Governor Nikhil Kumar
It was really heartening to know that Nikhil Kumar has been made the Governor of Nagaland. Every one who has covered the crime beat in the capital as well as everyone who has covered politics knows him. Nikhil Kumar is one of the rare individuals on our national scene who has been the Police Chief, Internal Security Specialist, Head of NSG and a Parliamentarian and is now set to have another successful tenure as the Governor of strife ridden Nagaland. His elevation to the constitutional office means that he will effectively also replace K.Padmanabiah, former Union Home Secretary who was the centre’s interlocutor in the talks with NSCN and other rebel groups for the last 11 years. Nikhil Kumar has the ability and the knowledge to carry out these talks exceedingly well and is likely to also achieve a breakthrough.
I have known Nikhil Kumar for nearly three decades since he was an officer with the Delhi Police. He was elected in 2004 to Parliament from Aurangabad, a seat represented by his late father Satyendra Narayan Sinha for I think 10 times. He would have made a god minister for home or internal security had the Congress chosen to utilize his services but politics has its own logic and illogic as my friend, legal eagle and veteran politician late Devendra Dwivedi, used to say.
Nikhil did not win this year’s poll and was working to get his seat back the next time when the Congress president Sonia Gandhi hand picked him for the Nagaland Governor’s job.
It now appears that he will be succeeded by his wife Shyama Sinha to represent the Aurangabad seat the next time. Before Nikhil got into active politics, Shyama had been elected from Aurangabad in 1999.
Nikhil has many sides to his personality. He is a great hindi film music buff and I do not think there are too many people in the city who are as conversant with Hindi film music as he is. I have always wondered how he remembers the songs and the film situations so well.
Whenever I get into any doubt while writing on Hindi film music I always get back to him for accurate information. Another police chief who is very well acquainted with Hindi film music is Dr K.K.Paul, now a member of the UPSC.
Nikhil is also the second Delhi Police chief to be made Governor. The first of course was Ved Marwah whose second book has hit the stands recently. There have been several other police officers who have held gubernatorial assignments. The list includes T.Rajeshwar, Shymal Dutta, Gurbachan Jagat, ESL Narsimhan, Julio Rebeiro and B.L.Joshi. I am sure several others may be in the line.
For me and many of our friends, Nikhil is affectionately called Inspector Matadin, an imaginary character about whom the new Nagaland Governor used to talk about in the early eighties. The story about Inspector Matadin was narrated to him by another police officer Markandey Singh’s (a former Delhi Lt.Governor) son and was replayed to us while we were covering the Crime Beat. Since then we have always referred to him as “Inspector Matadin.”
I and my friends learnt many things about the police functioning from Nikhil who had this uncanny ability of narrating educative examples from his life in the police. If one got down to recounting these narratives, the whole blog could run into many pages. At this stage I can only say Good luck to my friend and hope that he will return to Delhi with his head held high. We are all proud of you Sir. Best of luck.