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Newly recruited IAS-IPS officers: Political masters' 'loyal sycophants' in New India

Ashok Khemka, Sanjiv Bhatt
By Ajit Singh*
Civil Services Examination (CSE) results are out, and like every year, the media circus has gone gaga about it. Those who've made it to the final round and successfully cracked the daunting interview are being hailed as a hero who'll write the fate of New India for the next 30-35 years.
Many coaching centres portray the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams as a gateway for the proletariats to transition into the aristocracy. It's a dream sold to the parents' and aspirants who've worked hard all these years but are still treated as a blot on India's shining image to climb up the hierarchical ladder and experience power for the very first time in their lives.
When asked, why are they so keen to become part of bureaucracy, almost every aspirant will puke the same crammed response that they 'wish to serve the public'. But if that would be the case, how the crippling bureaucracy is used as a synonym for incompetence, corruption and inefficiency? It may be due to their terrible track record of 75 odd years.
Indeed, it's worth a celebration for politicians who've hired the smartest and quirkiest chaps through a highly competitive exam to help fulfill their sneaky agenda by every means. However, society must show the utmost abhorrence against the civil services which were established to appease the political superiors at the same time to harass and aggravate the misery of common man. At least that's the image carried forward by an average person who infelicitously had dealt with the bureaucratic jargon at some point of time in their life.
Some may argue that there are still many honest and hard-working bureaucrats whose path breaking initiatives have touched the life of many. I nod in agreement but does it mean that they need to be praised and appreciated every time for doing the bare minimum. That's the least expected from them to make a difference in people's quality of life because they can.
By far, the bureaucracy has lost its conscience and grit to stand for the right cause. Take for instance the tale of two civil servants.
The case of former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who acted as a whistleblower in 2002 Godhra massacre and exposed the chilling realities of cold blooded murders, is now serving life imprisonment in an alleged 30 years old custodial death case which many believed it to be framed under concocted evidence.
There are millions of cases of brutal custodial torture often resulting in the death of conducts and fake police encounters in this country and those cases go nowhere. But only in this particular case an officer gets life for it.
Ashok Khemka, a 1991 batch IAS officer, has been transferred 53 times in his 30 years of distinguished service. He commissioned an inquiry in 2014 into the alleged irregularities in the major land deal between DLF and a company owned by Robert Vadra.
During that time he garnered huge support from the BJP who applauded his courage to take on Congress's corruption. In 2019 when he expressed his concern about the new amendments made in Punjab land act to allow infrastructure projects in Aravali Hills and how it could potentially "destroy the already fragile environment of the National Capital Region". He was transferred again and for the 6th time since the Khattar government came to power in Haryana.
These two stories prove the fact that those who dare to speak truth to power will not be spared. You could either languish in jail and spoil your career as well as life or fight your battle while in service and continue to be hounded by vultures like politicians. 
The civil services, which were once regarded as the Iron Frame of India by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, have gone astray
It's also a lesson for those loyal sycophants in service who are so delusional to think that this symbiosis between political masters and the bureaucrats is a relationship of equals, they are inconsequential in larger scheme of things and will certainly be replaced by someone who's more better in flattery.
Statement by Frank Underwood, a fictional character from House of Cards about political journalists in the US holds true for civil servants in India, "Proximity to power deludes some into thinking they wield it."
The civil services, which were once regarded as the Iron Frame of India by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, have gone astray. The newly selected young IAS officers are most likely to be no different than their predecessors who might not even shy away to lay out the foundation of extermination camps for sheeps to the slaughter for as little as a pat on the back from their political bosses. The same goes to the IPS officers who have sworn to serve and protect the people of India but they miss no chance to wag their tails for plum postings and successful career progression. It's the Chief Justice of India who observed, "Threat to human rights are highest in police stations" and IPS officers under whose watch this is happening are complicit in this travesty of justice.
The civil services in its current format is hugely undemocratic and short off any accountability. It not only carries the relics of the colonial past but has also strengthened the stereotypical nature of Indian Civil Services (ICS) that emboldened the class divide and maintained the submissiveness of Indians for their white masters that would uphold the legacy of "Benevolent British Raj".
Adherence to any such system that favours the concept of "master and subject" is against the basic tenets of democracy and the fundamental Rights (equality before the law) enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
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*Hobbyist writer, economics, graduate, sophomore in B.Ed programme

Comments

The concept of "By the People, Of the People and for the People" in governance has been substituted by "By the Politicians, Of the Politicians and For the Politicians" with the erosion of ethics, values, and national unity, integrity, and sovereignty.
Who are to be blamed? Not the governance which consists of bureaucratic, legislative, judicial, or the press the pillars of democracy. But the people themselves. Because they are the change-makers of the system for governance. The world is riddled with SAPTAROGAS viz., Caste, Colour, Race, Religion, Region, Gender and Political Polarization. Human change is much more disastrous than climate change.
Therefore, contextually, the IAS, IPS Officers who became victims of political vendetta deserve to be worshipped for their forthright and sincere conduct in performing their duties. They are the real patriots of the country.

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