September 1619

Vrindaban Widows

Breaking taboos, celebrating Holi by Vrindaban widows, is a path breaking event.

A peaceful and subtle sociological revolution seems to be taking place, pregnant with many possibilities..

Females' entry into sanctum sanctorum of hindu temples , could be around the corner, despite stiff opposition by the self-proclaimed thekedars of Sanatan Dharma.

May be Bhumata Brigade's attempt at entering the prohibited inner sanctum of the Shani Shingnapur temple, could succeed, if, wisdom dawns on high priests.

Indian muslim women might feel motivated to assert their right to enter dargahs like the Haji Ali's stand the scrutiny before the Court of law. The law makers are expected to take the initiatives to remove the anomaly in the context of the doctrine of "Right to Equality before the Law ".

 

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September 1619

Visit to JNU

A chance visit to JNU.

We may not agree with its ideological over-reach, treading into 

prohibited areas of " sedition and separatism ", but JNU seems to be 

the most liberated spot in the groves of academia. 

Also called the hot bed of the left-wing activists.

A far cry from the traditional centres of learning in India.

Though students are easily mainstreamed,giving them a long rope, would be disastrous,if, past experience is any guide..

Checks are necessary to preserve the youth's potential.

Once, reined in and nurtured in careful hands,they could shape into wonderful politicians, more mature than the present self-seeking political class..

Ms Shehla Rashid of Kashmir ,Vice President of JNU students union,seems balanced in contrast to loose cannons like Kanhaiya Kumar,,Anirban and Khalid et al.

All should all be kept under the radar.for not going astray.

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The Supreme Court after reversing Kerala High court orders, had stayed disciplinary proceedings (initiated by Kerala government) against a 1998 batch IAS officer, B Ashok. This will have serious repercussions on civil services. The officer, in an article published in 2013, had supported the then Gujarat chief minister (now PM Modi)’s visit to a function in Kerala—something, the state government had opposed ostensibly on extraneous considerations. The civil servant is expected to be politically neutral. Contributing an article against state govt’s decision, in print media was not permitted save with prior approval of competent authority. The officer could have expressed his opinion independently and fearlessly on official files instead of through a newspaper article. The State govt was within its legitimate right to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the officer for violation of Conduct Rules. GOI should take a holistic view to avoid embarrassment. The decision would boomerang unless remedial measures are taken by GOI. How would it react if its officers start opposing its policies in newspaper articles, promoting chaos and impacting governance adversely?

DOP&T as nodal authority, is expected to move the case forward to logical conclusion by filing SLP in the  Apex court with  prayer for reviewing its verdict.

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The media reports of a Delhi Police inspector allegedly misbehaving and sexually harassing 24 women constables posted in the Provisioning and Logistics unit, are disturbing. Complaints filed by the aggrieved five months back followed by another two months back with ACPs, DCPs,failed to evoke any response, till the racket was exposed by the Media. Who is to blame? Delhi police for its masterly inactivity and callousness? Or, the sex maniac inspector? The matter stands referred to sexual harassment committee. Attempts could be made to influence the course of investigation. Safety of aggrieved police women is paramount.

Though, this seems to be an open and shut case, it would be appropriate to refer the matter to CBI. The accused could be dismissed  by the competent authority as part of departmental action  based on  positive recommendations by the committee .This should  be followed by filing an FIR, further  investigation  by  CBI to decode ramifications of  the racket ,filing chargeheet ,conviction and punishment by the court under IPC.

The public would be interested in knowing the invisible hand that blocked initial investigation against the accused after the first complaint was filed.

 

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The IAS officers association’s appeal to GOI for amending PC Act (1988)and  CrPC  ( 1973) to help the serving and retired officers  in litigation matters  by hiring for for them eminent lawyers out of  tax-payers funds. The demand from an “ elite “ association is irrational , reprehensible and fraught with dangerous repercussions. Similar demands from  “ aam “ Services to protect officials at lower echelons, could not be resisted.

Former coal secretary H C Gupta refuses to take legal assistance in coalgate scam on the plea that he could not afford a ‘ good lawyer ‘.Way out is simple? Let him co-operate with CBI investigations and reveal the roles of all black sheeps under Congress-led  UPA dispensation, who might have manipulated him.

Coming close on the heels of coal scam, Association’s motive seems suspect. What,it means in actual ? If, a retired or serving delinquent officer is under prosecution by the CBI on charges of corruption,as per IAS association’s proposition ,  GOI or State govts should have the  responsiblity to arrange  an ‘ eminent lawyer’ to defend the accused in the hierarchy of courts (Trial courts to Supreme court )against the CBI and its advocates. This would not be pro bono.The private lawyer’s fee , running into lakhs and crores of rupees, will be charged to the Consolidated Fund of India. The proposition is ludicrous, financially inappropriate and legally untenable on grounds of discrimination besides causing huge public embarrassment to the governments at the Centre and States. Another financial scam in the making ?

It is not the governments’ responsibility to defend the accused for offences committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act. At the same time, it is not in the mandate of IAS Association to vouch for any members honesty and give a clean chit. This is precisely what is happening in the coalgate scam ,even while it is subjudice.The issue should better be left to the Judiciary to decide  in the light of evidences/ witnesses garnered by the CBI.The governments should, however, not object to  Services Associations creating their own Corpus Funds, through donations by its members, to meet such contingencies.

PM Modi may please take the call for holistic consideration.

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Corruption is not the sole monopoly of the IAS. Members of all organized services are genetically similar.These come from the same stock. The “sanskari “  babus  become corrupt after  having taste of power and authority. Do not blame UPSC , a specialized body, for faulty recruitment. Associating Nobel laureates, Sociologist, Union Home Minister, Union Finance minister, union minister for External affairs and Union Cabinet secretary  with the selection process, is  far-fetched  and  unworkable.

Blame the decline in quality of civil servants on growing moral decay in indian society. Absence of transparency, accountability and failure to provide effective services delivery mechanism are blocking  Good  governance. Most importantly, the bureaucrats’ willingness  to go  overboard to please their  political masters. Their pliability to political class was most pronounced during the UPA era due to corrupt leadership.  What we need today is a strong political leadership to get us out of the moral slump that we are in. PM Modi is our man Friday.

Let us be upfront. Do not overlook the negative impact of reservation policy  and concomitant age-relaxations  on the quality of Civil Services . Factors like : providing unlimited chances   and  no age bar to appear  in UPSC exams to  aspirants belonging to certain categories, need to be re-visited. Grandparents cannot match their grandchildren aged 21 years, even in same community.

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The unsavoury controversy will never be set at rest. Though, the Chairman 7th CPC observed : “ there is no justification of 2 years edge/ gap which is an archaic concept “.  the GOI remains a mute bystander incapable of resolving the issues. Instead of  wasting  time on bickerings ,It will be appreciated if, all organized Services jointly endeavour to work for Good governance. There is a crying need to  make the system responsive, transparent and make the service delivery mechanism effective. Instead of dancing to the tune of politicians, let the bureaucracy voice its joint opposition to all kinds of discretionary powers bestowed on the political class which is the bane of corruption in  Indian society.

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About A.K.Saxena

A K SAXENA, an Indian national, is a retired civil servant from Government of India He is also a freelance journalist with several published investigative articles and columns in various fields to his credit. His writings are a reflection of his interest in writing on divergent themes and making the topics relevant to a wider audience. A post graduate in Chemistry from University of Delhi,he could not sustain his interest in pursuing research and instead chose to enter the government service through the IAS etc exam held by the UPSC. “KALASAVYA” that brought out several publications besides organizing cultural shows.


You can contact me at

aksaxena1947@gmail.com

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