This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Digant Raj Kapoor. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

The Reasons Why Kiran Bedi Was Appointed Lt. Governor Of Puducherry

More from Digant Raj Kapoor

By Digant Raj Kapoor:

Kiran Bedi’s national prominence is undisputed. Bedi was the first woman to have joined the officer ranks of Indian Police Service (IPS). During her 35-year tenure, she reached the highest rank of the IPS (Director General of Police Research and Development). Bedi had also served as police advisor to Secretary General in United Nations in the Department of Peace Keeping Operations in New York.

However, given her disastrous performance in the 2015 Delhi elections as the chief ministerial candidate, her political relevance is questionable. Which is why her most recent posting as the Lt. Governor of Puducherry is a curious one. On one hand it signals a certain political relevance – that Bedi is considered a leader in the BJP. On the other hand, it remains rather symbolic – a pity posting to temporarily appease Bedi, but more importantly, an apology from the BJP’s senior leadership to the party at large. As someone who worked extensively on the Delhi election campaign, I find considerable evidence to support the latter rationale. Here’s why.

Bedi Is A Bureaucrat, Not A Political Leader

NEW DELHI, INDIA - JANUARY 31: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and Delhi chief Ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi during an election rally at Karkardooma on January 31, 2015 in New Delhi, India. Modi accused the Aam Aadmi Party of back stabbing the residents of the national capital. He said, "People can make a mistake once, but not again and again. One year back, Delhi people had voted with dreams. Last year, those whom you people voted fir, back stabbed you and shattered your dreams." (Photo by Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Credit: Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images.

For one, Bedi is a bureaucrat, not a political leader. Her stature stems from the work she championed or accomplished as a high-ranking bureaucrat within government institutions. Her leadership style is authoritarian, in the sense that her subordinates obey her because they have no choice. If anything, Bedi flourishes within a strict hierarchy. While this enabled her to excel as an IPS officer, her inability to connect with people was a major contributor to her epic failure from the safest BJP assembly constituency during the 2015 Delhi elections. Krishna Nagar had voted the BJP to power for the last 25 years.

In politics, the team that gets you elected is not on your payroll, nor do they have to listen to you. If you cannot make nice with party workers, then your political career will be short lived.

Removing Bedi From The National Spotlight

It is no secret that Amit Shah and Narendra Modi’s heavy-handed miscalculations in the Delhi elections angered the Delhi BJP unit. The BJP won all of 3 seats out of 70. Bedi’s posting to Puducherry, a small coastal town that does not enjoy the national spotlight, seems to be in part to atone for their mistakes.

If Shah or Modi held Bedi in high regard, they would have appointed her to be the governor of a major, politically relevant state (e.g. UP or Bihar), rather than banish her to an obscure Union Territory. Moreover, this posting makes it more likely that Bedi will no longer be a part of the media cycle.

Continuing To Abuse The Office Of The Governor

Both Congress and the BJP are guilty of politically abusing appointments to governorships, a constitutional role that should be occupied by someone apolitical. The best-known example is Delhi, where the BJP allegedly exploits the office of the Lt. Governor to exert political influence and subvert the AAP government’s efforts. The most recent example of this is the proposed app-based premium bus service, which was red-flagged by the Lt. Governor. The more publicised incidents include the hijacking of the ACB, the DDCA row, and the JNU case.

Will Bedi be a political pawn in Puducherry? The timing of the appointment suggests so. In fact, the appointment came three days after the Congress-DMK alliance won 17 seats in the 30-member Puducherry Assembly.

Sheila Dikshit
Sheila Dikshit.

Here’s another point to consider: the office of the Lt. Governor of Puducherry had been vacant for two years and was being administered by the Lt. Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Island (Lt. Gen. A. K. Singh). This fact further brings into question the timing of Bedi’s appointment. After all, why was there a sudden need to fill this position?

A Governor is the representative of the President of India to the State. Similar to the President, the Governor is supposed to ensure that the state government is upholding the Constitution. Unfortunately, governorships have become a place for the unelectable, but politically connected, to live out their remaining years. Sheila Dikshit’s appointment as Governor of Kerala – albeit short-lived – is telling.

Although there was no imminent possibility of Bedi re-joining forces with AAP, reporters have continuously asked Kejriwal whether he would ever welcome prominent dissenters such as Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav, or Kiran Bedi, back into the fold, to which he has said AAP’s doors are always open. Well, packing Bedi off to Puducherry, as far away from the AAP stronghold as is geographically possible, certainly seems to close this door – at least for now.

You must be to comment.

More from Digant Raj Kapoor

Similar Posts

By Ritwik Trivedi


By Sonali Pandey

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below