E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Since I couldn’t get the darshan of Shri. Rameshwar Thakurji, Governor of Karnataka, at the Janatha Darshan last Saturday, I went to the Raj Bhavan on Sunday afternoon.
The security being what it is across the country, I had no trouble in entering the premises. I was surprised to see Hormuz Tharakan, the governor’s advisor, working in the office.
He was sitting in front of what the IT people would call a ‘Work Station’. It had a huge monitor with banks of telephones of various colours.
When I told him the purpose of my visit, he was more than willing to share the information.
“The Governor is now running Karnataka like a General moving the troops during wartime. I understand he has affected more than 1,000 transfers from the time he took after President’s Rule,” I started.
“You can call it ‘Governor’s Rule’,” agreed the affable advisor. “His transfer rate is faster than Virender Sehwag’s scoring rate at Chepauk. This is actually the governor’s desk. He works so fast, I have to come on Sundays to update all his files.”
“He must be regularly getting advice from the President?”
“Hardly. It’s the UPA chairperson who calls him on the red phone twice every hour. She can access him on this phone, even if he doesn’t pick up the handset! The green phone is used by Rahul Gandhi who believes in saving the environment. In fact, he used to call on the red phone prior to his visit to Nagarahole.”
“Why are so many transfers effected in Karnataka?”
“Quite a few are routine which happens before elections! You are aware Congress has more than half-a-dozen coordination committees for the elections. Sometimes, former CM S.M. Krishna comes with a list followed by Mallikarjuna Kharge with a totally different list. In the evening Siddaramaiah supersedes the earlier lists with a new list seeking transfers. We assign numbers to the final list and feed in to the computer.”
“How do you select who goes where?”
“That‘s simple. Our Governor is a great fan of sudoku. He has converted Karnataka map into a sudoku board. After spraying some numbers across the board, depending on his mood and calls from Delhi, he plays ‘Hard’ and ‘Very Hard’ games till lunch. Once he completely fixes all the numbers, we release the names and the places of all police officers depending on where they end up on his Sudoku board!”
“Very interesting. What about IAS officers?”
“Rahul Gandhi is his recent ‘Discover India’ trip found out there are some places in Karnataka which are so backward that they do not even know A, B or C, forget I, A or S! He wants the IAS officers to be transferred to tribal areas and has suggested they should dress in tribal attire to feel the local flavour and get closer to the tribals. He has also sanctioned a special dress allowance for them. For obvious reasons we can’t post our female officers there yet!”
“Very clever of Rahul. What are Governor’s future plans?”
“He is planning to give tahsildars, pourakarmikas, zilla panchayat chairmen, in fact all those who played hosts to H.D. Kumaraswamy, the sudoku treatment. That number will be quite substantial as you know the CM was only doing that while in power. They will all be transferred to major cities and towns.”
“Does anybody call on the blue telephone?”
“The President calls on that, though rarely. She called when she wanted to buy Mysore silk sarees from the lots shown in the exhibition by Srikantadatta Wodeyar. She also wants to travel on the Golden Chariot. We have to run it only for her family. We are yet to finalise the dates,” said the Advisor.
“I see. There were some more transfers yesterday. How many transfers is he planning?”
“The cricket buff started off, ‘If our Governor goes at the same rate of Sehwag one expects in Kanpur, he will overtake Sachin Tendulkar‘s overall Test and one-day scores, and hit 30,000 transfers before May 8!”
“That’s not bad at all. He can easily make it to Limca book of Records for largest number of transfers.”
“He is not even looking at Limca. He wants his name in the Guinness Book,” said the advisor.
Photographs: Karnataka Photo News (left), Cricket Next.com