Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In his message to the Nation on the occasion of the 57th Republic Day of India, President Kalam has called upon for eradication of corruption.

What else could he have said?

Everybody knows that corruption is killing our country. If anybody wants to say that the country be saved he or she is bound to say that corruption is to be eradicated. Dr. Kalam has done exactly this. So he has said nothing new or remarkable. His entire speech is full of wishful thinking. Hence it is of no significance except being an official admission of corruption.

The President being above politics, his Republic Day speech should have told us where the root of corruption lies and how to eradicate it. He has failed. In free India, he is a prisoner of freedom. He is a prisoner of freedom the Prime Minister and his Cabinet enjoy. Hence he has no freedom to say what he ought to have said.

Like the President, we the people of India are also the prisoners of freedom. We are prisoners of freedom that our Ministers as well as the Officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) are enjoying. When we had freed our country from the British, we had not imagined that we shall be subjugated to these two most pernicious power-players. Any idiot can become a minister in India. Therefore any IAS officer on who any minister depends for management of his ministry or department can play havoc with the general public. Our Republic has enough experience of this.

Educated persons are also becoming ministers. By class character and orientation they are such that the IAS officers are getting active collaborators in them. Therefore we do not find a minister who has taken any real action against any IAS officer for any administrative malady under him. Advani matter is a pointer. In 2000, the then Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) of India Mr. N. Vittal had informed that names of 2000 tainted officers of All India Services would be posted in website for public knowledge in order to enable the people to monitor official action against corruption. (Times of India, 29 January 2000). He also disclosed that Home Minister L. K. Advani was possessing “unaccounted money”. When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), embarrassed by the exposure, wanted to define the functioning of CVC (India Abroad, 25 Feb. 2000, p.14) it found its strongest ally in IAS officers who were managing ministries as Secretaries and thus Vittal’s endeavor to curb corruption ended in frustration.

Under the Rules of Business, Secretaries are the heads of administration of their respective ministries or departments. But their function, particularly in the context of provinces, is to direct and control administration rather than execution of projects and programs. Taking advantage of this, they remain unanswerable. This provides the most congenial climate to corruption.

The purpose of retaining the ICS after independence in the new nomenclature of IAS has been defeated as in almost all the provinces officers of this service stay glued to the state administration from joining till superannuation. Their contribution to national integration as well as integrated development of the nation is not discernible. But, as the President has admitted in his Republic Day message, the country has been drowned in corruption when these IAS officers have been controlling and directing administration.

Instead of expressing barren anxiety for eradication of corruption, it would be better if the President uses the prerogative bestowed upon him to create a climate for freeing our people from dual rule that runs by the IAS. To begin with he should start to know if there is any necessity of keeping officers of this service in the States where there are provincial administrative officers to serve the people.

We in strongly feel that the country must be freed from the IAS and every member of this service must be subjected to social audit in respect of his or her activities and assets.

To save our Republic we must save our people from the pernicious freedom the IAS officers are enjoying sans any involvement with common man in the grassroots of society.

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