The conviction of Ex-Coal Secretary HC Gupta is most disappointing. For the IAS officers who were supporting him (and there were many, as per reports), this is a rude shock. For budding IAS officers, this is enough to make them cynical and question the modus operandi of the country they want to serve.

We live in a country where the voice of the majority is never downplayed. So, if the majority had the opinion that he was known for being a “dead honest” officer, I would also like to believe that. I can’t imagine what he and the other 2 officers must be going through personally. Reading the news report, I really wondered about two things:

-Is there absolutely no place for honesty in the 21st century?

-Is it even worth all the effort one puts in to get into the esteemed civil services?

Why would one not want to join the military instead? Atleast their souls and their families would be at peace, feeling proud that they laid down their lives for their country, no matter who gave the orders. Martyrdom is the relationship between a soldier and his motherland, and nobody can take that medal away from him. The posthumous medals are always decorative. It is the spirit of the soldier that is to be lauded.

The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 requires that a Special Judge be appointed. In the absence of a provision for a selection procedure for this Special Judge (the Central or State govt is entitled to appoint by way of a notification), it is all up to the Judge at the end of the day, and that makes the trial even more questionable, since the Court is not a regular Court. But assuming the Judge is honest, of what spirit are our politicians made of? Coal Scam could not have been a scam only because of the bureaucracy. The Political Executive definitely was involved (I say this without proof because the bureaucracy is supposed to be politically neutral..it is the politicians who propagate agendas and propagandas). Why don’t politicians get convicted, ever? Even if they do, they buy their way out by adopting brutally creative means. Why would we want to vote for such politicians? Why should they blame us for not going to vote, and why should a vote be spent even on the NOTA? They don’t deserve even NOTA, if they cannot let go of their greed. How they go to sleep after murdering someone, or harassing someone, or kidnapping someone, is what I wonder.

We raise the toppers of UPSC Civil Services on a pedestal one day, not aware that the person who got in might be thrown out by means of excruciating insult. Most of the aspirants are aspirants because they want to bring a change into people’s lives. I don’t know how much of themselves they recognise after a few years into service. I applaud those who somehow manage to be out of the limelight, because IAS officers in this country receive the limelight for all the wrong reasons. I am glad that in the current case, most of the IAS fraternity backs the officers. This is solidarity and unity at its best, but unfortunately, it has failed. We look up to the Judiciary because we are at the receiving end of the scale of justice, and of course, the saddest part is that the judiciary needs proof, evidence and backing and does not always judge on the basis of reputation. But sometimes, it does.

Reputation, after all, is a precious thing. Even if it is a 2-year jail, it is enough to give them scars for a lifetime, and a cynicism that they will carry to their graves. What can possibly be more important than dignity and integrity to upright officers?

Dear UPSC, you made a good choice by keeping only 980 vacancies this time. That provides less scope for cynicism in young minds. The UPSC exam ends up endowing the aspirants with enough mental endurance to handle disappointments such as not finding their roll numbers on the merit list. Dear UPSC, I am sure you are aware of the fact that there are close to 9 lakh people who actually fill the form and atleast 7 lakh people who actually sit for the exam (some of them for the fourth or fifth time). Have you ever thought that you might be responsible to some extent for the unemployment that is being caused in this country? And who would want to join the service when IAS officers are rarely in the news for the right things. It’s ok, they can take care of the unemployment scenario by admitting themselves somewhere else. Please think of creative ways to make them work harder for your exams, because clearly, apart from the life in Mussoorie, civil services seems really disappointing sometimes. And just so you know, I am not a cynical person by nature. I see the glass half-full most of the time. But I am afraid the way things happen in our country might make a cynic out of me.

P.S.- Please remove the optional papers. They serve absolutely no purpose. They bring down scores and discourage more people who are more intelligent and smarter than a few who actually get selected and could be of genuine use to the country if they were not subjected to this weird examination pattern. GS pattern rocks. But please remove the optional. Or keep them optional. 😛 Please be a little attractive for the younger generations, or you will end up losing them to MNCs, and then you will be responsible for another wave of brain drain.

 

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