Panaji, May 24 – If there is dharma, there is no need for a king, Goa Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai said on Tuesday, even as he questioned the role of protocol and red tape, in a country, where he said the Constitution had acknowledged the supremacy of the people of India.
Pillai, who was speaking at a function in Ponda sub district in South Goa, where he also said that Mahatma Gandhi and Jayprakash Narayan were prime examples of tall leaders for whom the boundaries of protocol could not exist.
“If dharma is there, (there is) no need of a king. That is the basic concept followed by our country. Dharma is Supreme. People are supreme,” Pillai said.
“According to our democratic set up, who is supreme? Not Governor, not Ministers, not sarpanchas, even Rashtrapati ji or Supreme Court of India, according to me, is not Supreme. Who is Supreme under the Constitution of India,” he said, that the people of the Country were supreme.
Pillai also cited the examples of Gandhi and Narayan, for whom, the Governor said, even Prime Ministers had to shed the formalities of protocol for an audience.
“If you want to get a Governor for a function, honourable former Chief Minister knows the formalities. Protocol is like that. But we are living in a country where protocol is supreme? If that is so, Gandhiji was nobody under protocol. What is the protocol system? If a Prime Minister wants to see a person, he is not expected to go to him, to his house,” Pillai said.
“But whenever Gandhiji was alive till 1948, the prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, number one in protocol, he went to Wardha ashram, all the way travelled to go to see Gandhiji. That is our tradition.”
The Governor also said that when he was Prime Minister, Morarji Desai also treated Narayan with the same reverence, after the Congress faced defeat in the general elections after the National Emergency.
“Then Morarji Desai was the Prime Minister of India, topmost in the arena of protocol. Whenever Morarji Desai, the Prime Minister of India, the topmost person in the system, if he wanted to see JP, Loknayak Jayaprakash, the number one person in Delhi had to go to Patna and see him,” Pillai said.