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

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From 50 Years Ago-Corruption in Railways: Matter Closed?

Vol VI, Nos 42–43 october 16, 1971

Corruption in Railways: Matter Closed?

An airconditioned railway saloon is not the most promising of places to be taking a stance of high moral principle from and it is a fact that many of the issues and events which have finally led to the forcible retirement of the former Railway Board chairman, B C Ganguli, belong to the realm of the dignity and prestige of a senior civil servant which need not detain anybody very long. The attempt, launched by some civil servants, to make it into a politician vs civil servant issue is altogether phoney. After all, what started off l’affaire Ganguli was the mass transfer by the former Railway Board chairman of senior railway officials which was resented, and in many cases resisted, by the affected officers as well as Ganguli’s colleagues on the Railway Board. It may be that the Railway Minister, after first exhibiting a verbal passion for shaking up the railway bureaucracy, got cold feet in the face of the opposition to the steps taken by Ganguli and decided to leave him holding the baby, but it still doesn’t make it into a minister vs civil servant issue. On the contrary, if the episode proves anything it is that those among the civil servants who are the most voluble about the need to preserve the independence of the civil service from political interference also quite often turn out to be the most pathetic time-servers when they find prospect of self-advancement in such a course of action.

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