At a time when several chief ministers are complaining about interference and the overstepping of authority by governors, and these include those in neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Kerala, in Telangana, it is the governor who has startled everyone with her allegations that her phones are being tapped by unknown parties.
If even an ordinary citizen is being snooped upon illegally, much less than a constitutional functionary at the level of the governor of a state, things must have come to a terrible pass. In a democracy, both the privacy of citizens and their freedom to oppose a particular party or government are sacred. If ruling parties or governments anywhere, at the Centre or in a particular state, are listening to and watching the activities of their political rivals illegally, it is a shame.
Tamilisai Soundararajan, governor of Telangana, is not the first one to complain of having such a fear; many others, from Union minister G. Kishan Reddy to former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, all have complained of phone-tapping by the state government of Telangana.
It is now for the K. Chandrashekar Rao-led government to take the allegation seriously, no matter what otherwise might be the nature of political discomfort or confrontation brewing between the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the BJP at the Centre.
It is important that a probe be ordered into Ms Soundararajan’s accusation, possibly under the supervision of a high judicial officer, and state police stand up to a fair and neutral scrutiny. It would be of utmost disservice to itself and the people of the state, as well as the idea of the rule of law, for the state government to ignore this call.
If it has nothing to hide, let it come out clean and prove it too....