The Political Class Expected Me To Be A ‘Rubber Stamp’: Kiran Bedi

  • Published on 23 Feb 2022, 4:57 pm

Dr. Kiran Bedi needs no introduction. The former Lieutenant Governor and retired IPS officer leaves a mark wherever she goes. Be it Puducherry or Tihar, she made news for her proactiveness and desire to bring about change. She is upfront, and just as she likes to work outside her comfort zone, she believes in pushing others out of their complacency to perform to their full potential.

In Puducherry, while she managed to establish good relations with the people by being easily approachable, her tenure also had its fair share of conflicts with the state government. 

While she opened the Governor House to the public, she was also accused of establishing an alternative power center at the Raj Nivas.  She chose to maintain a dignified silence then but meticulously kept notes.

Once she was free from constitutional obligations, she decided to shape those notes into a book to laid bare the truths, so that people know her side of the story as well. 

Her book is titled, Fearless Governance, a not-so-subtle connotation of her fearlessness in the face of stiff opposition while discharging her duties as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.

In an exclusive interview to Indian Masterminds, Dr. Kiran Bedi talks about her book and, also, her time in Raj Nivas, Puducherry. 

Excerpts from the interview: 

Conflicts with the state government marked your tenure as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. So, is the book, Fearless Governance, your way of putting out your side of the story?

The expectation from the Lieutenant Governor by the political class was one to be a ceremonial head and a ‘rubber stamp’. Whereas the Act, the Business Rules and Financial Powers gave an executive responsibility to the office of the Lt Governor. 

Hence, it was a conflict between the political expectations and the legally laid down responsibilities. 

The political classes also loathed that Puducherry is a Union Territory and not a full-fledged state. On the one hand, they agitated for statehood for Puducherry. On the other hand, they refused to accept the executive role of the Lt Governor as given in the UT. 

They wanted to have the cake and eat it too.

Every time they challenged the powers of my office, the Hon’ble Supreme Court upheld the law. They lost but wanted to keep the pot boiling to keep supporters in an illusion. 

The book documents these developments. And how they were defended at a considerable cost of time, energy, and state money. 

The mission of Prosperous Puducherry remained uppermost. These are facts. The book is based on factual evidence, also in QR code for video and documents.

A fearless leader you have always been. In hindsight, do you feel that you have been a responsible leader as well?

A fearless leader takes and, also, steps up to take full responsibility for the performance of laid down duties and delivers them without fear or favor. 

It is easy to be a rubber stamp but very challenging to reclaim and protect the legitimate and legal responsibility which belonged to the office of the Lt Governor. 

In your book, you imply that because the elected government and the governor’s office were working at cross purposes, the administration suffered. In essence, are you saying that a good leader should know to work as a team?

Teamwork is most desirable and happens only when there is a common purpose and selfless intentions. When it’s a cross purpose, the conflict remains alive and simmering. 

As a governor, you set a precedent in many ways. One of them is having one-on-one interaction with the bureaucrats at Raj Nivas. Did it help in forging a good bonding with the officers and winning their trust?

All authentic conversations bond. 

Yes, it built a bond. I got to know their professional strengths, also about their state of mind. 

I asked If I could do more for them. I addressed them by their first name. Kept no minutes of our meeting. I had a photo with them and sent them a copy. 

We became friends and softened the hierarchy.

This is the first part of the interview with Dr. Kiran Bedi. The second part will feature the video interview, where she talks about the towing away of Indira Gandhi’s car, her relations with the Late Prime Minister, her views on leadership, and more. Her book, Fearless Governance, is available on Amazon, Flipkart, Kindle, and Diamond Books website. 

Kiran Bedi Saves Minor Girl From Compulsory Marriage

The marriage “arranged compulsorily by the parents” was scheduled to be held on January 22, 2018, the girl stated in her petition during the Open House Session in Raj Nivas. 

Tamil NaduPress Trust of IndiaUpdated: December 18, 2017 11:50 pm IST NDTV

Kiran Bedi Saves Minor Girl From Compulsory Marriage

Ms Bedi tweeted that she has taken steps to ensure that the girl continues her studies.

Puducherry: Lt Governor Kiran Bedi today saved a 17-year-old engineering student from being compulsorily married off by her parents to a 28-year-old man.

Ms Bedi posted in her Twitter the petition the girl had presented to her during the Open House session in Raj Nivas earlier in the day, bringing to her notice the arrangements her poor parents were making to marry her off to the man who is her relative.

The marriage “arranged compulsorily by the parents” was scheduled to be held on January 22, 2018, the girl stated in her petition.

The Lt Governor said in her Twitter that two girls doing engineering course and hailing from poor families had come to Raj Nivas during the open house session.

One of the girls pointed out in her hand written complaint in English that her parents were poor workers and depended on their relatives for financing her education.

The girl stated that her parents wished to marry her off to the man.

The girl requested the Lt Governor to take “necessary action to stop the marriage and give protection” to her from her parents and relatives.

Ms Bedi, the former IPS officer tweeted that she immediately took steps to send the girl to a hostel to ensure that she continued her studies.

Ms Bedi had been holding open house session at her office every day to receive complaints from the public and listen to their grievances for immediate redressal since last nearly a year.

Guest Column | ‘Fearless Governance’ is about ‘We’, not ‘Me’

‘Fearless Governance’ is about people and their basic needs, which are expected to be provided by those in governance — appointed or elected — to serve fearlessly

Kiran Bedi, India’s first woman IPS officer and former Lt Governor of Puducherry, tells why she wrote the book “Fearless Governance”. (Source: Kiran Bedi’s Twitter handle)

Kiran Bedi, India’s first woman IPS officer and former Lt Governor of Puducherry, tells why she wrote the book “Fearless Governance”. 

Published on Jan 24, 2022 12:38 AM IST Hindustan Times

Voters elect the persons they want to be governed by. The majority then forms the government. The administration recruits, selects and appoints its public servants for administering them. The elected and the recruited, therefore, govern and help the country.

Thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I got the opportunity to govern, administer and serve Puducherry as the Lieutenant Governor for nearly five years. His single instruction was to ensure financial prudence in administering the Union Territory. He said, “Kiran ji wahan ja kar paise ka dhyan rakhna.”And I did it against all herculean odds.

The financial powers are with the Lt Governor, as per the rules, yet no political effort was spared to hound the officers advising financial prudence. The office of the Lt Governor was taken to the highest courts of the land to obstruct the exercise of correct use of public money. The legal battles cost energy and money.

A thoroughly corrupt system was in place. Financial irregularities were enormous. The defunct state public sector companies were being given financial grants. Employees’ provident fund was abused to pay and meet office expenses; audit objections were pending compliance for years. The Cooperative Bank gave away loans without due securities, and to the persons of influence. I saw hundreds of excess recruitments, all as patronage.

The book “Fearless Governance” is about “We”, not “Me”. It is an outcry for conscientious service and leadership. It is about people and their basic needs, which are expected to be provided by those in governance — appointed or elected — to serve fearlessly.

It’s about the people, loving and respecting what officials ought to be doing. It’s about puncturing vested interests that corrode the vitals of administration.

A lot depends on financial prudence. How public money is prioritised and spent? Not about transactional sops announced without provisioning for them. It is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

It is about opening up the doors and the systems. It’s about visible leadership and authentic communication. It’s about placing on the centre stage the ordinary person who has no powerful connections, and giving people the faith that one is for all, always. It’s also about the miracle of teamwork. Trust is what the country needs the most.

Government is one organic whole

The government is one organic whole. Constant upskilling and retraining is the need of the hour, always. Governance is about exercising responsibility for the present and future needs to provide quality of life. It’s about their responsible living and doing. It’s about clean living, about giving and not taking. It’s about joy and celebration, promoting openness and have no secrets.

I have demystified governance through sustained communication and regular people engagement to remain responsive. The book explains the purpose of one’s power and position as it is a product of when I took up the responsibility of Puducherry as its Lt Governor.

I saw a closed Raj Niwas. Not accessible at all. Not celebrating anything. An isolated palace with an entourage of personal staff for maximum comfort. But very rich in flora and fauna. Secretariat staff, too, was lean. To do minimum, perhaps. No practice of schedules of meeting with a periodicity. Also had occasional dinners with select staff and all the generosity of cuisine.

I also did not see websites of any department updated, barring an exception. The Raj Niwas website was just for the sake of it.

The book fleshed out the ideas in seven parts. The first is about the call, the calling and the strategy. It gives an insight into how I had to prepare myself for this onerous responsibility. When I began, I did not know any officer from my past postings. I also did not know Tamil. Only seniors and a few knew how to converse in English. Hence communication was limited. The position and gender kept most at bay.

Now, comes the challenge. How do we clean up the city? How do we put systems in place where an ordinary person is heard? How do we track grievances? What is the role of the Lt Governor as the administrator? How should we open up the Raj Niwas? What about visitors wanting to see this iconic building of Puducherry? What about the mafias in medical seat sale and land grabbing of senior citizens, too weak to defend or away to France and unable to defend? What about the colossal funds going for no work done, just because unable to take politically decisions?

Who would bell the cats? At the top of it, questioning the legal powers, as laid down under the law, I was before the high courts and the Supreme Court.

Those not comfortable with my ways to set the things right held press conferences to misrepresent and misinform the people, and even challenge the office of Lt Governor. The book explains how this was countered, making the tenure one of trials and tribulations, yet making amendments to the broken-down systems by putting systems that started to deliver on autopilot.

The challenge of Covid-19 finds a particular chapter in the book on how only the intervention of the Government of India rescued the day. In the end, the UT got the highest ratings in governance. What if we all had worked together in a more significant interest? Puducherry could have been a model for emulation.

Fearless leadership practices which made the change possible are for future generations to learn from. These measures are suitable for private and government sectors, as Ms Indra Nooyi said at the book launch. She termed it “a blueprint for Good Governance”.

For me, governing and administering is all about fearless, duty conscious, and patriotic governance — by the elected and the appointed — for a developed India.hindustan times

Dr. Kiran Bedi’s Book ‘Fearless Governance’ Launched by Indra Nooyi and Prof. Debashis Chatterjee

The book is a blueprint of good governance and effective leadership.

Based on the ground realities of nearly five years of service as the 24thLt. Governor of Puducherry,Dr. Kiran Bedihas penned down her fearless journey of governance in a book titled as FEARLESS GOVERNANCE. The book was launched online by legends -Indra Nooyi, Former Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo and Prof. Debashis Chatterjee, Director, IIM Kozikhode, who talked about leadership of the future.

“Fearless Governance is a blueprint for good and effective governance. The leadership practices cut across public and private sectors.”-Indra Nooyi, Former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo

“Gutsy Governance! Eco-Centric leadership. The legend of Kiran Bedi will live through the pages of this book long after she calls it a day!”-Prof. Debashis Chatterjee, Director, IIM Kozhikode.

As evident from the title, the book captures Dr. Bedi’s fearless moments, administrative acumen and innovative initiatives in Puducherry. Published by Diamond books, the title will be translated in all major Indian languages and available on all major platforms in print and in e-book format. Royalties of the book are dedicated to causes in Puducherry and Dr Bedi’s two Foundations – Navjyoti India Foundation and India Vision Foundation.

The book reveals the underbelly of prevailing vested interests and the mafias when Dr. Bedi took over the responsibility as the 24th LG of Puducherry. One by one they all got weakened, to their horror. They cried foul. They made fun of her obstructing her work, but she remained undeterred. She bicycled the city to see the city was cleaner by the day. She made Puducherry greener and water rich. She was non-sparing. She went after the liquor mafia during COVID getting licences cancelled as never before and brought the CBI to investigate and open an office in Puducherry.

She empowered and mentored her officers and fully supported the meritorious. The political establishment repeatedly pleaded for her recalls. They sat on a dharna outside the Raj Nivas, demanding her return. The book shares how the first wave of COVID was fought back with the intervention of the PM office triggered by her Twitter message. It was genuinely fearless and an illustration in current times.

'I have written only what I could substantiate and prove', says Kiran Bedi in recently launched book 'Fearless governance'

“I did not want precious memories to die with me”, said Bedi said in an open letter to people of Puducherry explaining the purpose of writing the book.

Published: 29th January 2022 09:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th January 2022 09:11 PM The New Indian Express

Express News Service

“I have written only what I could substantiate and prove”, said Former Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi  who has captured her “precious memories of Puducherry ”as the administer of the territory between 2016 and 2021 in her  book , “Fearless Governance,” which was released recently .

“I did not want precious memories to die with me”, said Bedi said in an open letter to people of Puducherry explaining the purpose of writing the book.  

So many right things happened and thousands of several conscientious men, women and youth were associated with the changes she was making for a Prosperous Puducherry. “They needed to be remembered.  The youth and children of Puducherry, who too were integral grow up to read this history”, she said.

Thousands visited Raj Nivas as children and visitors or invitees and shared the joy of togetherness, she said . This book  will give them the sense of ownership of their most beautiful part of India and to remain vigilant and responsible for its prosperity, said Bedi.

Another reason for writing the book is  to recall all the collaborative measures  that she took,  and continued with them , such as water-rich Puducherry, Mission Green Puducherry, Swatchh Puducherry and more.  “”I know you all know much more about the region than I knew. I have written in this book  only what I could substantiate and prove. Not heard—- Only what I saw and what we did with it. I have not written anything in this which I cannot stand by evidence of any form”, she said .

This book is a work of love, respect, and fondness for the people of Puducherry. , she said adding that the Tamil version of the book  will follow soon.

Stating that the book is available in Puducherry , she wished everyone  a Prosperous Puducherry  and visit Puducherry when the Tamil version  is released.

It may be recalled that her tenure in Puducherry was marked by turf war with the then Chief minister  V Narayanasamy with both being logger heads with each other .

The travails of spearheading change

Former Puducherry Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi has, in a new book, attributed the clashes with the government through her term as much to her refusal to be a “rubber stamp” administrator as to the wilful glossing over of the laws by some in the political establishment “in the hope of keeping the Raj Nivas on edge and derailing change”.

According to Ms. Bedi, who recaps in extensive detail the frequent run-ins with the government headed by Congress Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, the bottomline of what played out in the public eye as a bitter power struggle was the resistance of the ruling political class to comply with the law, oversight of financial approvals and integrity in administration.

The tenure of the country’s first woman IPS officer, who took charge as the 24th Lt. Governor on May 29, 2016, was marked by internecine clashes over rights and powers of governance with the Congress Ministry.

The feud between the two top constitutional figures persisted through the term and came to an end only when Ms. Bedi was removed by the President on February 16, 2021, while soon thereafter the Congress government collapsed after it failed a trust vote following a series of defections in its rungs of leadership, both events unfolding days before the Assembly election was notified.

“I did not know then that it shall cost me my entire tenure of nearly five years to fix this. It came at a hefty charge on public funds, public time, and untiring efforts. It equally engaged the Government of India. Closer to my departure, existing rules and laws got judicially reiterated by the Supreme Court and Madras High Court. I left behind a legacy of legal clarity on nettlesome issues,” Ms. Bedi writes in her book, Fearless Governance (Diamond Pocket Books). The 375-page book narrates what she encountered in Puducherry in the form of resistance to “change, transparency and accountability”, whether it was politicians smashing helmets on the road to oppose enforcement of the rule, the black balloon protests led by a former Health Minister in his home town to protest attempts to audit expenditure in several projects and the dramatic dharna in front of the Raj Nivas by Mr. Narayanasamy seeking her ouster.

And, in the vein of someone immune to political correctness, she also writes about her disgust over “the munching and belching” of a guest in a passage from the chapter, “First Dinner with the Cabinet”.

If files concerning service matters, policy approvals, or Cabinet decisions were routed to the Raj Nivas, it was because they required the Lt. Governor’s approval as per the Rules of Business of Government of Puducherry, 1963, and the UT Act mandate, she states. The political establishment challenged the powers of the Lt. Governor in the courts on many vital issues. They did it despite knowing the laws and the rules. The main intention was to keep the Lt. Governor’s office on edge, “hoping to neutralise, slow it down or derail any change.

Whether it was capping the fee of medical colleges, giving voting rights to nominated MLAs, facilitating direct benefit transfer in shared schemes or selecting State Election Commissioner by an open method for the local body elections, the courts had ruled in favour of the Lt. Governor, she said.

Referring to the then “CM’s Saturday Fever” — his weekly press conferences where he was caustic about the Lt. Governor’s “autocratic” style of functioning and sidelining of the elected government — Ms. Bedi writes, “I put up with his boorish behaviour to keep the administration going. Some of us were hoping against hope that the CM would see reason and place the interest of the people of Puducherry above personal issues”.

On the episode in February 2019 when Mr. Narayanasamy launched a headline-making indefinite dharna in front of the Raj Nivas demanding that the Centre recall the Lt. Governor and to press for Statehood, Ms. Bedi writes that the bottomline to what played out in the public eye as a power struggle was “fundamental financial approvals and integrity in administration”.

“Finally, a nudge from New Delhi helped resolve the matter. We met unconditionally, but only for optics. When I look back and reflect on what could have been the fundamental purpose of this Dharna-Drama, it was to gain sympathy for the upcoming Lok Sabha seat election. They won this one. But lost in the Assembly elections,” Ms. Bedi writes.

A book titled “Fearless Governance” authored by Kiran Bedi

‘Fearless Governance’ authored by Dr Kiran Bedi has been released. She is the former Lt Governor of Puducherry and IPS (retd).

  Published On January 31st, 2022

A book titled

The book titled ‘Fearless Governance’ authored by Dr Kiran Bedi has been released. She is the former Lt Governor of Puducherry and IPS (retd). This book is based on the ground realities of nearly five years of service of Dr Bedi as Lt. Governor of Puducherry and her vast experience of 40 years in the Indian Police Service.

The author demonstrates the right practises of responsible governance. She brought about team spirit, collaboration, financial prudence, effective policing, bonding in services and decision making through fearless leadership. ‘Fearless Governance’ is a book to read, see, hear and feel for good governance and leadership.

IMS UC Ghaziabad: गाजियाबाद के आईएमएस यूसी कैंपस में छात्र- छात्राओं को संबोधित करेंगी किरण बेदी, साझा करेंगी अपना अनुभव

एजुकेशन डेस्क, अमर उजाला, गाजियाबाद Published by: संजीव कुमार झा Updated Sun, 06 Feb 2022 04:22 PM IST

सार

डॉ. किरण बेदी का जन्म 9 जून 1949 को अमृतसर में हुआ था।  डॉ. किरण बेदी ने स्कूल से लेकर स्नातक तक की पढ़ाई अमृतसर में ही की। डॉ. किरण बेदी 1972 में पुलिस सर्विस(आईपीएस) में शामिल हुई थीं और भारत की पहली महिला पुलिस अधिकारी बनीं।

डॉक्टर किरण बेदी

डॉक्टर किरण बेदी – फोटो : Amar ujala

 

विस्तार

पुडुचेरी की पूर्व लेफ्टिनेंट गर्वनर एवं देश की पहली महिला आईपीएस अफसर डॉ. किरण बेदी आईएमएस यूसी कैंपस, गाजियाबाद के विद्यार्थियों को सात फरवरी को संबोधित करेंगी। इस दौरान आईएमएस ग्रुप ऑफ इंस्टीट्यूशंस के महासचिव सीए डॉ. राकेश छारिया डॉ. वेदी की पुस्तक ‘फियरलेस गर्वनेंस’ पुस्तक का वर्चुअल माध्यम से लोकार्पण भी करेंगे।  अमर उजाला इस कार्यक्रम में मीडिया पार्टनर बना है। 

डॉ. किरण बेदी विद्यार्थियों और शिक्षकों के सवालों का जवाब भी देंगी
संस्थान के निदेशक प्रो. अजय कुमार ने बताया कि विद्यार्थियों और शिक्षकों के लिए ऑनलाइन माध्यम से सात फरवरी को एक टॉक शो का आयोजन किया जा रहा है। इस अवसर पर मुख्य वक्ता डॉ. किरण बेदी अपने अनुभव साझा करेंगी। कार्यक्रम में डॉ. बेदी द्वारा लिखित पुस्तक फियरलैस गवर्नेंस पर भी चर्चा होगी। वह विद्यार्थियों और शिक्षकों के सवालों का जवाब भी देंगी।

 

डॉ. किरण बेदी 1972 में पुलिस सेवा (आईपीएस) में शामिल हुई थीं
डॉ. किरण बेदी का जन्म 9 जून 1949 को अमृतसर में हुआ था। डॉ. किरण बेदी ने स्कूल से लेकर स्नातक तक की पढ़ाई अमृतसर में ही की। उन्होंने राजनीति विज्ञान में मास्टर्स डिग्री पंजाब यूनिवर्सिटी से प्राप्त की। दिल्ली यूनिवर्सिटी से उन्होंने कानून की डिग्री ली और वर्ष 1993 में उन्हें आई.आई.टी. दिल्ली के सोशल साइंस विभाग से इसी विषय में पी.एच.डी. (डाक्ट्रेट) की उपाधि मिली। डॉ. किरन बेदी 1972 में पुलिस सर्विस(आईपीएस) में शामिल हुई, और भारत की पहली महिला पुलिस अधिकारी बनीं