'Durgas' lost in political 'Raavanraj'

Bangalore, Aug 1: Durga Shakti's suspension has forced us to think about Indian politics in a different way. The dirt was there in the sub-conscious throughout, but has come to the fore now...rather harshly.

If we race our minds to the past, we will find similar incidences of honesty being crushed under the shoes of highly placed and powerful politicians, beureaucrats and industrialists. Some paid with their lives and some with their careers.


We have heard a number of ministers on a number of occasions that they would crack down upon officers who did not "listen to them". SP President Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav, for instance, was heard announcing ina party forum with officers that they would have to face the music if they did not work in "close coordination" with them.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, further,declared at a meeting of SP office-bearers in Lucknow that "the officers who do not listen to ministers and senior party leaders would be punished." Backed by the party brass and the wealthy, powerful industrialists, the ministers and SP leaders, allegedly bully and threaten bureaucrats and officers of dire consequences.

On April 24, Javed Abidi, the chairman of the UP Developed System Corporation, and a state minister, asked his supporters in Amroha to beat the officers who refuse to meekly bow to their instructions. A report by India Today further details the aggressive politics that SP plays.

For instance, on April 23, textile minister Shiv Kumar Beria openly threatened saying, "strip any SHO of his uniform within 24 hours and throw him out if he doesn't listen to us". Similar comments could be heard on April 13, this time from Shankhlal Manjhi, the minister of state for health who instructed party workers in Ambedkar Nagar that the could thrash officers at their will. "If the officers don't listen to you then lock them up in a room and bash them up. And don't bother about the repercussions," he further added.


Honest officers bearing the brunt of Indian corruption

Durga is just one case in point, especially when there have been cases earlier characterized by transfers, false allegations, imprisonment and even death. Some such cases include:

Mugdha Sinha, Rajasthan

Mugdha Sinha, the first woman collector of Jhunjhunu in September 2010, was transferred for nabbing the local mafia. Organisations of traders, farmers, and students came out in her support and demamded that her transfer be held.

Poonam Malakondaiah, Andhra Pradesh

Although a lowprofile 1988-batch IAS officer, Poonam was a pain for politicians, businessmen and lobbyists. As the agricultural commissioner, she dragged Monsanto (a multinational seed company)to the Restrictive Trade Practices Commission. This forced the organization to reduce the price of BT cotton seeds.

Ashok Khemka, Haryana

Ashok Khemka, was transferred immediately after he cancelled an allegedly illegal land deal between Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, and DLF. But that could not stop him. He was again shifted amidst controversies over irregularities in the Haryana Seeds Development Corporation that he had unearthed as its head in a short stint of five months.

Anand Swaroop, UP

Known for his unconventional approach to nab corruption abd daredevilry, this 1994-batch IPS officer has been transferred 38 times in the last 18 years.

Damayanti Sen, WB

She cracked the Park Street gang rape case and the state cracked down upon her. Kolkata Police crime wing's first woman chief Damayanti Sen was transferred to a relatively low profile posting two months later after the incident for proving the Chief Minister-Mamata Banerjee wrong. She was again transferred within a year to Darjeeling as the new Deputy Inspector General in February 2013.

Vikas Kumar, Rajasthan

He cracked down on the illegal mining mafia in 2012 and was immediately transferred out of Bharatpur district. A software engineer from IIT-Kanpur, he was transferred in haste when the police was closing on the powerful kingpins behind the illegal mining.

Uma Shankar, Tamil Nadu

Senior Dalit bureaucrat Uma Shankar, was stubbed for his efforts to unearth the cremation shed scam as the additional collector of Madurai. A 1990-batch IAS officer, he was assigned an insignificant post since the revelations led to J. Jayalalithaa's poll defeat. He even faced suspension for daring to take on the Marans as joint vigilance commissioner.

Anjiv Chaturvedi, Haryana

Serving the government for 7 years was not good enough for this 2002-batch Haryana cadre Indian Forest Service officer. Five cases of criminal offense were slapped on him for taking on the authorities. He, later, petitioned in the Apex court in 2012, requesting a CBI enquiry into the numerous scams he had detected in Haryana.

Samit Sharma, Rajasthan

What more could be expected from a government which prioritizes its ego over the people. This Chittorgarh collector was transferred in 2010 because because he refused to terminate a clerk for failing to stand up when a local Congress MLA entered his office?. The state government turned a deaf ear even when over 12,000 government employees went on a mass leave to protest against the transfer.

Rahul Sharma, Gujarat

Shifted to a very low profile in the Ahmedabad police control room, he had to pay the price for having open fired on a Hindu mob during the GUjarat riots. He was the SP of Bhavnagar then.

Who lost their lives

While the above-mentioned paid with their careers, there were others who paid with their lives. This included engineers, officers and even local men. Some of them include:

Satyendra Dubey: This engineer was silenced in November 2003 after he wrote to the PMO on the corruptions in the national highway projects in Bihar

Shanmughan Manjunath: His voice was permanently stubbed by the son of a petrol pump owner and his accomplices in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri when he tried to curb oil malpractices.

Narendra Kumar: He was murdered for interfereing in the illegal activities of the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh in March.

S. P Mahantesh: A deputy director with the department of cooperative audit in Karnataka, he was brutally murdered in broad daylight with an iron rod in May this year. He had exposed irregularities in the allotment of land to cooperative societies in the state. He succumbed to his injuries five days after he was attacked.

Such stories will continue to flow in the future too, but our question stays: When will the Raavanraj come to an end?

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