ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Soni Soris and Arati Majhis of This World

Why is Durga Shakti Nagpal's uprightness upheld and even "saluted" while Soni Sori's assertion and Arati Majhi's innocence are condemned?

The kind of reactions the suspension of Durga Shakti Nagpal, a young Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer posted as subdivisional magistrate in the city of Noida in Uttar Pradesh (UP), evoked all over the country may reassure one that if and when the time comes, Indians can and will stand up in defence of democracy. Her suspension by the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in UP, ostensibly for demolishing a boundary wall of a mosque in Kadalpur village in Gautam Buddh Nagar district on 27 July, which turned out to be a white lie, was certainly a naked act of arrogance by the political class that may well be taken as a trendsetter for what may be in store for others. Actually, it was meant to chastise her for her temerity to launch a drive against the sand mining mafia of the state.

As it came to pass, all the political parties had similar skeletons in their cupboards; however, each one of them feigned sainthood. It is as clear as sunlight that the gross maladministration and loot of the country are a joint undertaking of the politicians and the upper echelons of the bureaucracy. Without a pliable bureaucracy, politicians cannot do a damn thing, and without the support of politicians, bureaucrats may just be ciphers. Only when a bureaucrat knowingly or unknowingly falls out of this joint venture, the hell breaks loose on him/her. The case of Ashok Khemka, an exceptionally qualified and upright bureaucrat who stands his ground undisturbed while suffering the wrath of political class, is among a few honourable exceptions. It is too early for Nagpal to be judged whether she will buckle to the threats or prefer to walk into the hall of fame that persons like Khemka occupy.

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