after the ban on PFI, a terrorist organisation, for 5 days, terror assaults endured, greater than 50 bomb assaults on properties and automobiles and no motion used to be taken.
Then the Coimbatore terror assault on a temple. Subsequent, I discussed the Kallakurichi college assault. An unlucky incident came about, the place a woman dedicated suicide. 4 or 5 days later, 5,000 folks got here from in all places, assembled on the college, burnt it down. They burnt the entire certificate, library, slashed and chopped off the udders of the cows. There are movies. And all this came about whilst the police stored observing. But some other case, at a public assembly, some weeks ahead of the meeting deal with, a girl police constable in uniform used to be molested through a DMK chief. She used to be forced to withdraw the case.
Now not simply that. Each different day, we pay attention about mafias. Not too long ago, the sand mafia walked into the place of business of a village administrative officer and hacked him to demise. And, central businesses have advised the state that there are modules running for global drug and palms trafficking in Tamil Nadu and Pakistan. Now, with all this taking place, you inquire from me to mention this is a ‘haven of peace’. I’m oathbound to inform the folk of Tamil Nadu the reality.
Then, the federal government sought after me to reward it for very good control of temples and the rationale they cited used to be that they’ve recovered 3,000 plus acres of encroached land. That’s a excellent one. We all know that greater than 50,000 acres of land has been encroached and restoration is just too small. Take a look at what came about in 2022 on the Chidambaram Nataraja temple, which isn’t below the HR & CE.
Out of vengeance, executive officials of social welfare division lodged 8 proceedings of kid marriage towards the podhu dikshithars, that they have been marrying their kids underage, while there have been no such marriages. Folks have been arrested and put in the back of prisons. And the ladies, 6th, 7th usual scholars, have been forcibly taken from house to the hospitals and made to go through ‘two-finger exams’, virginity exams. A few of them attempted to devote suicide. I wrote a letter to the executive minister, asking what is that this? Now, towards the backdrop of all that is going on, you need me to reward the federal government. Isn’t that an excessive amount of?
Then they sought after me to reward and endorse the Dravidian style of governance. To start with, there’s no such style of governance. It’s only a political slogan, a determined bid to maintain an expired ideology, an ideology that doesn’t relish the speculation of ‘Oru Bharatham, One India’. An ideology that underplays the nationwide freedom motion, seeks to erase from historical past and reminiscence, the loads and hundreds of freedom warring parties from Tamil Nadu, those that gave their lives and the whole thing and as an alternative glorifies those that collaborated with the British.
It’s an ideology that rabidly enforces linguistic apartheid at the entire of the country. No different Indian language is authorized access into Tamil Nadu. Such a lot in order that for those who learn the new Funds speech, the federal government goes to arrange a central Kalaignar library with 3. 25lakh books simplest in Tamil and English, no different language. It’s an ideology that has created an ecosystem that fosters separatist sentiment. I don’t assume any individual can be expecting me to endorse that. No, I will be able to now not, and I mentioned I will be able to now not. After my speech, the speaker learn out the Tamil model, I waited.
However towards the protocol, towards the norms, the executive minister were given up and in connivance with the speaker, sought after to embarrass the governor in the home through passing a solution towards the governor. I didn’t permit them to try this. How are you able to embarrass the governor, in his presence? So, I walked out. Allow them to now not inform me about Dr Ambedkar. This came about in January, ahead of I were given his statue put in right here. He lives in my center.
How is your own rapport with CM M Ok Stalin?
This is excellent. If truth be told, I’ve a super per- sonal regard for him. A excellent individual. I’ve been very courteous to him. He has additionally been courteous to me. On a private entrance, we’ve an excellent courting.
Your view on governors being accused of interfering in state governance.
It’s an ill-informed accusation that the governor is crossing the road. It’s completely absurd to mention that. So far as I do know, the governor has just one line. That’s the line drawn through the Charter of India. The governor is a protector, supposed to protect that line. The Charter attracts a line for everybody. Now, throughout the state, if the federal government has a tendency to pass that line, it’s the governor’s accountability to restrain them. I in reality surprise in what approach a governor can intrude. All of the tools of governance are with the state executive, not anything in any respect with the governor. Now, the governor’s accountability is to admire the sacred line. If the state executive tries to overstep the road, it’s the governor’s accountability to restrain the state.
What’s your view on governors getting used as political gear in states the ruling birthday party on the Centre does now not govern?
I don’t have any touch upon that.
The Perfect Courtroom has mentioned governors will have to assent or ship again expenses once imaginable. Your remark?
No, they put that out of context. The query is that if the invoice has been returned to the meeting and if the meeting has handed it and despatched it once imaginable, the governor will have to give his assent. There’s no query of withholding however this is within the context simplest when he returns the invoice to the meeting. Now not differently.
What number of Expenses forwarded through the TN meeting are pending with you presently?
There’s no invoice pending ahead of the Raj Bhavan or the governor. After I got here right here in (September) 2021, I gained 19 expenses. I despatched 18. One that used to be NEET, I reserved for the President as a result of it’s within the concurrent checklist. In 2022, I gained 59 of which 48 I despatched, 3 reserved for the President, one the state has withdrawn and for 8, assent withheld. That suggests no invoice of 2022 pending.
In 2023, I gained seven, all seven were assented to. Numerous track and drama used to be made out that the governor mentioned if the invoice (relating to the invoice to prohibit on-line playing) is withheld, it’s not alive. And an affect has been created that if a invoice is handed through the meeting it needs to be assented to. Please learn Article 200 of the Charter. It says when a Invoice has been handed through the legislative meeting, or relating to a state having a legislative council, has been handed through each properties, it might be introduced to the governor and the governor shall claim both that he assents to the invoice or that he withholds assent therefrom or that he reserves the invoice for the honour of the President.
So, when a invoice, which isn’t a cash invoice, is going to the governor, he has 3 choices. He assents to the invoice; withholds assent; and 3rd, reserves it for the President. After I say assent has been withheld, the invoice has fallen thru. There shouldn’t be any confusion. There may be but an alternative choice that if the governor makes a decision, he would possibly go back the invoice to the legislature for reconsideration. And if the legislature after reconsideration sends it, the governor has to provide assent. That I’ve finished in two circumstances (together with the net playing invoice).
The 8 expenses you withheld pertain to Universities?
Sure. The explanation why I withheld those is as a result of training is a concurrent matter. The SC has over and over again held that the College Grants Fee (UGC) Act of 1956 has the power of a statute, and any state provision will have to be in keeping with that. The UGC Act and laws mandate that upper instructional establishments will have to be self reliant and insulated from political interference. That’s the place. In Tamil Nadu, our state universities are sadly being run as a state division. Syndicate conferences are held on the state secretariat. Autonomy has been nearly utterly taken away. The one saving grace is the appointment of vice-chancellors. A minimum of the V-C will have to be the fitting individual. And, that’s the accountability of the chancellor. If that still is going to the state leader minister, it comes utterly below political regulate. And this isn’t imaginable.
What’s the standing of the Siddha College invoice?
The Siddha College Invoice when it used to be to be introduced, I needed to comply with assent it, with the remark that it will have to be in keeping with the UGC Act and laws. There once more the chancellor is the executive minister and it comes within the state checklist. I mentioned this isn’t imaginable. So, the invoice has been withheld.
Your reaction to the allegations of finance code violations and misuse of governor’s discretionary price range.
I don’t be expecting them to be civil or first rate. However I did be expecting them to be truthful and fair to the folk of Tamil Nadu. What the (finance) minister (Palanivel Thiaga Rajan) mentioned used to be only a bunch of utter lies. At the start, he mentioned the governor’s discretionary grant as according to the finance code is for petty charities, a couple of thousand rupees to needy individuals. He instructed a lie since the phrase ‘petty’ used to be got rid of from the finance code within the 12 months 2000 itself. It says that throughout the to be had finances, there can’t be and will have to now not be a restrict; this is, the governor’s discretion will have to now not be restricted. Secondly, he discussed Akshaya Patra. Once more, he instructed lies as a result of within the 12 months 2000, the then governor, all for heavy dropout of deficient scholars, sought after to offer a healthy loose meal an afternoon, that would scale back the dropout.
Akshaya Patra is an overly famend NGO. They supply loose foods to about two million deficient folks each day. Akshaya Patra volunteered to offer a loose meal to the GCC colleges. All that they sought after used to be a hygienic kitchen. The estimate of that kitchen used to be Rs 5 crore. The governor sanctioned this quantity from his discretionary grant, launched it in instalments, and constituted a committee of the state executive, headed through the extra leader secretary of the state to watch it. A sum of Rs 4. 5lakh used to be launched, Rs 50 lakh on of completion of labor. In December 2021, the kitchen used to be whole. They went to the company for a water and fuel connection. Company didn’t give them. They have been instructed the whole thing is okay, however they have got directions from the CM’s place of business, you cross and get it looked after available in the market. For the ultimate 16 months Akshaya Patra has been working to the CM place of business. They’ve now not succeeded in getting the CM appointment. All of the paperwork are there, the financial institution transactions.
Some other insinuation used to be that the governor used to be preserving tea events, spending lakhs of rupees. Historically, on Republic Day and Independence Day, the Raj Bhavan organizes ‘At House’ – this is a birthday party of our Independence and it occurs everywhere the rustic. Previous, it used to be principally officers. I modified that. Whilst officers shall be there, their quantity used to be just a little trimmed and we were given a broader spectrum of folks – farmers, adolescence, SHGs, NGOs, folks with disabilities, people artists, classical artists, all sections. Over 3,000 folks were attending the ‘At House’. To mention it’s the governor’s tea birthday party is an insult, an insult to the folk of TN and the birthday party of a Nationwide Day.
Then they mentioned cash used to be being spent on civil carrier aspirants. After I joined the civil carrier, TN had the most important choice of civil servants. Lately, we’re approach beneath such a lot of states. So, I began getting deficient scholars in batches, 250 to 300 of them. I give them guidelines, information them on how you can get ready. I can’t ship them again hungry. I’ve to feed them. I ponder why the federal government will have to nurse a grudge about this. He (PTR) instructed most of these lies.
He (PTR) mentioned in Ooty, the governor held a tea birthday party and spent a couple of lakhs of rupees. what this tea birthday party is… most of these indigenous folks, they’re tribes of Nilgiris. They have been invited, they have been my visitors. We spent the entire night with them, paying attention to them. The Elephant Whisperers have been additionally there, ahead of they were given the Oscar and ahead of folks got here to find out about them. I pay the meals invoice for myself and my members of the family. Beneath the governor’s privileges and allowances, the governor isn’t obliged to try this. However I steadily pay the meals invoice. They can’t lift a finger at me.
Why has the choice of civil aspirants passing out of TN long past down?
That’s since the high quality of our training has long past down so significantly. Within the early Fifties, Nineteen Sixties, Seventies, the usual of our universities used to be prime. The Madras College was within the most sensible 10. Lately, it’s the a hundredth or so. Sadly, none of our universities come within the most sensible class. Spreading training, fundamental wisdom, studying, writing, mathematics isn’t sufficient nowadays. This is a aggressive international. Your instructing, your training needs to be qualitative. Our girls and boys are denied that. Lately, our youths in Tamil Nadu are utterly insulated, they don’t get what is going on outdoor, within the nation. The training requirements have long past down extraordinarily and they don’t seem to be getting steering. And that is mirrored within the deficient efficiency in civil services and products.
What you spoke about Sanatana Dharma is being seen at the side of Varnashrama Dharma. Isn’t there one thing past this?
This is a mischievous interpretation of Indian secularism. And, it’s been finished through vested passion teams. When the Charter used to be being drafted, no person idea there used to be a necessity for secularism to be offered within the charter. However one member Ok T Shah raised the problem. All the constituent meeting unanimously mentioned secularism is a Eu idea the place it used to be born out of the hostility between the Church and the State. Our secularism is equivalent admire to all. So, to mention that our governors will have to now not speak about faith, will have to now not speak about dharma, that could be a flawed perception. And after we speak about equivalent admire to all, that is what Sanatana Dharma is. Why interpret it in the case of caste, creed? Those are mischievous distortions.
If truth be told, as a believer in Sanatana Dharma, I can’t distance myself from any faith. Be it Islam, be it Christianity. The instant I get started pronouncing they’re other, then It’s not that i am a believer in Sanatana Dharma as a result of there’s no query of exclusivity.
BJP delegation had referred to as on you for an inquiry into ‘DMK information’. What do you intend to do?
Because it used to be officially dropped at my realize, due cognisance is being taken.
Your critics say that the Raj Bhavan has been transformed right into a espresso store along with your conferences with quite a lot of sections.
The phrase Raj Bhavan is a vestige of the colonial occasions. In a democracy, a constitutional place of business is known as Raj Bhavan… The governor isn’t a Raja. That isn’t right kind. If truth be told, Now, I’m severely considering of adjusting the identify of Raj Bhavan. I wish to name it Lok Bhavan. It will have to be a public space. There’s a protocol to modify the identify, however I will be able to exchange it.
So far as assembly the folk is worried, the governor makes a decision the constitutional accountability that he has. The governor is predicted to be a power for the nice of the folk of the state. And that’s the explanation why I meet adolescence, scholars, NGOs, disabled folks, people artists, and so forth. If truth be told, not too long ago we hosted transgenders as a result of they’re one in all us.
You’re a former police officer. What’s your touch upon deliverance of policing in TN?
The TN police could be very good, welltrained and quite well-equipped. However it’s deeply politicised, closely politicised. I’ll provide you with an instance. I (my convoy) used to be attacked with sticks and stones (in April 2022) when I used to be going to the Dharmapuram Adheenam. 2d, there have been some threats and abuses. In each the circumstances, the governor lodged the FIR and police didn’t sign up it. This used to be since the accused have been from the ruling birthday party. Now, if a governor can’t get an FIR registered, that doesn’t discuss effectively of the police.
What’s your opinion at the general governance of the DMK executive?
It is going to now not be suitable for me to remark at the efficiency of the federal government. It’s for the folk to pass judgement on. For those who inquire from me what the single-most severe fear that I’ve is, it’s the steep decline in our human useful resource high quality. I don’t have the precise information, however we (Tamil Nadu) could also be the most important manufacturer of engineers within the nation. But if I met the trade representatives, I requested them why they don’t seem to be increasing. They mentioned this 12 months, 90% of our engineers are unemployable. The decline is going on in universities, on the subject of high quality. I met affiliate professors with 12 to fifteen years of training. Barring a couple of, one wonders how the remainder were given the task. My passion is development the country. And the country can simplest be constructed if our electorate, intellectually and ability sensible, are the most efficient. As soon as upon a time, TN used to be the most efficient. Lately we’re sliding down, and steeply sliding down. It doesn’t subject which birthday party is in place of business. Our country will have to develop, and it may possibly develop simplest when our electorate are succesful and for that you must spend money on high quality training.
How have you ever hooked up with Tamil folks?
From my revel in with Tamil folks, they’re extremely cultured, deeply religious, and exceedingly hospitable. With regards to Tamil literature, I’ve restricted wisdom. I began studying vintage literature -Sangam literature, most commonly thru English translations. I used to be astounded through the intensity of idea and richness of the literature.
Then I come across Thirukkural. I used to be floored. It’s such an improbable treasure – a novel mix of dharma shastra and needhi shastra. I believe this is a divine blessing that I’ve the chance to come back and serve in TN. It’s nice, the literature, such nice folks, who’re deeply civilised, cultured, religious. That’s why it makes me surprise. There appears to be a disjoint between how the persons are and the way the politics is. Between folks and politics, I am getting a unique sense. I will’t be expecting civility and decency from politics right here. To the contrary, you get masses whilst you cross to the folk.

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