The Civil Services

Scene: A flood affected area of Vadodara, Gujrat
Cast: Joint Commissioner of Police , K. Kumaraswamy, riding on the shoulders of a Constable to save his feet and trousers from Flood Water!!!

Source: The Indian Express, July 2
Venky sent this in from the US. I guess, the heart skips a beat, every time such a scene is enacted, wherever you are.

The Indian Civil Services is neither civil nor is it a service said TN Seshan some years ago. It opened a pandoras box back then.

The tag of IAS, IPS, IFS etc, the accompanying red beaconed car, colonial bungalows for residences, and a huge assortment of assistants has been motivating factors for the thousands who slug it out at the UPSC examinations every year. It’s a separate industry in itself, from magazines like Competition Success Review to the Dr. Rao’s study circle.

I am told that the UPSC examination & interview test you overall capabilities. I have seen quite a few competent officers. I remember a Uma Shankar who was Dy.Collector at Madurai. And then there was a Sarandeep Singh, who was commissioner of the corporation. Also, the famous municipal commissioner of Pune. Such officers are few and far between these days. Wonder what they do in the UPSC exams.

The Indian bureaucracy was supposed to be one of the three pillars of the Indian state. It is in a sad state now, with power, corruption, pelf and treating of assigned responsibilities as a fiefdom and nothing else. Spineless subjugate to the political machinery, and partner in crime.

The more important point is the way in which officers like Kumaraswamy misuse their power and position. Constables are not around for carrying their bosses. ( I have personally seen them attend to the sons and daughters of their bosses). In times of distress, we expect the officers to wade through any distress and lead their men.. Not be worried about trousers getting wet.

This is far from civil.
This is far from service.
This is far from being Indian.

Why call it the Indian Civil Services ?

One can only hope that among the thousands who aspire for the civil services, at least a few more will stick to serving the nation well. Fearless of anything. (Atleast of flood waters) Singing as Tagore did,
Where the mind is without fear…
Let my country awake

7 thoughts on “The Civil Services

  1. unbelievable image! this is slavery! I hope the officer is sacked and it sends a message to all other officers…

  2. Coudn’t stop laughing after looking at the snap!

  3. ashok says:

    really pisses me off to see that moron riding on the backs of a constable…sigh* wat a shame!

  4. Shiva says:

    In the pre-independence era, to be precise, during the Raj, the ICS was meant only for the English and hence there were servants to clear every sh** of the master and the memsahib. As our systems is just a replica of the Raj, it’s no wonder that our bureaucrats needs people to clear their sh**. But, there are lot of officers like Silendra Babu, Kurnikal Singh, Lethika Charan ….. who adds feathers to this brand of civil services

  5. Kavi says:

    You are right shiva, we still suffer from the legacy of the Raj. We have, as in this case, carried it too far. One can only hope we dont carry it any further and the likes of Kurnikal Singh and Lethika Charan take over.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Comments about the greatness of India, or lack thereof, should not be made lighly!

    Cannot vouch for the truth of this news because I could not find the source of the original news nor the follow-up from Indian Express. However, this is worth considration. Wonder why this is suddenly so hot on blogspots after a year (July 2005)
    Update : Harsh 15 July 2005. It says he was on work for last 17 hours at that time and Thanks Harsh for the update.

  7. Kavi says:

    Mr / Ms:Ananymous, Thanks for your comment. Would like to point out that the greatness of India is not being discussed at all. Infact, that is a subject close to my heart and is not up for discussion.

    The aspects of a time gap between the news item and the article is inconsequential.

    I frankly dont know why this is hot suddenly. I feel for the country and its plight.

    And the other element of he being on duty for 17 hours, how does that empower him to be carried through flood water by a subordinate ! Think !

    We have carried it a little too far!

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