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Saturday, November 6, 1999
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Bureaucrats’ anger and disgust

MR N.D. Sharma’s article “Tale of two IAS officers — one retires hurt, other lives on images “(The Tribune, November 1), highlighting the unenviable plight of two upright bureaucrats serving Madhya Pradesh, makes exceedingly poignant reading. What a gloomy tale, indeed!

It seems quite pertinent to point out that upright bureaucrats in Himachal Pradesh also seem sailing in the same dilapidated boat as their counterparts in Madhya Pradesh. The state abounds in both types of bureaucrats referred to in the above-mentioned poignant article:

(i) Bureaucrats who resolutely stick to their cherished principles/values, brazen arm-twisting by the unscrupulous political bosses notwithstanding. The “incorrigible/unpliable” guys are, of course, hounded out of all key offices and sidelined.

(ii) Bureaucrats who take recourse to poetry to give vent to their pent up feelings of anger and disgust vis-a-vis the stinking system lest they should suffer nervous breakdown. The following piece culled out of a published poetical work, “Musings of the Confused” by Mr KC Verma, a serving bureaucrat, sounds extremely pertinent. Captioned “Scientific system of Selection”, the piece in question is a biting satire on the subject. It runs as follows:

“The Public Service Commission
decided to hold interviews
To select suitable candidates
For appointment to the posts
of college principals.
On the day of interviews
The Secretary of the Commission
Informed the Chairman of the Board of the arrival
Of government nominee and expert.
The Chairman was in midst
Of reading Punjab Kesri.
Had casually told he was preparing
To interview the candidates at the day’s Board
Secretary went back to his room.
Government nominee asked the Secretary
About her role at the Board.
Secretary replied she would have to ask questions.
“What type of questions?” She enquired.
“Type of questions you don’t have to answer yourself,
Even the answers you don’t have to know.” Suggested he.
“Now kindly prepare yourself”, further added he.
“How?” she sought guidance.
The Chairman of the Board is preparing
By reading Punjab Kesri.
You may ready yourself
by reading “Akali Patrika”, mocked he.
On condition of anonymity,
The Secretary shared sacred secret with her.
“Oh it is widely rumoured,
The Chairman possesses ineffable knack
To assess the suitability of any candidate
In any subject under the sun.
And he has mastered this art
After mugging MBD books.
Government nominee seemed flabbergasted.
But she collected herself and recollected.
During our times
The interviews were conducted
To judge mental calibre of candidate,
To assess intellectual capability
And interest in current affairs.
To appraise mental alertness, critical power of assimilation.
Depth of interest, leadership quality,
And above all political, social and moral integrity.
Then she laughed loudly and added boldly,
“What a fate waits upon this country!
Look, (un)suitable Board adjudging (Un) suitability of the candidates
for appointment as Principals
who will teach principles to youth
Of Meeting immediate needs to living
And of ultimate meaning of life”.

To conclude, let us hope, even against hope, that better sense would prevail and the powers that be would eventually give the mindless policy under question a go-by ones and for all. That way alone lies the salvation of the nation.

Ambota (Una)

* * * *

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50 years on indian independence

Row over helmets

This refers to the letter of Mr J.N. Gupta (Karnal), “Helmets: why compulsion?” (November 1). I fully endorse the views expressed by him. I humbly ask the government and the honourable court: Whose life is in danger? The person who is driving the vehicle and the pillion rider only. By not wearing helmets they are not causing any injury to a third person. They are exposing themselves to danger.

I agree that the head is the most vital organ of the body, but the other parts of the body are also equally important. Moreover, one will observe that the majority of the people wear helmets out of compulsion — untied or carrying the same in their hands to avoid challans. Untied helmets are not going to help the persons, whereas carrying the helmets while driving is more dangerous than non-wearing of helmets. As the hands are not free, it may cause accidents.

Helmets are OK for driving on the highways but there is no check. People should be advised and convinced about the benefits of helmets rather than forced to wear it.


* * * *

Define CHOGM?

Answer: Chiefs Holidaying on Government Money!



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