Parliament speech dictation of Prof. Shibban Lal Saksena (United Provinces : General) for Shorthand practice.
Mr. President Sir, I consider this clause as one of the most important ones in the Constitution. We have modelled our Constitution on the British model, and in that model there is the King and in ours we have put our President in his place.
The King, in the Constitution, has almost no functions, he is a cipher; but the cipher is on the right side of the digits, and it is very well known that the King exerts a powerful influence on the politics of England. I therefore say that if we are modelling our Constitution on the British model, we must give our President and Governors the dignity that the King enjoys in England. I feel that this dignity cannot be given to the Governor if he is a nominee of the President. If he is elected by the adult votes of the people, then alone can he get, can he acquire the dignity that the King enjoys in England. He has a dignity which surpasses that of all other persons. If we are trying to shape our Constitution on the British model, then we must not forget the fact that the Governor must not be a mere figure-head but should have the dignity and prestige of the King. At present the Centre has appointed Governors in all the provinces, but they have not the necessary prestige. I know many of them would not have been elected if they were to be chosen by election. I am not happy about the appointment in my own province, and I feel the people of my province would not have elected the Governor who has been appointed there. This practice if continued will defeat the purpose of the Constitution which is modelled on the British model.
Secondly, it has been said that if the Governor is elected, he will have greater prestige than the Premier of the Province, and then there will be clashes. I do not see why it should be so. Both these elected persons will be patriots and will love their province, and the country. They will try to show, when they work, that they can work in the interest of the province. They will show that, when they both occupy these high offices, they can adjust their personal predilections, and work in the interest of the province. I see no reason why there should be any clash. Most probably the Premier and the Governor will be elected by the support of the majority party, and so probably they will both belong to the same party. Even if they are not of the same party as will happen only when parties are very evenly balanced, and if one party gives the Premier and the other the Governor then both the parties will have to co-operate and, this will ensure co-operation of all the voters, and so the province as a whole will have the benefits of the co-operation of both sections of the House. So no clash need be apprehended. These great men whom the people of the whole province will elect will be wise enough to devote all their abilities to the good of the province. They will never quarrel, and they will see that all quarrels are subordinated to the interests of the province.
Then it has been said that there need be no fear that the Centre will have too much power. Already we have invested the President with a lot of power, and it has been said that we do so because he is not a party man. He is to be elected by all the legislatures. Therefore he need not be a party man. But the President will act on the advice of the Prime Minister. So the party in power at the Centre will nominate all the Governors in all the provinces. It will also nominate all the Judges of the Supreme Court and other big officials. That is not a good thing. I cannot subscribe to the view that a single person should have the power to nominate all these high officers. We should remember that absolute power is not a good thing. It corrupts absolutely. If we clothe one single person, the Prime Minister, however good he may be, with all these powers–and all may not have the caliber of the present Prime Minister, and there might be some Prime Ministers who might misuse this power–it will be dangerous and it is not proper to give the President acting on the advice of the Prime Minister the power to nominate the Governors. We are also providing that the Governor will have the power to take over the affairs of his province in the event of an emergency. This he cannot do, unless he enjoys the confidence of the people of the province.
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