Mar 2023

Launch of Heads Held High: Salvaging State Governors for 21st Century India

Thursday, 16 Mar 2023, 6:00 pm-Thursday, 16 Mar 2023, 7:30 pm

Join Vidhi for the launch of its digital book ‘Heads Held High: Salvaging State Governors for 21st Century India′. This is the second book from Navi Books (http://navibooks.in), the open-access digital book publishing platform from the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.

The event will begin at 6:00 PM on March 16th, 2023 at the India International Centre, Seminar Hall Nos. 1 & 2Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi-110003. Mr. Shekhar Gupta, Prof. Louise Tillin and Mr. K.V. Viswanathan will be in discussion with Mr. Lalit Panda. Tea will be served from 5:30 PM. 


Governors routinely find themselves in the middle of political controversies and crises in India. While, at first glance, they may seem to be ceremonial figureheads with limited powers, these same narrow functions transform them overnight into kingmakers for state governments, or overseers who can reconsider laws, discern emergencies, and sanction sensitive criminal prosecutions. In all these critical moments involving the most political of decisions, Governors are also expected to remain non-partisan. How did the Governor come to occupy this curious role of an umpire of democracy?

In Heads Held High, authors Shankar NarayananKevin James and Lalit Panda present a full picture of this controversial office, from its colonial origins to its incorporation into the Constitution and the manner in which it has functioned since 1950. Finally, the book also reorients how we should think about the reform of this office.


  • SHEKHAR GUPTA,  Editor-in-Chief and Chairman, ThePrint;
  • PROF. LOUISE TILLIN, Director, King’s India Institute;
  • K.V. VISWANATHAN, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court and Former Additional Solicitor General;


  • LALIT PANDA, Senior Resident Fellow, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.