BAs you read this, Aryan Khan would be released from prison, if 25 days too late. Everything we know about the case so far tells us that there was no justification for his arrest, incarceration and charge under such a draconian law anyway. Her ordeal, however, gave us another “star” of sorts, Sameer Dawood / Dnyandev Wankhede.
What kind of star – good or bad, a aggrieved hero or a villain who was ultimately caught off guard – you can decide. He is a polarizing figure. For some, it is a reservation fraudster who allegedly claimed a place in the quota reserved for listed castes, hiding the fact that he is Muslim. No problem with that, except that caste based booking would not be available to him. For others, he is a Muslim and a Dalit who is victimized by authorized elites only because he dared to prosecute them.
To some, he is a tyrant and a likely “blackmailer” who has targeted the wealthy and famous, especially in Bollywood, for fame and allegedly for ransom. For others, he’s ultimately the only brave narc who has decided to do his job, no matter how powerful his prey may be.
We cannot take any sides on this, and we are not. Because we don’t have the facts. Our instinct comes from subjectivity, because that’s how we would see the facts unfold before us. We’re going to step away from that and focus on something else. Less tangible, and not polarizing. This is called decorum in government service. Mainly applied to All India and Class I services.
Let me ask you a trick question. How many IAS officers can you appoint in the country now? Not family or friends, but headlines, especially the most recent? Or IPS agents? And finally, that service that we see so little in our normal lives directly, the Indian Revenue Service, the so-called “taxman” or woman.
So, is there a prominent IRS officer you can nominate up front? I bet it would be Sameer Wankhede. He is not only the most famous tax officer in the country today, but for a very long time. It’s fortuitous that All India Services’ two most successful names at this point, IAS and IPS, haven’t necessarily been there for good reasons either.
Former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai has apologized to Congress Chief Sanjay Nirupam for making false allegations about the 2G case, where he referred to the theoretical loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in 2007.
It was an obvious exaggeration. But the mood was such at the time that you couldn’t chat with him without risking being labeled âpro-corruptionâ. Now that story has come to an end. As indeed, unfortunately, the telecoms sector in India. The same thing happened quite early on with coal.
IPS now. The same Mumbai that produced Wankhede, the narcotics zone chief who now, in his own defense, quotes the testimony of the young man whom he accused of a crime punishable by 10 years (‘see, even Aryan says he has not brought any extortion charges against me “), a fugitive police commissioner also told us. All Maharashtra police cannot find one of their top officers, and non-discharge warrants are posted everywhere.
Read also : Aryan Khan is not a sight to be enjoyed. NDPS is a weapon the vengeful state could use against you or your children
If IPS, IRS and IAS are the trinity of our much-vaunted public service and Param Bir Singh, Sameer Wankhede and Vinod Rai are their representatives in today’s most prominent – and bad – titles, what what does this tell us?
We have chosen this order deliberately. The IPS guy in the lead because he’s a runaway, dodging multiple criminal charges; the IRS man next because he’s in court seeking protection from arrest and has yet to answer a hundred questions about his conduct; and the IAS last, for once, because at least one thing we know about Vinod Rai from his reputation and track record is that he’s, financially, flawless. Just that he didn’t get the best results for India.
These three stars today speak ill of our public service in their own way. It is to fight for these services that thousands of our brightest young people work for years in coaching academies, often forcing their parents to sell their land and their buffaloes, in this one hope: my child will crack. UPSC. Then they enter their respective academies with pride in their hearts, stars in their eyes and most of all – I speak from experience of speaking in these academies and interacting with young recruits – a lot of idealism.
No, I am not about to sink into convenient mass condemnation. Mine was never the ‘sab chor hain‘ see. It’s absolutely the opposite, which I dared to say even during those freaky Anna Hazare months. The point is that for every Param Bir Singh there are thousands more in his service who do their jobs honestly, sincerely and with very modest government salaries. As there must be in the IAS or the IRS. It’s just that we don’t know them. It’s just that people who get famous have done it for all the wrong reasons.
Trick questions again: appoint the last six incumbents of the office of the cabinet secretary, the director of the intelligence office and the chairman of the central council for direct taxes? If you could name six of each, that is, 18 who were at the top of those three services respectively, I would say you are brilliant. But unfortunately you know the three names that make the headlines today. Or some of you may remember the name of the young IAS officer who asked his police to “beat the farmers’ heads” in Haryana, or the one in Chhattisgarh denouncing a passerby in front of the camera for having “Defied the lockdown” and the like. The good guys go unnoticed, unrecognized. Tragic, because they are straight, professional and play by the rules.
Now what is this book? Bollywood deserves our eternal gratitude because it can always make us understand. People checked out this clip from this otherwise noisy movie Tiranga (directed in 1993 by Mehul Kumar), where Raj Kumar, in his characteristic and much imitated drawl, pulls two papers out of his pocket to confront the corrupt traitor of a police officer. These are for you, he said. One is the order for my release from prison and the other for your arrest. The clip is shared with caption “Aryan Khan in Wankhede”.
Go to the movie on YouTube and listen to the background to this clip. What oath do you take when you join this service, put on that uniform, he asks, then he reads the oath that any Indian joining the service from all over India must take by joining their service: “I swear / solemnly affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance toâ¦ the Constitution of Indiaâ¦ that I will perform the duties of my office loyally, honestly and impartially â.
We will leave it to the conscience of these latest public service “superstars” to wonder if they have been true to this oath. This is also a question that many others in these services must be asking themselves, as they are locking up students for sedition and UAPA only because of the cricket team they are supporting, or for sharing Greta’s toolkit. Thunberg, or to mount accusations against anyone who thinks the policy the bosses want “fixed.” In 2021, they are no better than the famous Soviet ax-man from seven decades ago, Lavrentiy Beria, who offered to arrest someone who angered Stalin. But under what charge, Stalin apparently asked him. Give me the man, said Beria, and I’ll give you the charge.
The late SS Khera was one of those immortal deans of the old ICS, and so self-effacing that Google also spews so little on him. He was India’s first Sikh cabinet secretary (1962-64), rose to prominence in using tanks to stop the Partition riots in Meerut in 1947, and utterly disapproved of fame-seeking officials. A mention in the newspapers, he said, is a black mark. Two, a bad ACR. And a photo should invite the bag. We now know that times have changed in six decades. But we also see what this folly for fame and fame has done to some great service people. Even if most of the others work sincerely, in relative anonymity.
Read also : Sameer Wankhede is both a Muslim and a sc. He is the victim of historic wrong
Why the news media is in crisis and how to fix it
India needs free, fair, uninhibited and interrogative journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media are in a crisis of their own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, giving in to crass spectacle in prime time.
ThePrint employs the best young reporters, columnists and editors. To maintain journalism of this quality, it takes smart, thoughtful people like you to pay the price. Whether you live in India or abroad, you can do it here.
Support our journalism