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LIST OF NEWSPAPERS COVERED

ASIAN AGE

BUSINESS LINE

BUSINESS STANDARD

DECCAN HERALD

ECONOMIC TIMES

FINANCIAL EXPRESS

HINDU

HINDUSTAN TIMES

INDIAN EXPRESS

PIONEER

STATESMAN

TELEGRAPH

TIMES OF INDIA

TRIBUNE

CONTENTS

BACKWARD CLASSES 3-8

CIVIL SERVICE 9-18

EDUCATION 19-30

EMPLOYMENT 31-33

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 34-36

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 37-39

LABOUR 40-42

LIBRARIES 43

POLICE 44-45

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT 46-54

POVERTY 55-57

PRESIDENTS 58-62

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 63-65

SOCIAL PROBLEMS 66-68

TRAINING 69

TRANSPORT 70-71

WOMEN 72-73

BACKWARD CLASSES

STATESMAN, APR 17, 2016



Struggle against castes – I

Nini Chanda
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, reverentially referred to and addressed as Babasaheb, played a crucial role in designing the political and civic canvas of India. His vast knowledge in a wide range of subjects buttressed his role as scholar, teacher, lawyer, parliamentarian, administrator, journalist, political leader, social reformist, and as the chief architect of the Constitution. He was widely acknowledged as the saviour of those whom traditional Hindu society condemned as Untouchables. He dedicated his life to the uplift of the downtrodden, and the building of the Indian nation.
Social reformers, pre-eminently Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Rabindranath Tagore, Raja Rammohan Roy, et al had fought against the caste system. However, they viewed the caste system from “outside” as they themselves did not belong to the lower caste. But Ambedkar looked at the caste system from within as he belonged to the Hindu Mahar caste, whose members were treated as untouchables and subjected to intense socio-economic discrimination.
Ambedkar had to suffer unspeakable humiliation because of his social background. Once when he and his brother were going to Goregaon to meet their father, they were thrown out of the bullock cart when the driver came to know that they belonged to the untouchable class. In the scorching afternoon heat, the two brothers begged in vain for water. To quench unbearable thirst, the young Bhimrao drank water from a well. On being noticed, he was beaten up mercilessly. A barber, who used to clip the hair of buffaloes, refused to cut their hair for fear of defiling his razor. Washermen refused to wash their clothes. Once on his way to school, Bhimrao had taken shelter near the wall of a house to avoid the rain. 
On seeing him, the lady of the house angrily pushed him into the rain and muddy water.
In school, Ambedkar along with other untouchable children were made to sit on the floor on a gunny bag in one corner of the classroom. The teacher never attended to or assisted them. In fact they never condescended to touch their notebooks. If those children needed to drink water, somebody belonging to a higher caste would pour water into their upturned mouths, for they were not allowed to touch either the water or the container. This task was usually assigned to the school peon, and on days when the peon was absent, the boys remained thirsty.

In Hindu society, professions other than scavenging, removal of dead cattle, etc., were out of reach for the untouchables. They were barred from entering places of worship. An area in the village was separately circumscribed for their dwelling. They had no access to the public wells and tanks which the caste Hindus used.


While pursuing his brilliant academic career in America and England, Ambedkar was away from the malaise of casteism. But on completion of his education abroad, he had to suffer the sting of untouchability once again. In his workplace the employees of the office, instead of handing over files to him, would throw them at him, maintaining a distance. Such humiliation kindled in Ambedkar the fire of hatred for varna, caste and untouchability.
In 1924, Ambedkar formed the Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha (Depressed Classes Welfare Association). To mobilise his followers he established other organisations like the Independent Labour Party, the All-India Scheduled Caste Federation, the Samaj Samata Sangh, the Samata Sainik Dal, etc. The privileged orthodox Hindus did not allow the untouchables to take water from the local Chowdar tank. In 1927 Ambedkar conducted the famous Mahad Satyagraha or non-violent resistance to assert the right of the untouchables to use public wells and tanks. This resulted in a confrontation with caste Hindus. The Manusmriti was publicly burnt. This dealt a blow to Hinduism, for it was a pointer to the fact that the untouchables were ready to stand up against the restrictions enforced and demands imposed on them by the caste Hindus. 
Between 1930-1932, Ambedkar participated in three Round Table Conferences in London as a representative of the depressed classes. The objective was to introduce constitutional safeguards. In his undelivered speech to the Jat Pat Todak Mandal of Lahore, Ambedkar said that in the fight for swaraj one fights with the support of the entire nation on his side, but to undo untouchability one has to fight against the whole nation, and that too on one’s own. In his editorial in the Bahishkrit Bharat, Ambedkar wrote that if Tilak had been born among the untouchables, he would not have raised the slogan “Swaraj is my birthright”, but would have instead raised the slogan, “Annihilation of untouchability is my birthright”. Ambedkar played a pioneering role in the legal abolition of untouchability, which is embodied in Article 17 of the Constitution -- “Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of ‘untouchability’ shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law”.
Ambedkar strongly believed that the victims of injustice and oppression should win justice for themselves by concerted effort. He thus raised the slogan -- “Educate, organise and agitate”. He believed that an educated person seldom gets de-tracked. To be organised is to be united, and unity fosters solidarity, determination, courage, discipline and the right spirit to fight for justice. The strength of an organisation can be compared to the joint strength of the five fingers of the hand. Agitation is not a mode of terrorism, but is an effort to resolve problems through peaceful, constitutional means.
Ambedkar envisaged social reform in two senses -- (a) Reforms of the Hindu family, and (b) Reforms or reconstruction of the Hindu society. Women were denied education during the Smriti period. During the time of Ambedkar, there was a change in the minds of men and they wanted to educate their women. But Ambedkar did not primarily concern himself with female education, or with such issues as widow remarriage and the evils of child marriage. His emphasis was on the reconstruction of the Hindu society. He maintained that there could not be any political or economic reform unless the “monster” of the caste-system was killed.
WC Bonnerjee denounced Ambedkar’s insistence on the priority of social reform over the political, saying “I have for one no patience for those who say we shall have no political reform unless we have social reform. Are we not fit for political reform because our widows do not remarry, or our girls are married off at an early age than in other countries?” In Bonnerjee’s reckoning, reform simply meant change in the women’s social status. 
Ambedkar was opposed to such remarks; he realised that caste hierarchy with its graded unity ran counter to national unity. As a nationalist at heart, he insisted on social reform in the form of abolition of the caste system.
He argued that if society remained fragmented, then swaraj would only mean slavery of the lower castes to the upper castes. In his bid to end casteism, Ambedkar faced opposition from caste Hindus as well as anti-casteists because he criticised Hinduism per se and called for the abolition of the inhuman social evils it nurtured.
(To be concluded)

The writer is Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Calcutta.


STATESMAN, APR 18, 2016

Struggle against castes-II

Nini Chanda
Advocates of the caste system argue that it is just another expression for ‘division of labour’ and if division of labour is not an evil, then why should caste be an evil? The casteists argue that before the advent of industrialisation, every person had to perform a task all by himself. This naturally slowed down the process of production, for it took a long time for each job to be completed. Adam Smith in his Wealth Of Nations explains this with the example of pin-making which involves eighteen separate operations. But after the Industrial Revolution, labour was divided and each person was assigned a specific job. This changed both the quality and quantity of products. Division of labour encouraged a person to concentrate on one aspect of the job, and accordingly he acquired expertise in the task. It was argued that the quality of work got enhanced if each caste was assigned a specific job.
In the Gita and the Mahabharata, the principle of the division of labour devolves on the inherent qualities of people. In the Mahabharata, ‘class’ is defined by the activities of the people. For example, the virtues of forgiveness, meditation, truth-telling are distinctive qualities of Brahmins. However, if these qualities were manifest in a Sudra, then he would be considered a Brahmin. This concept has been reiterated in Aryanaka Parva. Clearly, in the epics, the foundation of the division of caste was not social birth, but natural qualities and activities of the individual.
In the Vedic period, varna division was made on the basis of svabhaba. Predominance of gunas-sattva, rajas and tamas was the criterion of differentiating varnas. The Rigveda states that Brahmins were born through Brahma’s mouth, Khatriyas through the hands, Vaishyas through the hip, and Sudras through the legs; but all parts of the human body and therefore of equal importance. In the Rigveda there was no hierarchy of caste. But later from the Smrti period onwards varna was determined on the basis of birth, not svabhaba. Thus varna got evolved as jai or jat, and this got enmeshed in Hindu dharma.
Ambedkar challenged the contention of casteists that caste division is the division of labour. He believed that the caste division is not a division of labour, but rather a division of the labourer. For, in the division of labour, there is no hierarchy, but in the division of the labourer, there is gradation. Division of labour is carried out in accordance with the need of production; by doing a job again and again the labourer acquires a skill. The skill is thus not inherent. But in the caste system, divisions are in place not on the basis of a person’s skill, but on the basis of his birth and the status of his parents. In terms of caste division, a person is sanctioned a profession that his birth and heredity allow. The dogma of predestination is at the root of this system.
A Brahmin would choose to starve rather than sustain himself by taking up the job of a sweeper. This attitude results in unemployment. In the case of division of labour, there is no hierarchy. But a hierarchy emerges among labourers. The work/labour of a Brahmin is not the same as that of a Sudra. In division of labour, no job is trivial. But in the varna system, certain types of work are designated for Brahmins, and some others for sudras. In the caste system the individual (for example a sweeper) develops disrespect towards himself. He does not put his heart and mind into his job. This obstructs development and skills. On the other hand, the system of division of labour has proved beneficial for society. Thus Ambedkar argues that the caste system cannot be defended as division of labour.
Casteists argue that the objective of the caste system was to preserve purity of blood. Ambedkar rejects this argument. He points out that the caste system cannot be said to have come into existence as a means of preventing admixture of races. There was an influx of different races in India, and consequently there was considerable intermingling. The caste system came into vogue long after different races had mingled in blood and culture. Again, caste means race; but talk about purity of race does not allow talk about sub-castes. But among Brahmins there are sub-castes. To prove that the issue of intermingling of blood is used as an excuse by the casteists, Ambedkar asks that if Brahmins and Sudras sit in the same row while eating a meal, there is no transfusion of blood. Why then are Brahmins and Sudras not seated in the same row at meals? Ambedkar points out that this is clearly due to the blind superstition shrouding Hinduism.
The Hindu caste system has undermined the unity among Hindus. It does not allow the formation of a federation. There is a superficial unity only during times of crisis. For example, during a communal riot the Brahmins might solicit the help of Sudras. The existence of castes keeps alive memories of past differences and prevents solidarity. The higher caste Hindus have deliberately prevented the lower castes to rise to the cultural level of higher castes. If a large section of people, namely the ‘untouchables’ are neglected and discriminated against, Ambedkar pointed out that the democratic ideal of a government of the people, by the people, for the people, can never be achieved. In his reckoning, an ideal society is marked by what they call social endosmosis, i.e. fraternity which actualises the import of ‘democracy’. Equality and liberty have a prominent place in Ambedkar’s social and political construct. Nevertheless, he does not endorse unlimited liberty, for that would jeopardise equality. Again, absolute equality would leave no scope for liberty. He prioritised fraternity and envisaged it as the safeguard to the denial of liberty and equality.
Ambedkar became disillusioned with orthodox Hindu society. The caste system was so strongly embedded in such a society that it was hard to overthrow it. He signalled his intent to embrace a more just and humanitarian religion - “I was born a Hindu but will not die as a Hindu”. To him Buddhism embodied the ethic of equality. Ambedkar’s faith in Buddha, dharma and sangha steeled his resolve. In 1956 in course of a BBC London talk, Ambedkar said that the three principles of Buddhism that appealed to him most were that of Prajna (understanding as against superstition), Karuna (love) and Samata (equality). Lord Buddha never claimed infallibility. He told his disciple Ananda that reason and experience formed the fountainhead of his religion, and that his followers were free to modify or abandon any of his teachings if they ceased to be relevant. Buddha’s Dhammapada is not a revelation, but is embedded in intelligence and the laws of nature.
Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism testified to his faith in a religion based on humanism. For him religion encompassed a moral state of being, benevolence towards mankind. In Dhamma there is no scope for prayers, pilgrimage, rituals, ceremonies or sacrifices. Morality is the essence of Dhamma. Preoccupation with metaphysical and ontological questions on God and soul is not the crux of religion. His humanism aims at liberating man from the social malady of discrimination. He derived this vision of humanism from his master - Gautama Buddha. Such a path offers the only solution to the present strife-ridden fragmented society, and is also the way to permanent peace and progress. The relevance of Ambedkar’s philosophy cannot be undermined today.

(Concluded)   


CIVIL SERVICE

STATESMAN, APR 22, 2016



Churning within the civil service

Tuktuk Ghosh
For over a decade, the Government of India has been observing Civil Services Day on 20-21 April. It is designed as an occasion to applaud excellence in public administration, introspect and strategise on addressing challenges in the days ahead. To provide the premium touch, awards are instituted in the name of the Prime Minister and presented by him to a select few who have made the cut after going through tough filters of scrutiny. A day in the spotlight for bureaucrats, otherwise accustomed, by vintage Conduct Rules and well worn conventions, to the decorous drapes of anonymity, playing out roles of special cogs in the leviathan that is the State apparatus.
This year, for the first time, a massive exercise was taken up, with inputs from citizens, to judge best performing districts with respect to identified priority schemes - Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Swachh Bharat (Gramin), Swachh Vidyalaya and Soil Health Card. Based on the Prime Minister’s idea, the short-list of the administrative ministries overseeing implementation of the schemes was pruned, under the supervision of the Cabinet Secretariat,  factoring in the feedback. Reportedly, over 760,000 people were called up by  BSNL agents over 10 days in late February-early March, with questions to be answered in the affirmative or negative and including responses to  questions on suggested improvements. To make it to the final list, the clinching criteria were efficient and corruption-free implementation of schemes. The bar for establishing excellence at the cutting edge was, in  the process, raised a few notches higher.
Elevating expectations and prescribing stringent performance parameters have their undeniable salience. While acknowledging inspirational achievements on occasions such as Civil Services Day, what cannot be ignored, as the Government completes two years in office, is the enormity of the tasks that remain unaccomplished, as promised in its Election Manifesto and, much  more importantly, as mandated by the Constitution of India. At the core of all future endeavours is the effective partnership of the political executive and the civil service. How best they succeed in harnessing support from the legislature, judiciary, media, corporate sector and civil society will be critical in drawing up the score card. Publicity blitzes, grand celebrations, resurrecting, for purposes of convenient appropriation, insufficiently acknowledged and near forgotten icons from the past to airbrush perceptions will not suffice, notwithstanding the huge amounts of public resources lavished on them. Neither will imposition of tech-intense operating procedures on creaking, archaic structures alone work wonders.  
The civil service will not morph into and perform like a superstar, de-energised as it is after persistent, deliberate corrosion and debilitation, merely by strong exhortations, interspersed with regular trashing, more with an eye to garnering public sympathy. Dispersed, weak attempts at weeding out dead wood have met with limited success, with only around a dozen in the net-of-ignominy so far. The safest, time-tested policy remains one of squatting around peaceably, without rocking any boats.
The snail-like pace of penalising the corrupt, with investigating agencies enthusiastically participating in unsavoury political games, is spectacularly effective in reinforcing lessons of playing safe by being habitually indecisive. It has taken all of 23 years to convict a former Union Minister  in a corruption case related to allotment of Government shops in Delhi in 1993-4. And the quantum of punishment is yet to be decided! A Special Court pulled up the CBI earlier this month - yet  again - for flouting procedures and being “conspicuously ambiguous” in its investigation in  charges of corruption against the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Delhi. The claim of the CBI of a 94 per cent jump in crackdowns on graft cases, highest in the last five years, appears  unimpressive in the backdrop of the latest report of Transparency  International where India’s score on the corruption scale of 100 continues unchanged at 38, even as it moved up nine positions in the list of 168 countries. The moral is that those who can will wreck the system and try to get away with it while those who have  it in them to contribute will withdraw so they don’t have to pay a price.
It is only by demanding - and not settling for anything less than - true professionalism at all levels,  enforcing transparency and accountability as well as installing firewalls against vitiating influences of narrow, myopic political agendas that promises of maximum governance will carry any conviction.
While it is truly remarkable that the Prime Minister is hands-on and holds monthly review exercises with senior civil servants on stalled mega projects, it is equally a sorry commentary that he needs to do so. Intervention at the highest level should ordinarily be necessary only for select, highly sensitive or extremely complex projects. According to a report prepared by the CMIE for the Ministry of Finance, the number of stalled projects has touched an all-time high with 893 ventures held up for varying reasons.
Thorough, regular monitoring exercises are supposed to be the daily fare of each and every supervisory level in all government and government-backed institutions. Obviously they have fallen through many a gaping crack in the system. Elevating levels of crisis-management on a regular basis may have the unintended consequence of making functional levels more dysfunctional than they already are.

The tremendous slackening in governance norms, with deleterious results for all to rue, has to be reversed. Reclaiming the original  charter of  a robust  steel  frame, instead of institutionalising a centralised mode, is clearly more suitable in a democracy such as ours. The political executive, too, at the ministerial levels, must be encouraged to play its leadership part vis-a-vis civil servants and not seek to abdicate responsibility upwards, singing paeans of praise all the way. They cannot harp on the hackneyed whine that they have to do what they do - right or wrong - as they are merely fulfilling people’s aspirations, as defined by themselves, of course.


Where exactly the Delhi CM’s diktat to bureaucrats on Civil Services’ Day to fall in line or quit, fits in, keeping in mind the tussle over unresolved Constitutional dilemmas surrounding Article 239AA, is difficult to determine. It carries a bitter foretaste of increased friction till the relevant judicial pronouncements come in.
A refreshingly forthright Facebook post of the Union Coal Secretary on a related theme of less articulated governance - brakes and dampeners - deserves special mention here. According to him there are five Cs substantially inhibiting quick, effective decision-making by honest officers. These are CBI, CVC, CAG, CIC and the Courts. Ironically, these are headed not by “dishonest” politicians, who are “conveniently”  blamed for all ills, as he puts it, but by civil servants. Coming from one of the most highly-rated serving officers, justifiably complimented as the chief architect of the innovative, highly successful e-auction of coal blocks, the observations have a landmark quality. The objective is not, as the  Secretary clarifies, to be confrontational but to spark a sharp debate and bring in much needed reform.
There is no dearth of evidence in the public domain on institutional deficiencies, along  with the reasons that brought them on. Notwithstanding the detailed documentation, there is  no unanimity on the identification of institutions placed in the dock or the extent of their responsibility for the avoidable logjam government so often finds itself in. However, credit must be given to the Secretary for taking the lead, with courage and conviction. What could be construed as breaking ranks or being near blasphemous has, in fact, set in motion a churning, results of which will hopefully be creatively disruptive and help craft the foundations of an altered governance landscape.
The  exasperation and frustration of the Coal Secretary have found an echo in another highly-regarded officer, the CMD, Air India’s blog. The deep resentment against watchdog-checkposts turning into roadblocks is palpable. He wonders at the amount of indecision, almost on a continuous basis, that must be responsible for the grand mess that the national carrier finds itself in today.
Transformation that springs from within is almost always more enduring. It is heartening that these invaluable insider  voices, heavy with the weight of experience have not been misconstrued, called into question or muzzled. As there have been  instances of the law coming down  with a heavy hand on perceived unpalatable criticism, it is cause for cheer. With the virtual and real world listening with a great deal of attention, it promises to  be a riveting unfolding of an important public service discourse. 
Other outpourings of civil servants in cyber space, particularly pertinent to highlight on the  occasion of Civil Services Day, have to do with reclaiming public  respect for themselves and their work , especially in the print media. They believe that unrelenting scorn and humiliation poured on them have gone beyond acceptable limits of tolerance and must end. There may have been, in all likelihood, a particular negative context or set of circumstances around the coinage of the term “babu” for officialdom by the media. However, its usage over the years in a deliberately demeaning sense, in a majority of media reports appears to have alienated and angered many, especially from the younger generation. For far too long, the perceived abuse had gone uncontested. Now, in an unprecedented display of solidarity, the campaign to unsubscribe one leading English news daily, has picked up momentum. It is learnt that several civil servants, including former Cabinet Secretaries and office-bearers of the Central IAS Association, have cancelled subscriptions.
As a symbolic gesture of protest, this is strong, even though it does not enjoy overwhelming or total endorsement. The positive spin-off expected is that it may prompt media to think  through the issues flagged and work towards a rebalanced equation, reflecting a more accurate  picture. Concurrently, it should  also put the onus on civil servants to earn, through their impeccable  performance, the respect they  so  yearn for. Few individual achievers cannot by themselves recreate tattered, bruised public impressions. A radically changed environment in which the civil service is more actively nurtured and supported in fulfilling its developmental mandate, is the need of the hour. In this, the media will continue to play a vital role. No more of the unwarranted “babu- bashing” as a pleasurable pastime. This may well be the inflection point for the civil service for clear and definitive reaffirmation of its professional excellence, so that the term, in its  offensive , inappropriate variant, simply auto destructs. 
The bottom line is re-empowering the civil service, restoring its space and dignity, with public service and full accountability as its sole guiding credo, as envisioned in the Constitution and doing all it takes to get there. It commends, for all stake holders, re-examination, rethinking and rebuilding, institution by institution, law by law, policy by policy, rule by rule, process by process. This is the best way to celebrate the civil service on a continuing basis, not only as an annual “utsav”.

There is a hint that the force within is rising. Channelising  online and offline campaigns to this end will yield rich dividend.


The writer is a retired IAS officer and comments on governance issues.

TIMES OF INDIA, APR 22, 2016



UP government suspends IAS officer convicted of graft

Lucknow, April 21 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government has suspended Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Rajeev Kumar who was convicted in 2012 in a Noida plot allotment scam and was sent to prison earlier this week.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday signed the order for the suspension of Rajiv Kumar, who was former deputy chief executive officer of New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida), officials said on Thursday.

Considered close to both Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Rajiv Kumar was accused of misusing his position as an official of Noida in the 1990s in making illegal allotments of plots of land.

The state government kept the officer in the administration despite his conviction in 2012. Also, it took no immediate action against Rajiv Kumar even after he was taken in judicial custody on Monday and sent to Dasna jail in Ghaziabad.

Akhilesh Yadav signed the suspension order on Wednesday only after Allahabad High Court sought a response from the state government as to what action it had taken in the matter.

A CBI court had in November 2012 convicted Rajiv Kumar and Neera Yadav, the then chief executive officer (CEO) of Noida, of illegal land allotment and sentenced each of them to three-year jail terms.

Soon after their conviction, the two officers got bail from a sessions court in Ghaziabad as their three-year sentence did not require immediate arrest.

They challenged their conviction and sentence by filing appeals in the Allahabad High Court which dismissed their appeals on February 24 this year.

Neera Yadav surrendered on March 14 and is also lodged in Dasna jail.

STATESMAN, APR 21, 2016

CM’s warning to bureaucrats tragic’


A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal cautioned bureaucrats against playing politics with elected representatives warning "we are here for another 10-15 years", a number of senior officials described it as "tragic". 
Kejriwal made these comments in a speech to bureaucrats on the occasion of Civil Services Day. 
He said, "My government is fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Delhi. People are happy and if the government continues this way we aren't going anywhere for 10-15 years. You may like it or not, but we are here for 10-15 years. Those officers who are above 45 have no choice," he remarked. 
Kiran Bedi, first woman IPS officer of the country, said, "It is very tragic. Delhi as a whole will suffer with such a leadership and if Delhi suffers, country will suffer." 
She said Kejriwal should act like a leader and take the officers along with him instead of scaring them. 

"One cannot scare them as DANICS, IAS or DASS cadre employees are answerable to law and Constitution of India and not to any political party," said Bedi. 


The social activist and erstwhile member of India Against Corruption (IAC) along with Kejriwal said the CM has always been an agitator and is always "versus" everything. 
"He is versus Prime Minister, versus BJP, versus LG, versus central government which shows his background is not for governance but only for seeking publicity," said Bedi. 
A bureaucrat present at the function said the speech is full of contradictions. 
"He is very insecure. The CM said that due to officers' strike odd-even suffered. But if odd-even suffered, how could Kejriwal got his name in Forbes' magazine and how has the government claimed odd-even to be a success. 
In fact, the officers worked hard on it and instead of being grateful, he is demoralising us," said the officer. 
The bureaucrat also said whoever speaks against any of policies is accused of being either with the BJP or Congress by the CM. 
"Acording to Kejriwal, the officers went on strike for the first time. But he should check his facts that in 1998-99 also, DASS cadre employees went on strike for IV pay commission and then LK Advani, senior BJP leader had called on us and appealed to call off the strike," said the official. 

Another bureaucrat said, "Though Kejriwal had said earlier that he could not get an opportunity to meet the bureaucrats but when on the eve of New Year, when all the officers around 5000 to 6000 of them went to meet him,he straight away refused to see us.


The official said Civil Servants' Day is like an annual day for bureaucrats. 
"He could have ait and talked to us about our problems or he could have hosted a dinner which every state's Chief Minister does ideally. But all of his "drama" was pre-meditated and deliberately done keeping in mind Punjab elections to develop anti-establishment link with people," said the official requesting anoynimity. 
Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay on his part said the Kejriwal government has constantly violated constitutional provisions and now when it finds government officials are not prepared to allow this, the CM is trying to browbeat them into submission. 

"We condemn this act of Kejriwal and it would be better if instead of terrorising officials, the government abides by rules and serves the people," said Upadhyay. 


The Chief Minister in his address to bureaucrats said in December last year, many officers went on a day's mass leave in solidarity with two DANICS or Delhi Andaman and Nicobar Civil Service officers, who were suspended for "insubordination".
ASIAN AGE, APR 19, 2016



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