CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Governor Ravindra Narayana Ravi cleared the air on Bills passed in the Assembly and said to be pending with him even as he was effusive in his praise of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.
Interacting with a group of senior editors of newspapers and television channels on Friday, the Governor said that he went strictly by the sacred book, which is the Constitution of India, in what he said and did in the state.
Dispelling any notions of distrust building between Raj Bhavan and Fort St George, the Governor said that if he felt strongly on any subject or issue affecting the state, he would write a letter to the Chief Minister. He said he shared the best of relations with Stalin and that he found the CM was a “well meaning person who wished to do good for the people”.
When the question of Bills pending with him when sent for assent to the Raj Bhavan was raised, the Governor said that he, as Head of State and acting under the Constitution had three options. “I can give assent to a Bill, withhold assent or refer it to the President of India.”
He added that all his actions fell within those three options.
Touching upon frequent complaints of deterioration in the law & order situation in the state raised by Opposition leaders, the Governor said that he was himself personally worried whenever reports came in of crimes against SC/ST or Adi Dravidar people or crimes against women. While he has to keep an ear open to Opposition complaints on the L&O, he gets worked up more about the crime data flowing in about crimes against vulnerable people.
“The Protection of Civil Rights Act is stringent enough. Under it, the person accused is assumed to be guilty until he proves himself innocent,” he said.
The Governor feels the provisions of the Act are sufficient to warn any intending offenders.
As the head of state, who has more direct action to take with regard to education in the state, the Governor said he saw a progressive decline in education standards, which was sad for a progressive state like Tamil Nadu.
He believes much of higher studies are aimed at getting a degree and that things would have to change for degree holders to be gainfully employed. He praised the New Education Policy as “excellent” and that it needed time to be fully implemented for results to show.
The Governor also expressed his concern for the environment of the Raj Bhavan that has much to do with the deer population inside the large national park in which it and IIT-Madras are located.
Well-informed of the ecology, he made the Editors aware of how tall trees were inhibiting the growth of grass (for grazing) beneath and that measures had to be taken to encourage the growth of grass. He also said more blackbucks would have to be translocated as the population was dwindling.
The Governor stuck to his firm stand against PFI as “a dangerous organisation”. He extolled Tirukkural and said he has been trying to understand the depth of the treatise in his own way.
In the same vein, he appreciated and expressed his gratitude for his octogenarian teacher who has been patient with him. He consults the senior teacher to know more about certain terms and their meanings.
The hour-long interaction had its share of lighter moments too when the Governor said he watches Tamil films dubbed in Hindi and how he enjoys visiting places and meeting people, especially those who have scaled great heights from humble backgrounds.
He signed off by saying the Raj Bhavan has decided to institute two awards for those excelling in the fields of social service and environment....