The motion is partially correct. But, a sweeping generalization would be unjust and unfair.There are  outstanding officers in civil services,who are worthy of inspiring emulation. Criticism of senior bureaucrats of MP by one Deepali Rastogi,a 1994 batch IAS officer, is well-deserved. In another recent instance, one Shah Faesal,IAS ( 2009 , J&K) lambasted his seniors and the system for not exercising freedom of conscience. His offence is far graver as he labelled India as “Rapistaan”. The Govt of India is within its right to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the two officers by invoking  the statutary Conduct Rules.These emotional outbursts arise out of intolerance and impulsive nature.

The pliability and malleability of senior bureaucrats  to please politicians has been there all along. The tendency gathers pace as bureaucrats approach retirement. They please corrupt politicians during service period in order to get coveted post-retirement assignments like governorships, nomination to legislatures, memberships UPSC, CEC, ambassadorial assignments ,heads of  superfluous committees and commissions etc. No one is willing to come out of comfort zone.They get addicted to a particular life style and they can go to any extent to maintain it. Such Politico-bureaucratic- nexus exist both at Centre and the States.All bureaucrats are unanimous on this. The retired ones, who are academically inclined, prefer to pen down their unsavoury  experiences with politicians.They  open their third eye and write memoirs cursing politicians.

Whatever one may say, the civil servant must learn to say no to politicians and take all precautions to effectively defend their career interests instead of blindly carrying out orders. Sudden outbursts by  relatively junior civil servants,will pass off with time. They will be show-caused and awarded penalties invoking  Conduct Rules. Politicians are incorrigible and will always remain supreme. All things considered, we require a strong political Will to cleans the       “Animal farms “ of all sorts of dodgy characters.There is a need to do away with all discretionary powers enjoyed by the political masters and bureaucrats in collusion with big business houses.

 

A K Saxena (A former civil servant)

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Horrible memories of  those draconian days. PM Indira Gandhi declared the state of  internal emergency on June  25,1975 across India citing threats of national security and bad economic conditions. This led to  arrests or detention without trials. No external aggression , no armed rebellion. All for retaining power by the then PM- illegally, undemocratically.

Fundamental rights were suspended and any person who opposed the govt. was either detained or arrested without the right to appeal to courts. Article 352 of the Indian Constitution that gave extraordinary powers to Indira Gandhi was misused. Elections , civil liberties were suspended.

Correspondents of foreign media were expelled. Severe censorship was imposed on local and national media. MHA informed  the Parliament in May 1976 that 7,000 persons had been arrested  for circulating clandestine literature opposing the Emergency. Lakhs of people were arrested in rural and urban areas.The Congress leaders found it an opportune time to settle scores with their personal and political adversaries.

Total  Media censorship of national media. Editorials spaces of mainstream media blanked out by censoring authority. BBC was the only source of news stories.

Indira Gandhi was ubiquitously visible anywhere, everywhere on big posters and cut-outs and  on Doordarshan, the captive national TV.

Pre-dawn  swoops by the police were order of the day. Large scale arrests/ detention of leaders of opposition , political workers, journalists, government employees, serving and retired. Information regarding  third-degree tortures of  detainees in jails kept filtering out. There was a constant fear of imminent arrests by the police.Judiciary was frightened into silence and subservience.

Fortunately, subsequent  governments introduced checks and balances to  ensure that the posterity does not  have to pass through the same nightmare once again. Prior sanction of Parliament is now obligatory for imposing emergency. The Cabinet does not have the right to impose emergency.

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Governments at the Centre and States and their associates in the country are the largest litigants. Ironically, they are also the largest losers. No one  seems to bother about the resultant loss of  revenue to public exchequer.

Government cases are usually defended in courts by standing counsels empanelled Min of Law at Centre and States. Selections involve use of discretionary powers.Subjectivity is bound to creep in. Private lawyers’ track records,success rates,merit, non-compliance of prescribed criteria and guidelines tend to get ignored for extraneous considerations. Political interference sidelines merit. Standing counsels, more often than not,fail to attach importance to government cases,giving more time to their private clients. The govt counsels  are over-awed by presence of distinguished lawyers engaged by the opposite parties on payment of hefty fees ( in cash). All government payments are made by cheques.This acts as a deterrent.

Things are not hunky dory. Situation in States far worse,shameful. A reality check and corrective measures are necessary to arrest further deterioration.

 

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“Successful” bureaucrats turning into politicians ! Number would be  legion,if, Indian states and UTs  are counted. The serving bureaucrats cannot be successful without political blessings.And,there is a price for it.Thumb rule is : You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.The serving bureaucrats get paid for politicking . Good implementers of illegal  decisions. Politically ambitious creatures. All at cost of silent majority of honest civil servants.They are rewarded, after retirement, with gubernatorial assignments, nomination into Rajya sabha, UPSC membership, Election commissioners,CAT memberships, CIC and other sinecures.Some fools join political parties after retirement. I need not spell out their details.

Coming to specifics, N K Singh, N N Vohra, K K Paul are the prominent ones. All experts in keeping successive ruling dispensations on the right side.Reasons for their  initial appointments and successive extensions,are matters of discussion in bureaucratic circles. Names of hundreds other  pseudo-intellectuals are withheld due to space constraints. Moreover,it will result in unsavoury controversies. NDA has been as brutal as the UPA. No improvement. Utter misuse of discretionary powers by political masters.

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Indiscriminate tree cutting harms the ecological balance.It is unfortunate that even the national capital Delhi has not been spared under the garb of infrastructure development. This is causing continuous fall in groundwater level in Delhi while its denizens are facing acute water shortage.

All this happening right under the nose of Supreme court. Some 17,000 out of 21,000 trees have reportedly been chopped off for redevelopment of central government accommodations in South Delhi colonies . The affected areas include colonies like Nauroji Nagar, Netaji Nagar and Sarojini Nagar. Around 11,000 trees would be cut just in Sarojni Nagar alone.

The construction agency, it is understood, has promised to plant over 10 times of trees that had to be cut in the process. These will take two decades to grow into trees.

Simplistic, irrational argument. How permission was granted by the Forest deptt for tree axing,is hard to understand. Where is the space left in south Delhi for compensatory plantation? How could compensatory plantation be the solution for cutting old trees. Given Delhi's spiking pollution levels, it is necessary that old trees are not uprooted.

Furthermore, new government houses, in lieu of the demolished ones, should be shifted from central area to elsewhere in order to decongest Delhi.

I think, builders’ lobbies are behind the great conspiracy in the name of “Infrastructure development”,leading to collusive give-and-take between engineers and builders.

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“Successful” bureaucrats turning into politicians ! Number would be  legion,if, Indian states and UTs  are counted. The serving bureaucrats cannot be successful without political blessings.And,there is a price for it.Thumb rule is : You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.The serving bureaucrats get paid for politicking . Good implementers of illegal  decisions. Politically ambitious creatures. All at cost of silent majority of honest civil servants.They are rewarded, after retirement, with gubernatorial assignments, nomination into Rajya sabha, UPSC membership, Election commissioners,CAT memberships, CIC and other sinecures.Some fools join political parties after retirement. I need not spell out their details.

Coming to specifics, N K Singh, N N Vohra, K K Paul are the prominent ones. All experts in keeping successive ruling dispensations on the right side.Reasons for their  initial appointments and successive extensions,are matters of discussion in bureaucratic circles. Names of hundreds other  pseudo-intellectuals are withheld due to space constraints. Moreover,it will result in unsavoury controversies. NDA has been as brutal as the UPA. No improvement. Utter misuse of discretionary powers by political masters.

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Let no one play the blame game. When a politico indulges in blame game, it is when they or theirs, are to blame.

BJP ,as  major coalition partner, now accuses PDP after 3 years of " Divya Gyaan " of latter’s non-cooperation and anti-nationalism. No point playing the victim’s card. Why did the BJP not leave the coalition two years back?Was it greed for power?

Was  the pullout a political necessity to escape  public criticism

The centre should  own the joint responsibility of mishandling the issue by following a faulty J&K policy.

Who prevented the BJP from opposing the mass release of stone pelters from the prisons ?

How could PDP tie hands of indian army, as some leaders seem to claim?

Why did the Centre enforce unilateral ceasefire during Ramzan? What use was the goodwill gesture by India?

It was no time for experiment.

Ad hocism dominanated  major part of coalition era.  

Some nincompoop leaders try to justify imposition of Governor’s rule in J&K stating that the indian army did not have a free hand.

PMO and MHA mandarins will have much to explain.

While confidence is a virtue, over-confidence is evil.

All said and done, give our army a free hand .

Let them give the terrorists and stone pelters a bloody nose and bleed Pakistan army/ISI through a thousand cuts.

The country stands solidly behind the indian army

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Why not induct them as Under Secretaries or Deputy Secretaries? Get familiar with the nitty gritty of government  functioning and then compete  on merit with the home-grown officers of organized services . And,why only as Joint Secretary , not lower?

Let me demystify the ulterior motive. Politically  mischievous and self-protective. It is common knowledge that any officer equivalent to the rank  of Joint Secretary and above, cannot be prosecuted by anti- corruption agencies including the CBI, without the prior approval of competent authority. The Supreme Court  struck down Section 6A(1) (a) and Section 6A(1) (b) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (Act) as unconstitutional. But,the ruling dispensation over-ruled every thing including recommendation of ARC-II.The status quo ante  was restored to protect all lateral entrants. No fear of Prevention of Corruption Act, arrest,raids,prosecution, chargesheets by CBI.

My Baap Culture

All illegalities flow from political conspiracy in cohoot with the corrupt ,pliable bureaucrats; ever ready to prostrate before the political class in lieu of coveted postings as quid pro quo. These officers will  soon be joined by their distant cousins, sorry, domain experts  from the private  turf. All are happy.The business tycoons,the most.

The honest bureaucrats are in a bind,speechless,clueless.

What  “domain expertise”,is sought to be attracted by the Centre, one wonders ? There is no dearth of talented officers in the country specializing in different fields : Economics, Statistics, Finance, army of chartered and cost accountants,  pool of  technical officers and IT professionals.

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The union government has invited applications from “ professional and experts “from private sector for induction into the " laid-back " indian bureaucracy. All as Joint Secretaries,the cutting edge for initiating policy decision making. There are ten vacancies in key ministries including Revenue, Economic Affairs, Financial Services, Civil Aviation Commerce and Shipping.

Let us be upfront in analysing the implications. The private sector honchos will play crucial role in selecting the “ most suitable candidate for the right job. The lateral entry of executives from the open market, will enable top business houses to push their favourites into policy making machinary so that they could manipulate decisions in their favour. A distinct possibility in absence of antecedents verification of aspirants by IB, IT, CBI, ED and other watchdog organisations. The ignorance of inductees about governmental functioning ,practices, rules and regulations ,will make them vulnerable to manipulation.

This is not to cast aspersions on the merit of private sector executives. But,they are not trained to uphold the doctrine of bringing maximum good to maximum people.They are trained only to maximise profit. How could career bureaucrats belonging to different Services be expected to ignore the wrongdoings ?

The criteria for selection,that is, whether through Search committee procedure or simply by pick- and- choose is not spelt out. Total absence of accountability and transparency will result in " fixed matches ".Whatever may be the selection criteria, interference by top business houses , ( euphemistically called “legitimate consultation” ) cannot be ruled out.

Here is an example.

An executive was picked up under UPA era straight from a private sector to head a miniratna PSU. He had good connections with the power that be.He rose to head a maharatna within six years. Sacked by PM Modi, investigations were carried out by the CBI, based on the inputs from C&AG about financial frauds and irregularities.The CBI is now going slow in pursuing the case.

One does not know,at whose behest ?

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The go-slow approach by ruling dispensation headed by PM Modi in investigating UPA's multiple scams ,is baffling . All cases must be taken fast-forward to logical conclusion. For pending cases , the  courts must be requested for expeditious hearing. The CJI is urged to  intervene. All remedies must be utilised to prevent miscarriage of justice. The progress of each case should be kept in public domain for scrutiny.The tax payers are entitled to know details of misappropriation of public funds and the penalty imposed. The Nation wants to know before next general elections.

The UPA’s scams (2004- 2014)read like rule book of fraudsters. One loses the way while counting zeroes in loss figures,stunned by the audacity and brazenness with which the UPA ministers flouted rules to enrich themselves ,their kins and cronies.

Action may be taken on following points :- (a)strengthen CBI’s manpower strength by filling vacancies;  (b)Fix a time frame for completing investigation ; ( c ) Giving long adjournments by courts must be banned by the CJI; (d) The defence will always  derail and delay conviction citing flimsy grounds. This may be monitored by the courts.

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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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