BJP-ruled Haryana govt backs 42 days parole  for the convicted murderer , rapist  and the most sinful Ram Rahim . The justification given  is  to enable the godman look after his fields in Sirsa district The good conduct certificate has been submitted by jail authorities to Haryana CM Khattar. As per jail manual,the parole application filed before the jail superintendent  is forwarded  to the Deputy commissioner concerned. A report is then sought from the SP and, finally , the recommendation is made by the divisional commissioner.Khattar  had the gall to  brazenly  state during TV interview :

“Any decision, which is in the interest of the state, will be taken. If we have to take any decision that is not in the interest of the state, then it won’t be taken. We have not taken any decision so far”.

A drama for garnering votes for next year’s Assembly election,is disgusting. The nexus of the ruling politicians in Haryana with Mafia stands exposed. The country is appalled, amazed and disgusted, feeling  utterly cheated by the unprincipled stand stand by Haryana CM and his ministers and BJP spokespersons.

Undoubtedly, the competent court would decide the case after taking into account the heinous crimes committed by the self-styled godman and the massive violence that followed the sect chief’s conviction in August 2017.

Another round of violence is not ruled out,in case,Haryana’s current dispensation  continues to extend its overt and covert support  to a criminal due to electoral compulsions  for retaining power by hook or by crook. Let them not be shocked to receive similar requests from other fraudsters and serious offenders like Asha Ram Bapu,his son Narain Sai, Rampal, Nirmal baba,Sachchidanand Giri (builder baba) Swami Omji and many more, still counting.

Means are not important for politicians; but ends are. Unprecedented, condemnable and unpardonable

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BJP-ruled Haryana govt backs 42 days parole  for the convicted murderer , rapist  and the most sinful Ram Rahim . The justification given  is  to enable the godman look after his fields in Sirsa district The good conduct certificate has been submitted by jail authorities to Haryana CM Khattar. As per jail manual,the parole application filed before the jail superintendent  is forwarded  to the Deputy commissioner concerned. A report is then sought from the SP and, finally , the recommendation is made by the divisional commissioner.Khattar  had the gall to  brazenly  state during TV interview :

“Any decision, which is in the interest of the state, will be taken. If we have to take any decision that is not in the interest of the state, then it won’t be taken. We have not taken any decision so far”.

A drama for garnering votes for next year’s Assembly election,is disgusting. The nexus of the ruling politicians in Haryana with Mafia stands exposed. The country is appalled, amazed and disgusted, feeling  utterly cheated by the unprincipled stand stand by Haryana CM and his ministers and BJP spokespersons.

Undoubtedly, the competent court would decide the case after taking into account the heinous crimes committed by the self-styled godman and the massive violence that followed the sect chief’s conviction in August 2017.

Another round of violence is not ruled out,in case,Haryana’s current dispensation  continues to extend its overt and covert support  to a criminal due to electoral compulsions  for retaining power by hook or by crook. Let them not be shocked to receive similar requests from other fraudsters and serious offenders like Asha Ram Bapu,his son Narain Sai, Rampal, Nirmal baba,Sachchidanand Giri (builder baba) Swami Omji and many more, still counting.

Means are not important for politicians; but ends are. Unprecedented, condemnable and unpardonable

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Govt of India has been consistently following the policy of Rotational transfer of its employees every 3 years. Reason : to disable them  from developing vested interests and stop from indulging in corrupt practices. The rule has stood the test of time. All State governments are following  same policy, which was laid down after careful consideration by several bodies including the Administrative Reforms Commissions , CVC, Standing / Select committees etc. DOP&T’s guidelines apply across the board to  bureaucracy.  Personal sections of ministers, considered as sensitive postings, come within the purview of the aforesaid guidelines.

Now comes the surprise move by the ruling dispensation.The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC)  headed by the PM ,has reversed the policy. The ACC  has fixed a tenure of 10 yrs for the personal staff of central ministers. No wonder,the policy will start covering the entire bureaucracy.The new rule of “ freezing” erstwhile  appointments for further five years at a stretch ,is fraught with serious implications on the role of Ethics in bureaucracy. It has hit the very basis of rotational transfer policy.

A little suspicion . Was the new rule prompted by considerations of legitimising extended tenures of personal staff of erstwhile Ministers who were cherry-picked to continue in the new council of ministers. Members in personal staff  are expected to ensure implementation of  unethical orders of ministers- by hook or by crook. Changes in transfer policy guidelines of all Cadres will  required. 

During the misrule of Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, officers were continued ad infinitum in violation of rules. Position went berserk when Madam Sonia Gandhi remained as the de facto Prime Minister for ten years.

Public expects PM Modi to be different.Even, Principal Secretary and Addl Pr Secy in the PMO are continuing with elevated status. But,their cases stand on a different footing.Not comparable to ministers’ personal  staff. However, no one should be considered indispensable in bureaucracy. PM Modi is expected to learn lessons from  UPA scams instead of repeating same blunders.

If, lessons are not learnt, the history is bound to repeat itself.

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The selective decision to transfer Nine  PSUs from Defence ministry  to M/Heavy Industries&PE,seems bizarre.Why single out MOD, especially when status of about 250 other central utilities remain unchanged. Is  there any  trust deficit with Raksha mantri ? Is new RM, like his illustrious predecessors, not  competent enough to manage PSUs under his charge? Was there prior consultation with him , one wonders?

There is surely something more to it than meets the eye.

Recall the “ alleged leakage “ of MOD’s file notings  related to Rafael deal. PM must surely be upset with it .Was any internal or external inquiry carried out? If,so,with what results? How did the leaked information reach the Congress President  to embarrass the ruling government ? Was there any Corporate rivalry? Whatever may be the reasons, a repeat of leakage has to be prevented as it has a bearing on the  national  security?

No doubt, it is PM's prerogative to change  orders on Allocation/Transaction  of Business rules ,re-structuring of ministries etc or even fix the inter se seniority among ministers. But, arguments should be buttressed  by logic .

Justification given by the “ think-tank committee” for recommending transfer of  nine defence PSUs from MOD ( Nodal ministry)  to M/Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises,does not stand to reason.

The Department of Heavy Industry seeks to achieve its vision by providing necessary support to the Auto, Heavy Engineering, Heavy Electricals and Capital Goods Sectors.Every ministry is responsible for bolstering profit making Public Sector Enterprises as well as restructure and revive sick and loss making Public Sector Enterprises under its administrative control .

M/Heavy industry has about 25 PSUs under its controle.A majority of these are loss-making. Against this  background, what is the logic behind transferring additional  Nine defence PSUs which are   engaged in manufacturing  sensitive defence-related equipment. All  profit making.

There has to be some connect between the functions of a nodal ministry and the core competence of PSUs under its charge.

Going by government logic, why not shift the administrative  control of all Oil and Power utilities from the Petroleum and Power ministries respectively to Heavy Industries ?

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Contemplating switch over from Parliamentary to  Presidential form of government ,seven decades after independence could be part of the wishlist of the present ruling dispensation. But,it is the favourite timepass for the aimless and unproductive bureaucrats in the corridors of power.

No wonder that even former Prime minister Ms Indira Gandhi had secretly toyed with the idea of exercising all executive powers as President of India. All after getting brute majority in Parliament. After tasting power ( 15 years as CM Gujarat plus 5 years as country’s PM) PM Modi is also attracted to the pampering makeover as the combined  Head of Government  and the State like the US President .

Who does not want Authority without Accountability ?.But, the ground reality is in a state of flux. No permanence should be attached to the phenomenon of brute majority.The electorate is impatient. It wants rapid results  of its expectations than are possible from the new policies of Modi sarkar 2.0 in ‘ Naya Bharat’.

Failing this, the unpredictable electorate can always switch to a different party at the next general election in 2024. Worse,  there is a great danger of  Political gridlock  whenever the Presidential head  and the legislative majority are from different parties.

Indian citizens are very sharp and intelligent. Never underestimate them.

They are becoming increasingly aware of the growing tendency in PM Modi towards authoritarianism. All decisions on governance appear to be Modi-centric. Bureaucrats see  him as a “ Control freak ”,who loves centralisation of powers in the PMO but hates decentralisation and delegations of authority. Hates Accountability,too .

Decisions like lateral entry into bureaucracy, appointments of retired civil servants etc are merely symptoms, manifestations ,omens of  a deeper malaise.

Politicians think they know everything; but, actually they know nothing.

BJP may have a comfortable position in the Rajya Sabha in due course besides brute majority in Lok Sabha.

But, re-writing or amending the Constitution of India will not be so easy that can be done with eyes shut.

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Moradabad DM Rakesh Kumar, as per media reports ,locked up journos in the district hospital to shield Chief minister against quizzing by the inquisitive media persons. The job  needs careful handling by the bureaucracy. Locking them up in the city hospital is crass insensitivity, stupidity.

The Fourth estate is under threat – both by the political and bureaucratic arms of the Executive. The short point for consideration is : Should DOPT & AR headed by the Prime minister himself, take measures to rationalise the recruitment process of UPSC ?

Consider a few suggestions. Assessing cognitive knowledge of civil services aspirants alone does not suffice. Special traits located through Personality Tests ( PT) conducted by the UPSC, must be given higher weightage. Securing a pre-fixed minimum marks in PT ,must be made mandatory.The practice was prevalent in earlier times.

Growing insolence of politicians is fueled by the pliability and spinelessness of bureaucrats.They are untrained in handling the uncouth political class,who are everready to frighten the timid bureaucrats by giving taste of their tongue lashing. Handling the Fourth Estate requires skillful handling by the bureaucrats,which they lack.

The opportunistic,ambitious and spineless bureaucrats can go to any limit to please their political masters. For accelerated promotions, good postings. Quid pro quo deals. Unethical. The brazen misconduct is disheartening.

This is the unanimous view of the veteran civil servants.

 Will hiring domain experts through lateral entry from the open market , help retrieving the pristine glory of Civil Services,one wonders ?

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PM Modi failed to punish the corrupt in 1st term. Voted back in 2019, the public with higher expectations is keeping a close watch on Modi-2 sarkar. Unwilling to be fooled again in 2nd term.

PM Modi had left the punishment task totally incomplete. Rather, gave it the lowest priority.

India's most wanted: the Nehru- Gandhi dynasty, the Chidambaram, Karti, Mallya, Choksi, Vadra, Lalit,Nirav Modi, Tharoor, several UPA ministers etc are all having a free run.

People not only wanted to vote out the corrupt but also want them to be punished, at least now, without delay.

The reasons for granting frequent and long adjournments and bails by courts ,must be diplayed in public domain.

Why blame India's Kanoon ?  Blame,India's laidback Judiciary.

Culprits are receiving frequent bails, adjournments by Indian courts without substantive justifications. Subordinate courts are not accountable to higher courts.At least,so it seems.

The system is flawed. The Collegium system looks like a private club.

A total revamp of courts, including investigation into the assets of corrupt judges  has been long over due.

Concept of NJAC as the only transparent  alternative must be revived . Kanoon koh bhi badal daalo. An amended bill must be passed  afresh by the Parliament making it mandatory for the Apex court to enforce the Law.

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The recent incidents of political misbehaviour with the bureaucrats at the Centre and the States, have been very disturbing.These have jolted the conscience of the common man.It is time for their punishment and withdrawal of undeserved privileges.

Politicians in India enjoy extra-ordinary privileges. All from public exchequer. Free furnished bungalows, Security, unlimited telephone calls, free power, car fuel, passes for Rail, Air trips and many more. And, above all,food at highly subsidised rates in Parliament and State legislatures (Rs 20/25 for Veg/ non-Veg thalis).

They have the authority to fix their Salaries, allowances and privileges. No debates, no walkouts.  Total unanimity among elected representatives,cutting across party lines. All adding up to lakhs of crores of rupees per annum out of  public exchequer. No austerity measures. The politicians take pride in behaving in the most uncivil, uncouth and arrogant manner.  Such  brazen display of  VVIP status and high comfort levels are abhorent to common man.

I am amazed by the hospitality guidelines issued by the then Chief Secretary ,UP for hosting MPs ,MLAs and local politicians by officers in their chambers. Micro details include asking for cold water and nimbu-paani in the first round followed by chai or coffee with two spoons of  sugar, biscuits,burfi etc in the second round. Receiving the VVIPs at the portico and escorting them to officers’ chambers and the reverse. Such heightened scale of hospitality to politicians who are ever ready to give taste of their tongue-lashing to bureaucracy,if the job is not done. All, at the behest of CM Yogi.

No VVIP status for politicians. Remove all VIP security covers barring  the usual exempted categories like the President, PM, SC Judges, HM, Raksha mantra, Finance minister, NSA.

Media had reported security cover for NSA’s son. What is the threat perception to the son who is a private person? No Z+ Security covers for Priyanka Gandhi , her family including Vadra  and Rahul Gandhi. One body guard for the rest.

Why should Tax payers hard-earned money be utilized for such senseless expenditure , one would like to know? Why separate bungalows and separate security covers for them.

Ethics committees of Parliament are urged to lay down clear guidelines for LS/RS members. Non-compliance  must attract appropriate penalties.There is a need to discipline MPs by the Parliament, not mollycoddle them.

Parliament must intervene. All MPs must be asked to stay at borders, share boardings and lodgings  with army jawans, para-military forces etc.This will  help them in inculcating  fine qualities of head and heart. A week-long stay, once every quarter in a year in difficult terrains including insurgency –infested areas , would suffice in imparting them lessons in austerity and tolerance .Let them come out of their comfort zones. Same drill  may be ordered by States’ Assemblies to cover their MLAs.

 

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Govt of India has been consistently following  the  policy of Rotational transfer of its employees every 3 years. Reason : to disable them  from developing vested interests and stop  from indulging in  corrupt practices. The rule has stood the test of time. All State governments are following  same policy, which  was laid down after careful consideration by several bodies including the Administrative Reforms Commissions , CVC, Standing / Select committees etc. DOP&T’s  guidelines  apply across the board to  bureaucracy.  Personal sections of ministers, considered as sensitive postings, come within the purview of the aforesaid guidelines.

Now comes the surprise move by the ruling dispensation.The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC)  headed by the PM ,has reversed the policy. The ACC  has fixed a tenure of 10 yrs for the personal staff of central ministers. No wonder,the policy will start covering the entire bureaucracy.The  new rule of “ freezing” erstwhile  appointments  for further five years at a stretch ,is fraught with serious implications on the role of  Ethics in bureaucracy. It has hit the very basis of rotational transfer policy.

A little suspicion . Was the new  rule prompted by considerations of legitimising extended tenures of  personal staff of  erstwhile Ministers who were cherry-picked to continue in the new council of ministers. Members in personal staff  are expected to ensure implementation of  unethical orders of ministers- by hook or by crook. Changes in transfer policy guidelines of all Cadres  will  required. 

During the Nehruvian and Gandhian times, officers were continued ad infinitum in violation of rules. Position went berserk when the Congress supremo during UPA, remained as the de facto CEO for ten years.

Public expects PM Modi to be different.Even, Principal Secretary and Addl Pr Secy in the PMO are continuing with elevated status. But,their cases stand on a different footing.Not comparable to ministers’ personal  staff. However, no one should be considered indispensable in bureaucracy. PM Modi is expected to learn lessons from  UPA scams instead of repeating  the similar blunders.

If, lessons are not learnt from history, it is bound to repeat itself.

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At long last,a beginning has been made in sacking bureaucrats on charges of corruption and non-performance.Section 56 (J) remained mostly non-functional,dormant for decades due to lack of political Will. All erstwhile ruling dispensations protected their pliable, corrupt bureaucrats especially during UPA misrule. All on quid pro quo basis.

Strangely, several UPA scamsters continue to prosper till date in Indian bureaucracy. Thanks to their powerful  political connections. This explains why despite best intentions even,PM Modi failed to invoke provision of FR 56 (J) during the first stint.

Removing the deadwood  is not a one-time but a continuous job. Cadre authorities of all organised services must be ordered to complete the exercise within three months in the current initiative and sack the delinquent officers.

Similar action is required to be taken by State governments especially against staff and officers posted in local bodies having large public interfaces.

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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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