The position of a Governor is often termed as a “rubber stamp” by experts in the political spectrum. However, Kalraj Mishra has been defying this positioning by making a mark with many firsts as Governor of Rajasthan.
For the first time in the history of the country, Governor Kalraj Mishra started a new tradition by reading the Preamble of the Constitution and Fundamental Duties in the ‘Governor’s Budget Address’ in the Legislative Assembly.
Recently, the bill passed by the state government to amend the Rajasthan Compulsory Marriage Registration Act, 2009 was not approved by the Governor for it did not seem beneficial for society. Later, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairman also objected to the Amendment Bill.
Eventually, a ‘silent dialogue’ was initiated between the Governor and the state government which then decided to recall the recently passed ‘Rajasthan Compulsory Marriage Registration (Amendment) Bill 2021’ and get it re-examined.
Governor Kalraj Mishra had already put the bill on hold for further legal examination which had a provision for mandatory registration of all marriages.
Later, speaking at a function, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, “The Bill has been brought in the spirit of an order of the Supreme Court regarding compulsory registration of marriages. But misconception has been created regarding child marriage, then we will request the Governor to return the bill to the government.”
The Governor also took the initiative for construction of Constitution Parks in all the universities of the state to make the younger generation aware of the Constitution, thereby proving himself as the most active and ‘Justified Governor’ on constitutional issues.
In yet another instance, the Governor returned the proposal sent three times by the Rajasthan government to convene the assembly session from July 31, 2020, as it was not in accordance with the rules. When the proposal was received following the set norms, the Governor finally gave the approval for the session from August 14 last year.
In this context, the Governor had put a condition to give 21 days notice before convening the session. He had also called for a response from the government to take action on 3 points when the active corona cases increased over three times in a month.
Next, the Advocate Welfare Fund Amendment Bill which was passed in the Assembly on March 7, 2020 and was sent to the Governor on March 24 for approval was returned by him to amend the Bill citing opposition from the Bar Council and various lawyers’ associations. The information about the withdrawal of the bill from Raj Bhavan was furnished in the assembly. In this bill, the money collected from lawyers for the Welfare Fund was increased which the advocates opposed.
Besides these initiatives, the Governor also worked for the formation of a task force to improve the quality of higher education during the difficult times of Covid and strengthen universities in the context of global challenges.
Thereafter, he worked for the establishment of a Vedic Research Chair at Guru Govind Tribal University, Banswara to preserve the ancient tradition where scholars recite hymns of the Shankhayani part of Rig Veda.
Instructions were issued to the universities to prepare courses related to technical and science subjects in English, Hindi and regional languages. Mishra has also been working for the tribal areas development and has taken the initiative to expand coaching facilities for students of tribal areas for competitive examinations.
In another first, he initiated the Tribal Art Fair so that the disappearing art and artists in the tribal areas could be brought forward.
Showing a humanitarian aspect, the Governor also takes a tour at night to find needy people shivering in the cold and distributes blankets among them.
In April, he adopted a stray dog and named it Chintamani.
He appealed to the people to help stray dogs and come forward to look after them.
So who says this Constitutional post is a rubber stamp kind of position? Mishra shows the way to make a difference.