Address by Governor at the release of the book ‘In the Service of the People…CH. Vidyasagar Rao’ at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai
Address by Shri CH Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the release of the book ‘In the Service of the People…CH. Vidyasagar Rao’ at Banquet Hall, Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 11 am on Tuesday 31 January 2017
Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Former President of India, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar, Hon’ble Chairman, Maharashtra Legislative Council, Shri Haribhau Bagade, Hon’ble Speaker, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Shri Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Hon’ble Leader of the Opposition, Hon’ble Ministers Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, Shri Vinod Tawde, Shri Diwakar Raote, Dr Deepak Sawant and Shri Vishnu Savara, distinguished invitees, Secretaries of various departments, officials, journalists, members of Raj Bhavan family, ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset I extend a very warm welcome to each one of you to Raj Bhavan. I sincerely thank Smt Pratibhatail Devisingh Patil, the first Woman President of India for honouring my invitation.
My very special thanks to the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadnavis for sparing his valuable time to release my book in the midst of a busy campaigning season.
I thank the Hon’ble Chairman and Hon’ble Speaker, all the Hon’ble Ministers, distinguished invitees and journalists for making it convenient to attend the book release function.
One of the defining features of the Parliamentary form of democracy is accountability of the people’s representative to the people. Even though, as Governor, I am no longer an elected representative, as a man in public life, I believe that I am accountable and answerable to the people of the State.
The publication of the illustrated volume ‘In the Service of the People..’ is a humble effort to meet this obligation.
Since taking charge as Governor of the State on 30th August 2014, today happens to be my 500th function !! These include programmes with the Hon’ble President of India, Hon’ble Vice President and the Hon’ble Prime Minister and programmes in different parts of the State.
Next only to New Delhi, Maharashtra is visited by Heads of State and Heads of Government, Parliamentary delegations, Provincial Governors, Ambassadors and Ministers of various countries.
As Chancellor, I attended convocation ceremonies in many universities. I undertook visits to several Scheduled Areas in the State to understand the problems of the people. Since taking charge as Governor of Tamil Nadu in September 2016, I also attended programmes in Tamil Nadu in different parts of that State.
Welfare of tribals, adivasis and Janjatis has been a matter of faith for me. With the cooperation of the Tribal Development Department, I issued a series of notifications for the empowerment of people residing in the Scheduled Areas.
My office was keen on documenting this work through articles and photographs. It was their enthusiasm that resulted in the publication of this Illustrated Volume.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Soon after taking charge as the Governor, I realized that people of the State and particularly those from Mumbai have immense attraction for the Raj Bhavan.
Quite often, I suspected that some people were more interested in watching the Raj Bhavan than meeting the poor Governor ! There were people who sought my appointment with a hidden agenda to see the Raj Bhavan after meeting me ! There is a reason to this excitement and curiosity among the people about this Raj Bhavan.
This Raj Bhavan complex, earlier known as the ‘Government House’ has a history of more than two centuries. When Bombay was a Presidency during the British Raj, the rule of the colonial Governors extended upto Bijapur in Karnataka, Junagadh in Gujarat, Sind in today’s Pakistan and so on. Even Aden, which is the capital of Yemen, was a part of the Bombay Presidency for nearly a century!
It was in this Raj Bhavan complex, just outside this Hall, that the map of Samyukta Maharashtra was unveiled by Prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru on the night of 30th April 1960. Quite naturally, people of the State had great curiosity about the place which had been a seat of power for several years.
The decision to open Raj Bhavan for the general public in 2015 was greeted with much enthusiasm and an overwhelming response.
The discovery of the underground Bunker inside Raj Bhavan was likewise greeted by people with great excitement and zeal.
I am keen to conserve the Bunker and after ascertaining its safety and security, open it for the general public.
I seek the cooperation of the Hon’ble Chief Minister and the State Government in the early restoration of the Bunker.
Ladies and gentlemen,
From my interaction with officials of Tribal Development Department, NGOs working in scheduled areas and the people at large, I do feel that we need to evolve a mechanism to streamline the programmes of various departments in the Scheduled Areas to ensure effective outcomes of these programmes. We need more efforts to raise the standards of living of our Adivasis and other vulnerable communities.
As Chancellor of 20 Universities in the State, the Governor has certain responsibilities for the academic development of universities. The State has enacted a New Public Universities Act only recently. I wish to see greater and more frequent interaction between the Governor’s office, the Department of Higher Education and the Universities to make our universities and Colleges Centres of Excellence in the country.
Recently a group of educators from the United Kingdom met me. A lady representative stated that the UK alone has four Universities among the top 10 universities in the world. It should be our collective endeavour to bring at least two of our universities among the top 100 universities.
It will be my endeavour to continue to contribute to the process of development and support the State Government in its good work.
I wish to place on record my appreciation of all officers and staff of my organization for their constant support in my work. I also thank the officers who were associated with the publication of the book. I thank the printers and the designer for their excellent work.
Once again I thank the Hon’ble former President of India Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis, the Hon’ble Chairman, Hon’ble Speaker, the Hon’ble Ministers and to each one of you for your gracious presence.
Thank you !
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!