April 5, 2014 `
VOL. 8, ISSUE 1
gfilesindia.com
ASHWANI LOHANI ON ORGANISATIONAL EXCELLENCE p26
GOPINATH MENON ON INDIAN A...
3www.indianbuzz.com
gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
Anil Tyagi | editor
TR Ramachandran | execut...
CONTENTS
www.gfilesindia.com4 gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
Marchh 5, 220014144 `
VVOOLL. 77, ...
5www.indianbuzz.com
gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
J
ASWANT Singh, a former Defence, Finance an...
www.gfilesindia.com6 gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
after touring the whole state for five mont...
7www.indianbuzz.com
gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
Bric-a-bracfeats & seats
Hot seat in Gujarat...
COVER STORY
elections 2014 prabhat kumar
www.gfilesindia.com
gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 20148
Wh...
9gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014www.indianbuzz.com
H
URTLING towards the water-
shed Lok Sabha e...
COVER STORY
elections 2014 mg devasahayam
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gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 201410
...
11gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014www.indianbuzz.com
Of late, the herd mentality has taken over a...
COVER STORY
elections 2014 mg devasahayam
www.gfilesindia.com
gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 201412
...
13gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014www.indianbuzz.com
IAS officer who exposed Haryana’s
land loote...
COVER STORY
elections 2014
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Taking the plun...
15www.indianbuzz.com
gfiles inside the government
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someone retired as a Secretary from
the Gov...
COVER STORY
elections 2014
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I
N the 2014 el...
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gfiles inside the government
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Party offered him a Lok Sabha ticket
from B...
www.gfilesindia.com18 gfiles inside the government
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STATE SCAN
real estate haryana
Hooda regim...
19www.indianbuzz.com
gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
In 2010, Hooda government
had released arou...
www.gfilesindia.com20 gfiles inside the government
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STATE SCAN
real estate haryana
The colonis...
21www.indianbuzz.com
gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
holdings, commit suicide. It also
appearsth...
GOVERNANCE
security propaganda
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gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 201422
Corruption ...
23gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014www.indianbuzz.com
coup d'état news story!
The second charge re...
GOVERNANCE
security propaganda
www.gfilesindia.com
gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 201424
was freely ...
25gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014www.indianbuzz.com
Admiral L Ramdas, along with senior
civilian...
GOVERNANCE
growth ashwani lohani
www.gfilesindia.com26 gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
Making an...
27www.indianbuzz.com
gfiles inside the government
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Firm adherence to ethics,
value systems and...
GOVERNANCE
growth ashwani lohani
www.gfilesindia.com28 gfiles inside the government
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tackle th...
29www.indianbuzz.com
gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
Firm adherence to ethics, value sys-
tems a...
GOVERNANCE
growth ashwani lohani
www.gfilesindia.com30 gfiles inside the government
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31www.indianbuzz.com
gfiles inside the government
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FIRST STIRRINGS
shovana narayan
www.gfilesindia.com32 gfiles inside the government
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‘You’ve go...
33www.indianbuzz.com
gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
before, she sensed that the audience
was ge...
FIRST STIRRINGS
shovana narayan
www.gfilesindia.com34 gfiles inside the government
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ultimate S...
35www.indianbuzz.com
gfiles inside the government
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nies and also recounted a rather trag-
ic s...
FIRST STIRRINGS
shovana narayan
www.gfilesindia.com36 gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
Their time...
INITIATIVE
workplace dalip singh
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gfiles inside the government
vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014
Y
OU may n...
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gfiles April 2014

  1. 1. April 5, 2014 ` VOL. 8, ISSUE 1 gfilesindia.com ASHWANI LOHANI ON ORGANISATIONAL EXCELLENCE p26 GOPINATH MENON ON INDIAN ADVERTISING’S RISE AND FALL p38 FIRST STIRRINGS SHOVANA NARAYAN p32 gfilesindia.com SILLY POINT TÊTE-À-TÊTE W ITH RAHUL GANDHI p44 Babu as NETA
  2. 2. 3www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 Anil Tyagi | editor TR Ramachandran | executive editor Niranjan Desai | roving editor GS Sood | consulting business editor Rakesh Bhardwaj | editorial consultant Arvind Tiwari | director, business development Naresh Minocha | associate editor Neeraj Mahajan | associate editor Pranab Prakhar | associate editor Alok Jain | coordinator (maharashtra) Ajit Ujjainkar | bureau chief (mumbai) Harishchandra Bhat | associate editor (bengaluru) Venugopalan | bureau chief (bengaluru) Kanika Srivastava | editorial coordinator Mayank Awasthi | reporter Jyoti Puri | hr Pawan Kumar | production coordinator Sumer Singh | assistant manager, logistics Nipun Jain | finance Gautam Das | legal consultant Bushchat Publishing | edit & design Madan Lal | Webmaster advertising & marketing HARISH ARORA— +919650689811 e-mail: adv@gfilesindia.com U K SHARMA— +919717588883 e-mail: uksharma@gfilesindia.in RAKESH ARORA— +919810648809 mumbai: 48/C-1, Areshwar, Mhada, S.V.P. Nagar, Andheri(W), Mumbai 400 053 bengaluru: 2210, 10b main road, 3 block, jayanagar, bengaluru 560 011 CONTACT — +91 9845730298 e-mail: venu@gfilesindia.in +All information in gfiles is obtained from sources that the management considers reliable, and is disseminated to readers without any responsibility on our part. Any opinions or views on any contemporary or past topics, issues or developments expressed by third parties, whether in abstract or in interviews, are not necessarily shared by us. Copyright exclusively with Sarvashrestha Media Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction of any material of this magazine in whole, or in part(s), in any manner, without prior permission, is totally prohibited. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any material lost or damaged in transit. The publisher reserves the right to refuse, withdraw or otherwise deal with any advertisement without explanation. All advertisements must comply with the Indian Advertisements Code. Published and printed by Anil Tyagi on behalf of Sarvashrestha Media Pvt. Ltd at Kala Jyothi Process Pvt Ltd. E-125, Site-B, Surajpur Ind. Area, Gautam Budh Nagar, Greater Noida-201306 U.P. (INDIA). All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent courts in New Delhi only W HATkindofIndiadidwedreamof?Thevisionstatement (read manifesto) of political parties is a dream-selling document, but the answer to the above question is blurred by the lust of political masters to capture power by any means. India has become the most venerable market in the world. Manmohanomics has changed the dynamics of the economy. Three decades ago, agriculture was a major contributor to India’s GDP. The current standing is: agriculture 17.2 per cent, industry 29.1 per cent and services 53.7 per cent. The economy is not going to remain static, as the entire world is waiting for the election results. It has to change, but change for whom, for India or the world? Even the service sector, the main contributor to the GDP, is facing a crisis. China designed its economic policies for citizens and not for the world to plunder its resources, whereas India is designing policies that provide scope to the forces of the world market to exploit. India is facing its 16th election since Independence, yet health, education, literacy and housing are still core issues. No political party is willing to highlight these issues as they will not fetch votes. Political parties are talking about development, but without specifying what kind of development. Do they mean grabbing land (the fastest money-spinner) of poor farmers in the garb of the Land Acquisition Act and handing it over to the multinationals to fulfil their greed? Or, is the development geared only for those waiting to plunder the 400-million middle class market of India? ‘Development’ now smacks of scandal. Any development that does not create a job market for the youth will be a farce. Political parties assure they will create the jobs, but do not say how. Do they think Indians live in a fool’s paradise? Why are all the political parties silent on the non-performing assets of the banking industry? Because most of the donors to their coffers are part of the non-performing assets. Diverting attention from the core issue is their speciality. That is why political parties still fight elections on the issue of secularism vs communalism, Hindu vs Muslim, upper caste vs lower caste, rich vs poor and so on. It is with the tacit consent of the political leadership, because when they come to power they don’t carry any baggage. When political parties come to power after camouflaging the issues, they are at liberty to design the economic roadmap according to the fancy of those at their helm. As a result, India and its citizens are ignored and global forces take over the administration through their pawns. The last 10 years are a case in point of this economic mismanagement. India has become a nation of few, run by few. These issues are more relevant today than in the 1950s. Why? Because at that point in time, the people had faith in the leadership and hope in the future. Today, they have neither. The reason is the sidetracking of the mandate which our forefathers (the constituent assembly) left for future generations to implement. We have failed to establish the rule of law in its true sense. Governance has continued in feudalistic mode in its new outfit, i.e. democracy. India is passing through a transitional phase. Approximately 1,600 political parties and around 10,000 people in these political outfits are in the electoral fray. The desire to rule the population of a nation is the biggest opiate, a never-ending intoxication. Historians have analysed that political power is the resolute gamechanger of society. Politics inveigles, intoxicates and makes people crazy. And, as this is the month of April, they will make April fools of most Indians. The choice is yours. ANIL TYAGI editor@gfilesindia.com From the Editor vol. 8, ISSUE 1 | APRIL 2014 Download the gfiles app
  3. 3. CONTENTS www.gfilesindia.com4 gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 Marchh 5, 220014144 ` VVOOLL. 77, ISSSUOL EE 12 gfilegfgfileesisiinndindigf es ndg a.cocomo Elections 2014: Tough Job BIG BOSS / VS SAMPATH TALKTIM E SY QURAISHIp26 GOVERNANCE MG DEVASAHAYAM ON ELECTORAL INTEGRITY p22 JIGNESH SHAH SEEKS NEW PASTURES p32 FIRST STIRRINGS MS GILL p28 5 Bric-a-Brac feats & seats 8 Cover Story should babus take to politics? 10 civil servants as political masters 14 civil servants in the fray 18 State Scan hooda government upbraided for land grabbing Governance 22 be more serious about national security 26 towards organisational excellence 32 First Stirrings shovana narayan balances dance and the civil service 37 Initiative the highs and the lows 38 Advertising a default profession? 42 My Corner in contempt of court 44 Silly Point secret q&a with rahul gandhi 48 Stock Doctor don’t bank on the elections 56 Perspective be a seeker 57 By the Way of forgotten taxes, right-hand men and outsiders The power of money After reading your cover story (March 2014), I must say that it actually reflected the current flow, especially the one-to-one interviews of the most significant people related to elections. I really admired the interview with CEC VS Sampath which answered my questions related to the most discussed issue these days. The questions were very straightforward, like that of ‘use of black money’, TN Seshan, the role of the government, and so on which is really appreciable. Srikant via email Electoral integrity A study of the electoral process without any corruption has been very well suggested by MG Devasahayam. It is very much true that we need inner-party democracy, transparent functioning and merit-based selection of candidates. The issue of tainted candidates for contesting elections is old now, and it is high time we take a lead from the apex court of India, in favour of the electoral integrity initiative. Moreover, the responsibilities of the electorate to support a better election process and the best candidate are also given equal and significant coverage. They should not just follow the crowdCOVER ILLUSTRATION: ARUNA LETTERS editor@gfilesindia.com CONTENTS and get taken in by election propaganda but should take a wise decision after reading election manifestos and examining past efforts and the value of promises made for the future. Rajesh via email The great land robbery I happened to get a copy of the February 2014 issue. I was highly impressed by your story, forthrightly exposing the misrule in Haryana for the last decade, contrary to the general perception that it is a progressive and efficiently-administered State. However, the article, “The second coming of Arvind Kejriwal” by MK Kaw dismayed and disappointed me. Yes, Kejriwal’s success in the Delhi Assembly polls was an extraordinary achievement. He cleverly exploited public anger against the Congress corruption scams in Delhi and the Centre to his one-year-old party’s advantage. But, sadly, most of his subsequent actions belied his promises, underlining their hollowness. Even a cursory look at Kejriwal’s 49-day rule in Delhi makes it evident that he was more comfortable with street agitation and dharnas than offering good governance to those who voted for him. A few decisions he announced, like free water and cheap electricity, turned out to be largely meaningless; power, in fact, was made more expensive. M Ratan via email Emotional intelligence The article “Skills required for interpersonal relations” (March 2014) helped me in reducing stress in my personal as well as professional life. It is good to know that gfiles takes care of the interests of every category and does not step back in sharing valuable knowledge which is helpful for its readers. I like the study of different emotions affecting relationships. Karthik Mathur via email
  4. 4. 5www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 J ASWANT Singh, a former Defence, Finance and External Affairs Minister, is a very sensitive man. He is fighting his last political battle in Barmer in Rajasthan. He was silently active within the BJP for the last four-five months and could never have dreamed that Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh would not let him contest as a BJP candidate from Barmer. According to Sushma Swaraj, denying Jaswant a ticket was not decided in the parliamentary board or election committee. But the seeds of discontent between Modi and Jaswant are deep-rooted. The BJP had a national executive meeting in Shimla and at that time JaswanthadjustwrittenabookonJinnah–Jinnah:India,Partition, Independence. Modi was so furious that he banned the book in Gujarat. Jaswant says, “This is the second time I have been betrayed by Rajnath Singh. In 2009, soon after the elections, I was going to attend the party national executive meeting in Shimla, but was stopped midway by Rajnathji, who asked me not to attend. Then he rang me up to say that I have been expelled from the party. I told him, even peons are not dismissed like this. Bric-a-bracfeats & seats but I did not disclose the name of the candidate. I called Manmohan’s son- in-law and handed over the money to him. Manmohan Singh lost the election. After 2-3 months, one day I got a call from Manmohan Singh that he wanted to meet me. The meeting was fixed for the very next day. Manmohan reachedontime.Aftertheini- tial pleasantries, Manmohan said, “Sir, I am very thankful to you, my son-in-law told me that you have helped me in the elections with a sum of `2 lakh but, sir, you know that much money was not required. I have brought the two lakh rupees back with my sincere thanks to you for helping me at this crucial juncture. I would have forbidden my son-in-law but my son-in-law told me about the money he took from you after the elections were over.” After narrating the story, Khushwant lapsed into a moment of silence and then said, “Eho ja imandar Pradhan Mantri kithe milna hai?”(Where can you find a Prime Minister who is so honest?). g Man for all seasons jaswant battles on in barmer W riter Khushwant Singh used to go to Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh as soon as the summer set in. Though this is an old anecdote, it is about him and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Khushwant not only used to write about political personali- ties but used to help them sometimes in their political careers also. The gfiles editor hap- pened to be in Kasauli in 2004 and went to get an interview with Khushwant for Doordarshan. Over drinks, in a beautiful hut near the Kasauli Club, Khushwant narrated the story about Manmohan’s honesty. Manmohan was contesting the election from the South Delhi Parliamentary constituency in 1999 as a Congress candidate (Vijay Kumar Malhotra defeated him). During this period, Manmohan’s son-in-law visited Khushwant and said that Manmohan did not have funds and, without funds, election cannot be managed. Khushwant listened silently and told him to come back after two days. As Khushwant narrated, “I called some industrial friend of mine to give two lakh rupees for election purposes At that time, I was expelled because of my views on Mohammed Ali Jinnah. In my book,Ihadwritten that it was Pandit Nehru who moved the Partition resolution in Congress, and Sardar Patel had seconded it. Though nobody in the BJP had read that book, I was expelled.” Nitin Gadkari brought Jaswant back into the BJP fold. It was a great insult to Jaswant but being the gentleman he is, he thought that in a democratic party, one man will not be able to affect his political survival. But political developments proved otherwise. Jaswant was denied a ticket and finally the Thakur of Rajasthan had no recourse but to challenge his party’s decision. Wait and watch for the election results. g Honestly speaking an anecdote from khushwant singh
  5. 5. www.gfilesindia.com6 gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 after touring the whole state for five months, he organised a rally in Kurukshetra to announce his departure from the Congress party. But every other party too shut its doors to him. It can be said about Sharma: “Na khuda hi mila na visale sanam, na idhar ke rahe na udhar ke rahe (Neither did I meet God, nor my beloved; I was left stranded).” g I N S I D E E Y E ILLUSTRATIONS:ARUNA Dost dost na raha venod sharma, hooda part company O NE can buy almost everything but no one can buy reputation—once it is gone, it is gone forever. This reflects the situation of Haryana’s Venod Sharma. He did everything to emerge as a political personality in the State, but no political party cared for him. The honeymoon between Sharma and the Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, seems to have ended. This is being seen as a key political development in the State. Both used to share the same bench in college in Chandigarh in their student days. They had family ties and very strong bonds but the three ‘Ws’ —wealth, wine and women—can spoil any relation. According to the grapevine, Hooda and Sharma are at loggerheads due to a misunderstanding over land and money distribution. Further, sources reveal that Asha bhabhi (Hooda’s wife) has latelystarteddislikingSharmabecauseofhisallegednefarious activities. It is learnt that on a recent evening spent with Sharma, Hooda took some medicines worked on some parts of the body. The dose was so strong that it landed him in hospital. The whole Hooda family was worried about this friendship. The last straw came from Sharma himself when,
  6. 6. 7www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 Bric-a-bracfeats & seats Hot seat in Gujarat anandiben patel leads the fray A certain political strategist within the BJP feels that Narendra Modi should have resigned as Chief Minister and then campaigned for the Prime Ministership but admitted it is not an easy decision, not only for Modi but also for the BJP and RSS to immediately relieve a strong Chief Minister. The question is if the BJP gets a majority and Modi becomes the next Prime Minister of this country, who will take over the reins of the Gujarat government? There is a long queue but sources say, after observ- ing past trends, Anandiben Patel is likely to be the new Chief Minister of Gujarat. Patel and her daughter manage the show and control the power within the State. It is to be seen whether RSS elements within the BJP who are not in favour of her gender would like to see her as the first woman Chief Minister of a BJP-ruled State. Much like Modi has proved everybody wrong, if NaMo comes to Delhi, Patel will be the new Chief Minister, defying everybody. g Parliament, here I come chidambaram a step ahead D O you think PC Chidambaram will be out of Parliament 2014? No, as a shrewd politician, he has already envisioned the roadmap of his politi- cal journey. The Karnataka Assembly has to elect four Rajya Sabha MPs in June 2014. Congress sources dis- close that Chidambaram has been assured a Rajya Sabha ticket from Karnataka. No wonder, he took a conscious decision not to contest the election from the Sivaganga parlia- mentary constituency and instead requested the Congress high command to allot the seat to his son, Karti. He also knew that he would not be able to win from Sivaganga unless there is an alliance between the Congress and either the DMK or the AIADMK. Kudos to Chidambaram for his forward thinking. g
  7. 7. COVER STORY elections 2014 prabhat kumar www.gfilesindia.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 20148 While there may be a couple of exceptions, as a thumb rule, the roles of a civil servant and a politician are radically different and should be kept separate Should a civil servant join politics? ARUNA
  8. 8. 9gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014www.indianbuzz.com H URTLING towards the water- shed Lok Sabha elections, the country is witnessing a growing trend of retired civil servants joining the ranks of political parties. While it should not be difficult to guess their intentions as they know what power is all about, the question is whether it is appropriate for civil servants to join politics. There are obvious arguments in support of civil servants entering the political arena after going through a prolonged period of policymaking and implementation of policies. It seems logical that they can use their knowledge and experience for more robust policymaking and advising the government as an insider, rather than an impartial slave. In doing so, they would be able to demonstrate their loyalties to a political ideology with- out any reserves and express their commitment to something they had been debarred from doing by conduct rules. It may, therefore, be argued that with knowledge acquired during their service period, and educational endowments, civil servants are well- equipped for political jobs. However, it is the rare civil servant who, despite possessing the necessary intellectual competence, becomes an effective political leader. I cannot think of a single civil servant rising to the level of a national leader in our country in recent times. Going by intellectual calibre, he can perhaps contribute to nation-building. But, as a politician, I am not too sure. The civil servant is trained to be politically indifferent in his work. After living a life of political neutrality, it may be extremely difficult for him to adhere to the discipline of a political party. The acknowledged principle of the Weberian bureaucracy is objectiv- ity unsullied by any political ideology. Of course, he, like any other citizen, is fully entitled to hold personal views on politics and to exercise his right to vote. But, he is debarred from express- ing his political views either in his work or publicly. More important, a civil servant is obliged to transfer his expertise and loyalty from one elected government to the next one, irrespective of its colour. Admittedly, there cannot be a cave- at about civil servants staying away from active politics. There may be some who were born to be politicians, but who strayed into civil services. And, even while in government ser- vice, they played politics of some sort. But, as a general rule, an experienced bureaucrat is not trained to adapt to the mould of a political leader. My hypothesis is that a quintessen- tial civil servant is not adequately equipped to serve as a legislator, or a minister. I would say that the reverse is also true. A politician, should he be laterally brought into the civil service, would be a complete failure. I believe that the roles of a civil servant and a politician are radically different and should be kept separate. It beats my understanding as to how one is expected to jump roles. A civil servant, in his entire working career, acts according to the laws of the land and his conscience. As a member of a political party, he would not be able to hold his views against the party line. In our country, internal democracy does not exist in political parties. In case he enters Parliament or a State legislature, he would be toeing the party line and voting according to the whip of the party leadership. Would former civil servants add value to decision-making in govern- ment by being a part of the ruling political coalition? I have serious doubts. Are they adept in consulting people on important public issues? I do not think so. Have they engaged diverse stakeholders, either in policy formulation or policy implementa- tion? Definitely not. In my opinion, as a rule, civil servants do not fit into the role of a politician other than out of selfish motives. They do not possess the requisite endowments for trans- lating people’s wishes into reality, nor to buck the trend of unscrupulous abuse of power by political leaders. The empirical account of retired civil servants joining politics does not inspire confidence. They have not added any value either to policymak- ing, or to efficient implementation of policies. Almost all of them are moti- vated by promoting their personal fortunes. And, recently, we have also come across former civil servants changing their loyalties to parties with better electoral prospects. Besides, it cannot be said that all civil servants maintain the highest stand- ards of public service while in govern- ment. There are also instances of bureaucrats with dubious service records seeking refuge in politics. Endpoint: there are those rare individuals, who quit the security and comforts of civil service early in their careers with a positive political mission. Two recent examples are Jayaprakash Narayan and Arvind Ke- jriwal. I salute them for their courage and conviction even if their political success is doubtful. g (The writer was the Cabinet Secretary and the first Governor of Jharkhand. He can be reached at pkumar1511@hotmail.com) The empirical account of retired civil servants joining politics does not inspire confidence. They have not added any value either to policymaking, or to efficient implementation of policies
  9. 9. COVER STORY elections 2014 mg devasahayam www.gfilesindia.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 201410 D ECADES ago, when I entered the portals of the National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, as an IAS Probationer, the first principle drummed into my ears was: “You are a civil servant. You are only to be seen, not heard.” Having just arrived after command- ing soldiers in the field, both in war and counter-insurgency operations, I resented the word ‘servant’, but couldn’t do much about it. As years passed, I realised as to why this principle was given so much of the country. For once, I realised the true meaning of ‘civil servants’—being subservient to political masters and even extra-Constitutional ones! I was never part of that breed! Of late, the herd mentality has taken over and many ‘civil servants’ want to become ‘political masters’ by joining politics and becoming MPs, MLAs and ministers! And there are some variants at that! NK Singh (Bihar-1964) is the most typical. This high-flyer extracted the maximum out of the IAS as the importance. Despite being members of the most elite of civil services, covenanted in the Constitution of India, subservience had become the hallmark of most IAS and IPS officers. The less said the better about State civil service and police officials. I saw this in the crudest form when Emergency was imposed on the night of June 25-26, 1975, and most of these worthies crawled when they were merely asked to bend. The crawling started from Delhi Administration and Police and spread to various parts Yashwant Sinha, who left the IAS to join politics in the 1980s, has vacated his Hazaribagh seat this time for his son
  10. 10. 11gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014www.indianbuzz.com Of late, the herd mentality has taken over and many civil servants are queuing up to grab a chance of getting a Lok Sabha ticket and becoming MPs, MLAs and ministers! retirement age was increased to 60 yearsin1998,justbeforehewasdueto retire. He became Finance Secretary in the Government of India and then went on to become Secretary to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and member of the Planning Commission. He then joined the Janata Dal (U) in 2008 to enter the Rajya Sabha for six years and became Bihar’s face in the super-rich ‘Davos Club’. When Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked him to run for Lok Sabha, NK Singh promptly resigned from the JD(U) and joined the BJP, obviously to solicit a Rajya Sabha nomination. He wants to enjoy political power without facing the electorate, a true case of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds! The case of Yashwant Sinha (Bihar-1960) is different. He resigned from the IAS in the early 1980s and joined the Janata Party. Because of his political connections, he soon became a Rajya Sabha member and briefly adorned the Cabinet of Prime Minister Chandrashekhar as Finance Minister. Then he joined the BJP and was Finance and External Affairs Minister in the Vajpayee Cabinet. Having become a full-fledged politi- cian, he fought the 2004 Lok Sabha election from Hazaribagh and lost it. But he won the same seat in 2009. Having proved his point, he has now opted out of the race, but not before getting the seat allotted to his son. Ajit Jogi (IPS/IAS, Madhya Pradesh-1968) is the typical bureau- crat to enter politics mid-course and make a fight of it. He has been an Civil servants as political masters!
  11. 11. COVER STORY elections 2014 mg devasahayam www.gfilesindia.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 201412 MP—both in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha—an MLA and Chief Minister of a State (Chhattisgarh). Though disabled and wheelchair-bound due to a major accident in 2004, his fighting spirit has not dampened in any manner. Haryana is the inventor of the political expression, ‘Aya Ram, Gaya Ram’, signifying defection and floor crossing. In recent times, the State has gained notoriety for pursuing a predatory development model rooted in real estate, the land mafia and the resultant humongous corruption. Interestingly, while the list of aspir- ants for political power among civil servants is getting longer and long- er, encompassing most States, in its intensity the small State of Haryana takes the cake. Here the trend covers the wide spectrum of IAS, IPS and the State Civil Service. W HILE IAS officer Abhay Yadav has taken voluntary retirement to contest elec- tions, another IAS officer, HS Rana, after retirement, has joined the Aam Aadmi Party. Former IAS officer ID Swami, who became Lok Sabha MP from Karnal, was the Minister of State for Home in the NDA Government, and former IAS officer Kirpa Ram Punia was a minister in the Devi Lal-led State Government. Retired Haryana Civil Service officer Bahadur Singh was a minister in Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala’s Cabinet. After retirement, IAS officers BD Dhalia, Gulab Singh and RS Choudhary have joined the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). RS Malik joined the BJP for a short time while MS Rathi, who had joined Bansi Lal’s Haryana Vikas Party, was made a member of the Haryana Public Service Commission. After retirement, SL Dhani was made chief of the intellectual cell of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee. MP Bidlan, who, as DC, Sirsa, had fled from a function when fire broke out, resulting in the death of hundreds of children in Dabwali, has recently joined the BJP to seek the party ticket from the Sirsa Lok Sabha seat. The IPS crowd does not lag behind either. Former Haryana DGP AS Bhatotia revived the State’s ‘Aya Ram, Gaya Ram’ culture when he first joined the BJP, then shifted to the Congress and is now in AAP! Ranbir Sharma, who was IGP, took volun- tary retirement and joined AAP to dedicate himself to swaraj. Parmveer Rathi, another former Haryana police officer planning to enter the elector- al fray, was Chief Minister Hooda’s intelligence chief and was retained as adviser in the home department after retirement. Also, former Haryana IPS officer VN Rai joined AAP only to aspire for a ticket from Karnal. Another former DGP of Haryana, MS Malik, is a heavyweight in the INLD and a candidate for the Parliamentary election. The charade has gone to such an extent that the AAP leadership has offered the Chief Ministership of HaryanatoAshokKhemka,theserving AAP is trying to lure Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka to its fold
  12. 12. 13gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014www.indianbuzz.com IAS officer who exposed Haryana’s land looters and ‘kleptocrats’, if he decides to join politics and contest Assembly elections. Wonder whether Khemka will take the bait! The other two States with a high bureaucrat-politician conversion rate are West Bengal and the Telangana part of Andhra Pradesh. This is prob- ably because the emerging leadership in these States wants to benefit from the expertise and experience of these civil servants who have dealt with multi-dimensional issues and have the capacityforperceptionandanalysis.In Tamil Nadu, it is the opposite because the ‘tunnel-visioned’ Dravidian par- ties are averse to civil servants with knowledge and experience. The Congress in Tamil Nadu has also fallen in the same rut. The treat- ment meted out by this party to Vellayan Selvaraj (IAS-1964), a com- passionate and competent civil serv- ant during the 1991 Parliamentary elections, is a case in point. An ardent follower of the legendary K Kamaraj during his student days, Selvaraj won the college union president election, both in Loyola College and Madras Law College. Though he entered the IAS soon after college, his politi- cal aspirations remained. During the 1991 election, he was offered the Congress ticket from his home con- stituency of Rasipuram (Reserved) and was asked to resign from the IAS. After reconfirming the offer from the Congress high command (Rajiv Gandhi), he put in his papers, which were processed with speed and his resignation was accepted. During this period, he was stabbed in the back and the seat promised to him was given to the sitting MP. Selvaraj was left high and dry! T HE Election Commission (EC) is unhappy with the government's rejection of its suggestion for a “cooling off” period for bureaucrats looking to join political parties to con- test elections soon after retirement or quitting service. On this I am only partly with the Commission. They should not treat the full-tenure-sine- cure-enjoying bureaucrats on a par with the ones willing to sacrifice years of service in the coveted All-India or civil services. The EC could suggest different norms instead of making the ban omnibus. While there should be no bar on officers resigning from executive office mid-course to con- test for political office, there should be a mandatory cooling-off period for those who have completed their full tenure. Those who were re-employed and did sinecures in addition, and those who occupied constitutional positions, should be prohibited from contesting elections or receiving Ra- jya Sabha nominations. Political office-holders are public servants. When a civil servant who has sucked the ‘bureaucratic fruit’ to the full and eaten the skin as well, enters politics he could at best be a ‘political servant’ and nothing more! g The writer is a former Army and IAS officer. Email: deva1940@gmail.com While the list of aspirants for political power among civil servants is getting longer and longer, encompassing most States, in its intensity the small State of Haryana takes the cake. Here the trend covers the wide spectrum of IAS, IPS and State Civil Service NK Singh left JD (U) and joined the BJP because he was asked to run for the Lok Sabha
  13. 13. COVER STORY elections 2014 www.gfilesindia.com14 gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 Taking the plunge There are those who choose to opt for politics after retirement and then there are some who leave a career midway to serve the nation in a different avatar by NEERAJ MAHAJAN T HE debate is on: should civil servants looking to join poli- tics soon after retirement or quitting service be allowed to do so without any cooling-off period? The government reportedly turned down the Election Commission (EC) sug- gestion for a ‘cooling-off’ period. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) was reportedly of the view that barring ex-bureaucrats from joining politics immediately upon exit from service may violate the Right to Equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution. However, the EC has put the ball back in the government’s court on the plea that IAS, IPS and All-India Services officers who have just retired or resigned should be kept away from ‘electoral politics’ for two years after leaving service. This is to prevent bureaucrats with political ambition from favouring a particular political party in their final years of service. Another big question is whether politicians and bureaucrats have similar temperaments, or whether being good in one profession auto- matically guarantees success in the other. Also, would the mere fact that COVER STORY elections 2014
  14. 14. 15www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 someone retired as a Secretary from the Government of India be reason enough for a party’s rank and file to step aside and give the bureaucrat the right of way? How many young leaders in the party, who have spent 5-10 years waiting for the opportu- nity, would want a 60-year-old to by-pass them and start dictating terms. Moreover, how many former bureaucrats have really made a big and lasting impact in politics? For such bureaucrats, it takes more than 8-10 years after joining politics to rise through the chain of command and take some position of power. By that time, many of them are too old or they retire from active politics on health grounds. For people who have been used to ruling India right from the day they joined, what good would they do by being fringe players on the political sidelines? These are a few questions begging for answers. One of the most plausible reasons for this trend is that, though old, most retiring government servants are used to putting in 10-12 hours of work a day. The fact that they get pensions and are financially stable, leaves them with much less worries. There are, of course, those who join politics on being invited by a political leader. Another category is of those who wish to get important posts. Traditionally, bureaucracy and politics are like two banks of the same river—they rarely meet. Though usually the relations between them are civil and cordial, there are occa- sions when the truce is broken—when one of them transcends into another person’s domain. For instance, for- mer Union Minister Kalpnath Rai reportedly said: “Bureaucrats are just like servants…chaprassis, who bring water when you tell them to. They should not be allowed to act on their own.” Likewise, former Punjab Chief Minister Pratap Singh Kairon was so famous for his short temper that not many bureaucrats dared to cross his path. Things came to a pass when his Chief Secretary stood up and told him: “Sir, you are elected, I am selected.” T HE list of bureaucrats-turned- politicians includes names like PC Alexander, Yashwant Sinha, K Natwar Singh, Meira Kumar, Pawan K Varma, Ajit Jogi, KJ Alphons, and Arvind Kejriwal. It is well known that mass appeal needs a strong ideologi- cal focus and the power to convince and lead others. Such a virtue cannot be taught at an academy and cannot be attained by passing certain exams. In other words, an IAS officer may or may not be a good leader but a politician definitely is. Hence, clear- ing the IAS cannot be a prerequisite to becoming a politician. India’s former permanent representative to the United Nations Hardeep Puri (above); BJP President Rajnath Singh welcomes former RAW chief Sanjeev Tripathi (left) into the party
  15. 15. COVER STORY elections 2014 www.gfilesindia.com16 gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 I N the 2014 election, former petro- leum secretary RS Pandey, former home secretary RK Singh, former Mumbai police commissioner Satya Pal Singh and former IAS officer KP Ramaiah are contesting. If the current mood is any indica- tion, the Congress’ popularity is on the wane and the BJP is the favourite among bureaucrats and army offic- ers. It started when RK Singh joined the BJP. RS Pandey followed. Soon Satyapal Singh too joined the BJP. It did not surprise many when India’s former permanent representative to the United Nations Hardeep Puri and Maharashtra IPS officer RK Jain joined the BJP. But what raised eye- brows was when former RAW chief Sanjiv Tripathi announced his deci- sion to join the BJP. Adding to the list was retired IAS Bhagirath Prasad who switched to the BJP even after getting a Congress ticket for the Lok Sabha polls. Another strange combination is the case of Punjab-cadre IPS officer Arun Oraon who wants to contest from Lohardaga seat on a BJP ticket against his brother-in- law Rameshwar Oraon, a former IPS officer, now in the Congress. Another retired IAS officer, PL Punia, who served as principal secre- tary to both Mulayam and Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh, is contesting on a Congress ticket from Barabanki, a reserved seat. Downsouth,theemotiveTelangana issue is the reason why Principal Secretary, Rural Development K Raju, who till yesterday was respon- sible for implementing MGNREGS, joined the Congress. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), on its part, has a way of attracting retired bureau- crats to its fold, including many who do not belong to the Telangana belt. ProminentamongsuchpeopleareIAS officer AK Goel from Haryana, who during his postings as Sub-Collector and Collector for 15 years experi- enced the backwardness of Telangana district. Goel reportedly says that Telangana is like Haryana, which was carved out of Punjab. Each of them has a different reason. For instance, KV Ramanachari, who took part in the 1969 Telangana movement dur- ing his student days, has now joined the TRS to rebuild Telangana. At the other end of the spectrum, retired IAS officer Lakshminarayana, who joined the Telugu Desam, feels that only a regional party like the TDP can build a strong Telangana. Even diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s father, Uttam Khobragade, wants to contest the Lok Sabha polls. There are also some interest- ing personalities. Born in a tradi- tional weaver family in Bikaner, where hardly any student goes to school, Arjun Ram Meghwal went on to become an IAS officer and then a Member of Parliament. After clear- ing the written examination, he was shocked to know that he had failed in the interview for the Rajasthan Administrative Services. But he did not give up. He got through in the second attempt and was promoted to the Indian Administrative Services. He worked as District Collector of Churu district. He took the final leap in 2009, when the Bharatiya Janata If the current mood is any indication, the popularity of the Congress party is on the wane and the BJP is the favourite among bureaucrats and army officers It took Ajit Jogi (left) and Mani Shankar Aiyar more than a decade to make a mark in the political field
  16. 16. 17www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 Party offered him a Lok Sabha ticket from Bikaner region. Another such candidate is a mother of two, Priyadarshini Iyer, who could well enter the record books as the most highly-educated candidate in the electoral battle. Her qualifications include MBBS, degree in forensic science from Canada, LLB, LLM, PG diploma in medical laws and ethics (PGDMLE) from the National School of Law, PG diploma in forensic science and criminology (PGFCR) and PhD in International Law on Counter-Terrorism from the London School of Law. On passing the civil services exam, she was allot- ted the West Bengal cadre but soon quit to turn to law. She now wants to join politics. She is contesting on a JD (U) ticket. Then there is Jayaprakash Narayan, who joined the IAS in 1980. He was an all-India topper [Rank 2]. He resigned from the IAS in 1996 so that he could work on a grassroots movement for good governance. Narayan is the founder member of Foundation for Democratic Reforms (FDR), one of India’s leading think- tanks and research-resource centres for formulating and promoting fun- damental reforms in political, elec- toral and governance spheres and in critical areas of state policy. Narayan started the Lok Satta Movement in 1996 to educate the citizens of India about voting, rights and government. One has to only look back to know that civil service officers too have to prove their mettle in the political arena. For instance, even though PM Rajiv Gandhi himself made Ajit Jogi resign from the IAS, Jogi had to wait 14 years to become the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh. Yashwant Sinha took six years to become Finance Minister in Chandrashekhar’s cabi- net. Likewise, Meira Kumar, who quit the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and got elected from Bijnor in UP, took over two decades to get her first ministerial post in 2004. Similarly, Mani Shankar Aiyar from the IFS became the Union Minister for Panchayati Raj in 2004, 15 years after entering politics. I N Jharkhand, which has witnessed nine governments in 13 years, retired IAS officer Mukhtiar Singh has joined the BJP. Likewise, former Additional Director General of Police and Indian cricket team manager Amitabh Choudhary has decided to seek voluntary retirement and contest from Ranchi. Ironically, the sitting MP, Ajoy Kumar, is also a former IPS officer. Former IAS officer Mukhtiyar Singh has formally joined the BJP. A native of Sonepat in Haryana, he joined the Bihar cadre in 1974. Like this, many former IAS, IFS and Group-1 officers and their wives, are contesting elections. In Andhra Pradesh, Ramaiah holds the key to win the support of the Extremely Backward Class (EBC) and Mahadalits. In Karnataka, retired DGP Shankar Bidari has floated his own political outfit, Lok Shakti. Similarly, retired IPS officers KC Ramamurthy is keen on contesting from Bangalore North on a Congress ticketwhileKempaiahisseekingatick- et from Koppala in Central Karnataka. Retired IPS officer Narayana Gowda and retired Karnataka cadre officer Abdul Azim are competing for the Janata Dal (Secular) ticket for the Bengaluru Central seat. Retired IAS officer K Siddaiah wants to contest as a JD (S) candi- date from Kolar (reserved) constitu- ency. Similarly, KC Ramamurthy, the first IAS officer in Karnataka to clear the civil services examination in the Kannada language, is interested in contesting from Chamarajanagara as a Congress candidate. g Arvind Kejriwal, a former IRS officer, has risen like a phoenix in the political scenario RAJEEVTYAGI
  17. 17. www.gfilesindia.com18 gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 STATE SCAN real estate haryana Hooda regime’s ‘land grabbing’ under attack The Punjab and Haryana High Court has passed severe strictures on the Hooda government, saying the ulterior object is to enable private builders by RAKESH BHATNAGAR T HE Supreme Court held in 2011 that in the name of globalisa- tion and development, the gov- ernment is transforming poor land owners into marginalised people by acquiring their “mother earth”. This seems to have been proven correct in the case of Congress-ruled Haryana. No wonder then that the people label Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s government as that of “prop- erty dealers” or “land grabbers”. “In fact, it’s a land grabbing State and the land acquisition law is an engine of oppression,’’ a bench of Justices(bothretirednow)GSSinghvi and AK Ganguly observed while questioning the implementation of the law. Though the observation was squarely pointed at the ousted BSP chief Mayawati’s government, judges saw ill-motive in acquisition of land by different State governments, regardless of their hue—saffron, blue or green. “The State should protect the com- mon man’s right, but it’s the other way around. We can understand if the State is building canals, barrag- es, etc., but you are building malls, hotels, commercial townships,’’ the top court expressed its anguish as it lambasted the State. “Residential area for whom? Those people whose land was taken away, were they not needy? You think judges are living in a fool’s paradise?” “The State is driving out poor people. This is a sinister campaign by many State governments. It is anti- people,” the top court added. In the light of the principle estab- lished by the apex court, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had the occasion to pierce the balloon of development and infrastructure that STATE SCAN real estate haryana
  18. 18. 19www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 In 2010, Hooda government had released around 95 per cent of the acquired land to private builders and even granted licences to some for developing housing projects had been inflated by Hooda and his aides. It examined the facts and heard what the Haryana government had to say in defence of acquisition of about 1,400 acres of land spread in eight villages adjoining high-cost Gurgaon in 2009, a fact that a public spirited person, Dev Dutt, had brought to the court’s attention. There were several aggrieved farmers who had sought the court’s protection. In 2010, the Hooda government had released around 95 per cent of the acquired land to private builders and even granted licences to some for developing housing projects there. It rubbished the government’s claim that it’s under obligation to exe- cute “external development” under the Land Acquisition Act, and held that the Act does not cast any obliga- tion on the State or the local authority like the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), to provide exter- nal development works. “They can at best opt for executing such works at the cost and on the land set apart by the coloniser for such works. Not an inch of land is to be made available, or to be acquired by the State, for the execution of external development works as the Act obligates the colo- niser to set apart the lands for these works,” a bench of Justices Surya Kant and Surinder Gupta said in the landmark verdict. Judgesalsopassedseverestrictures on the Hooda government, saying: “The ulterior object behind acquiring land for public utilities is to enable the private builders in exploiting commercially every inch of their own land and maximising their profits.” The land in question, belonging to small farmers, was “forcibly taken away for those very purposes. The allegations made by the farmers that their land has been acquired by With the help of the State government, builders have occupied large tracts of prime agricultural land in Haryana giving mischievous and self-serving interpretation to the 1975 Act so as to give undue favour to the private builders-cum-colonisers, thus, carry weight,” the judges added. T HERE’S little doubt now that the Hooda government nur- tured the land mafia and this fact has been pointed out by the High Court also. “The petitioners appear to be right in contending that since they did not come under the pressure tac- tics of the land mafia prowling in the area, their lands have been usurped out of vengeance.” In doing so, the State machinery “bent over backwards to favour the private colonisers” to such an extent that even though the 1975 Act empow- ers it to recover the entire cost of external development works, includ- ing cost of land from the beneficiary colonisers, yet the landowners were denied appropriate compensation. PHOTOS: RAJEEV TYAGI
  19. 19. www.gfilesindia.com20 gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 STATE SCAN real estate haryana The colonisers too did not pay a penny—the entire burden was passed on to the plot-holders/allottees. The State action, thus, is ex facie unjust, unfair, arbitrary, whimsical and directly in the teeth of Article 14 (discriminatory) of the Constitution, the High Court ruled and also rubbished the Hooda government’s claim that the acquired land was lying vacant. A SSUMING it to be correct, the discrimination in invoking the forcible acquisition by the Hooda government was “writ large as the fact that huge chunks of vacant land had also been released is undeniable”. “The land is being expropriated only because they (owners) refused to come to the terms unilaterally dictated to them by the State- sponsored developers,” it held. As the Haryana government sought to justify its illegal action, saying the land owners were poor and by acquir- ing their land for “public purpose” enormous good was done to them and society, the High Court slammed the government, saying: “Poverty is a curse is true. But how can a welfare Hooda’s public interest farce T HE laudable judgment was a fallout of a batch of petitions filed by farmers whose land had been “arbitrarily” acquired and residents whose houses were also taken over by the Haryana government under the garb of “public purpose”. They had sought quashing of notifications dated June 2, 2009, and June 2, 2010, under Sections 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, relating to their land which was acquired for “development”. They had also sought to summon the records of the lands. It was alleged that the Haryana government’s notifications, covering about 1,400 acres of prime land in Gurgaon and its adjacent areas, were “discriminatory, mala fide” and “colourable exercise of power” to benefit big developers and others close to the powers that be. The HC judgment also recorded the averments made by the aggrieved petitioners, highlighting that a large tract of land was proposed to be acquired so as to “scare them away and put them under the psycho fear of losing their ancestral lands not even for peanuts.” “The other seemingly better option was to enter into ‘collaboration’ or ‘sale agreements’ with the private builders, or other affluent persons.” No sooner did “such agreements take place than the land proposed or declared for acquisition was released in favour of the builder companies and individuals.” B or C class constructions”. Recently, the Hooda government had received flak from the top court for being ruthless in acquiring land by indulging in fraud with its owner in Sonepat. “This is one of the reasons why farmers, who are deprived of their State deny the release of property (to owners) only because their houses are poorly constructed or are of ‘C’ class construction (poor)”. It may be pointed out that the apex court has repeatedly held that for the purpose of releasing or acquiring a property, there can be “no classification, like A,
  20. 20. 21www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 holdings, commit suicide. It also appearsthattheconcernedauthorities are totally unmindful of the plight of those sections of the society who are deprived of their only asset like small house, small industrial unit, etc,” a bench of Justices GS Singhvi and Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya said. The government was asked to pay a cost of `2.50 lakh for “illegally taking over the land of Raghubir Singh Sehrawat” by “fabricating” the revenue records and “forging” the signatures of Sehrawat’s illiterate wife, Moorti Devi, to show that she had attended the pre- acquisition proceedings. To add another ‘feather’ to the cap of the Haryana government, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) also reveals that during 2012- 13, the Haryana Revenue Department accepted underassessment and other deficiencies worth `8.16 crore, involv- ing707cases,outofwhich`8.14crore, involving 686 cases, were pointed out during the year and the rest in ear- lier years. The Department recovered only `2.52 lakh in 21 cases pointed out in earlier years. The CAG also noticed that 228 col- laboration agreements, relating to six districts, were registered between June 2007 and March 2013 in respect of land on which stamp duty (SD) and registration fee (RF) of `1.66 lakh were levied, not involving the sale of land. Scrutiny of these agreements revealed that the land owners author- ised the developers to take possession of the land with the right to construct, build shops-cum-flats and residen- tial houses in exchange for a share of the developed land and/or receive part payments. T HE developers were entitled to dispose of their shares of developed land in such a manner as they deemed fit, without requiring any consent from the owners. Hence, the development right/ collaboration agreements were con- veyance deeds and were liable to pay SD on the sale of property in respect of the developers’ share of land. As per rates fixed by the Collector, total value of land transferred to the devel- opers worked out to `1,190.76 crore on which SD and RF of `60.41 crore was leviable. However, the registering authorities mis-classified these docu- ments as agreement to sell, charging a pathetically low SD of `1.66 lakh. The CAG also exposed another scandal relating to revenue jugglery. Between 2007-08 and 2011-12, the Haryana government accepted audit observations involving revenue of `2,107.11 crore, out of which an amount of `10.72 crore was recovered till March 31, 2013. The recovery in respect of the accepted cases was 0.51 per cent only, which indicated lack of adequate action to enforce recoveries, the CAG says. Meanwhile, on April 14, the Supreme Court will take a final call on the law suits filed by HUDA and some realty and infrastructure developers, who are aggrieved by the HC judgment quashing the acquisition of 1,400 acres of land by the Hooda government in 2009. g The Haryana government sought to justify its illegal action, saying the land owners were poor and by acquiring their land for “public purpose”, enormous good was done to them and society. The HC slammed the government on this Another residential highrise coming up in Gurgaon
  21. 21. GOVERNANCE security propaganda www.gfilesindia.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 201422 Corruption and treason are the worst forms of threat to national security. Are we sure that this combine is not in place in India? Meddling with national security? by MG DEVASAHAYAM S OME weeks ago, a group of Kashmiri students in Meerut were slapped with sedition charges just because they cheered the Pakistani cricket team when it won a match against India in the Asia Cup. Some months ago, sedition cases were registered against hundreds of fisher- folk in the coastal villages of south- ern Tamil Nadu, just because they raised their voice against the unsafe and livelihood-killing Russian-built Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant. Some years ago, sedition charges and the National Security Act were invoked against Dr Binayak Sen just because he had in his possession some ‘naxalite’ leaflets and letters. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code describes sedition thus: “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible rep- resentation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or con- tempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India….” In common parlance this is called trea- son, the most severe offence against the State, punishable with imprison- ment for life. This provision of law is a powerful instrument to safeguard the nation’s integrity, security and sover- eignty and needs to be used sparingly and with utmost diligence. But, in the virtual police State that we are, low- level functionaries, at the behest of fascist-type leaders and crony vested interests, misuse this provision indis- criminately to suppress genuine dis- sent and protests that cause no threat to national security. But, when it comes to big bandi- coots, who openly indulge in activities that undermine the nation’s security and sovereignty, there is not a whim- per as if they have total impunity. How else does one interpret the total inaction by the government on the explosive formal complaint lodged by none other than a former Chief of the Indian Army to the Union Minister of Home Affairs on November 13, 2013? Probably this has happened for the first time in the annals of a democrat- ic country. This shows the deep dep- rivation to which India’s governance has descended to. The array of charges in the com- plaint commenced with the April 4, 2012, front-page banner headlined story in The Indian Express about the movement of a Hissar (Haryana)- based mechanised infantry unit ‘towards Delhi’ on January 16, 2012, coinciding with the day General VK Singh approached the Supreme Court on his date of birth issue. The news report deliberately linked this move to “June 1984 when some mutineers from Sikh units had moved towards the capital in the wake of Operation Bluestar,” suggesting in a devious manner that the Hissar troop move- ment was also part of mutiny. The news report insinuated that the mili- tary leadership had turned politically incorrect and non-professional and the Central Government had come under threat from its own Army. This is a clear case of ‘abetting mutiny by an officer, soldier in the Army, and attempt to seduce any such officer and soldier from his allegiance or his duty’, attracting Section 131 IPC. This Act, being prejudicial to the defence of India and the security of the State, also attracts Sections 3(1) and (2) of the National Security Act, 1980. The mens rea to commit the offence was evident from the fact that it had taken nearly three months to concoct, fabricate and put out a non-existing The Indian Express made a blatantly false allegation that the Army paid money to J&K politicians to overthrow the duly elected government of the State. The intention was to promote enmity between officers and soldiers of the Indian Army serving in J&K and the government/ people of that State
  22. 22. 23gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014www.indianbuzz.com coup d'état news story! The second charge relates to a unit called the Technical Service Division (TSD). It is a covert operation agency, activities of which are directly related to the safety of the soldiers fighting on the borders, retribution against the enemy and the security of the citizens. By its very nature, the TSD operation was ‘top secret’. In that event, even the existence of TSD should never have been publicised. Further, if there is exposure of the actual working of the top-secret unit, leaking informa- tion about it could be treacherous, regardless of whether information is true or not. Yet, on March 2, 2012, India Today published a story that, inter alia, reads: “The Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials say they are also con- cerned about the activities of a shad- owy unit called the Technical Support Division within MI, which has report- edly been equipped with surveillance equipment. Who the targets were and for what purpose, is still not clear.” On September 20, 2012, The Indian Express reported that the Army had appointed Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia to head a panel that would review the functioning and efficacy of the TSD that had gained notoriety following several allegations of irregularities. On September 20, 2013, the same newspaper published a front-page banner headlined story, “Unit set up by VK Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K government, block Bikram Singh: Army probe”, claim- ing to be a leak of a ‘Top Secret’ Army ‘Board of Officers inquiry’ report on the working of the TSD. Even the knowledge of the existence of the TSD can help the nation's enemies and subvert the security of the country. T he Indian Express made a blatantly false allegation that the Army had paid money to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) politi- cians to overthrow the elected gov- ernment of the State. The intention was to promote enmity between officers and soldiers of the Indian Army serving in J&K and the govern- ment/people of that State, thereby causing disturbance to harmony and national integration. PickingupfromTheIndianExpress leak on the TSD, on September 24, 2013, The Hindu published a news story titled, "VK Singh counters charges, admits ‘pro-India NGOs’ were funded". This story inserted a blatantly false claim that ‘the pan- chayat elections of 2011 was a major achievement of the TSD’, a statement which the General never made. What is more, the editor of The Hindu went into overdrive, got a story generated from the J&K bureau chief and pub- lished it on the newspaper’s front page on September 25, 2013, stating that “an extremely serious apprehen- sion of militant attacks on more than 33,000 panches and sarpanches had arisen because General VK Singh had completely discredited and maligned the panchayat elections of 2011.” The General moved an applica- tion under the Right to Information Act, 2005, before the Ministry of Defence, asking for a copy of the said report of the Board of Officers and the details of the action taken in the wake of the same. While the same Report PHOTODIVISION In the eye of the storm: Former Army Chief General VK Singh
  23. 23. GOVERNANCE security propaganda www.gfilesindia.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 201424 was freely floating among the select media, MoD informed him that the information so sought under the RTI Act could not be provided as it was classified as secret under Section 8 (i) of the RTI Act! Earlier, in March 2012, someone in the government deliberately leaked a top secret letter from the COAS to the Prime Minister, stating, “the Army's tanks have run out of ammunition, the air defence is as good as obso- lete and the infantry is short of criti- cal weapons”. This leakage has been reportedly traced to an official in the Cabinet Secretariat and nothing is known as to what action has been taken in this regard so far. The charges detailed above deal with very serious crimes of: promot- ing enmity between people of India, officers and soldiers of the Indian Army serving in J&K and the people of that State; causing disturbance to harmony and national integration; deliberately compromising the safety of the soldiers fighting on the borders and security of the citizens; abetting mutiny by an officer and soldier in the Army and attempting to seduce any such officer and soldier from his alle- giance, or his duty; wilfully disclosing top secret documents, thereby threat- ening the sovereignty and integrity of India and the security of the State; deeply impacting the fighting capa- bility and effectiveness of the Armed Forces in protecting citizens and safe- guarding the nation’s security, integ- rity and sovereignty and causing seri- ous prejudice to the defence of India and the security of the State. I N his complaint, the General cat- egorically states that these serious offences have been committed due to abetment and conspiracy indulged in by civil and military officials (past and present) in the PMO, MoD, Army Headquarters and some prominent media personalities. According to him, only thorough investigation would bring out the truth about who these persons are and what is their motive for indulging in activi- ties aimed at destabilising India and endangering its citizens. The General is so sure of his facts that in a recent interview with an online daily, www.thenewsminute. com, he said: “What we are dealing with here is nothing short of treason. Surely, it must be investigated. You find something against me, I'll take it on the chest. But if these people are guilty, as they most certainly are, why are you shying away from taking any action? I think, in most parts of the world treason is perhaps one of the most heinous of crimes.” The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) maintained a stoic and death- ly silence. The General, therefore, sent out a reminder on December 9, 2013. In this, he drew attention to a letter written by former Naval Chief A report claimed that secret funds in J&K were used to block Bikram Singh (left) PIB
  24. 24. 25gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014www.indianbuzz.com Admiral L Ramdas, along with senior civilian and military officials, on June 19, 2012, to the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister, raising similar issues and seeking a Commission of Inquiry. Despite this reminder, the MHA remained deaf and dumb till the General, through his advocate, sent a legal notice to Sushil Kumar Shinde to show cause as to why criminal action may not be initiated against him for his failure to act on the complaint regarding grave offences of sedition, treason and violation of the Official Secrets Act by certain individuals as well as dereliction of duty in such a serious matter that has direct impli- cations on India’s national security. T HE MHA panicked. All they did was to send the General’s complaint with backdated forwarding letters marked ‘secret’ to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and the Ministry of Defence for ‘appropriate action’. There was yet another attempted act of treason blocked by proactive counteraction by the veteran com- munity led by General VK Singh and Lt General Prakash Katoch. This pertained to the Ottawa-based Atlantic Council, alleged to have links with Pakistan’s ISI, announcing in September 2012 the signing of an agreement to demilitarise the Siachen heights as part of confidence-building measuresbetweenIndiaandPakistan. This agreement was negotiated by a 22-member India-Pakistan Track II team, headed on the Indian side by former Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi, in its various meetings in Bangkok, Dubai, US and, finally, Lahore. This was despite the clear stand adopted by the Army, MoD and the Ministry of External Affairs against the glacier's ‘demilitarisation’ that has huge strate- gic value for India. The key facilitator in this act was a former Army colonel, now a freelance blogger-cum-col- umnist, who worked closely with the PMO to consummate the agreement! Corruption and treason are the worst forms of threat to national security that have caused countries and governments to crumble and fall asunder. When both go hand-in- hand, it is the deadliest of combina- tions that could destroy any nation or people. Are we sure this com- bine is not in place in India? The big question is, can the country hold? If so, for how long? g The writer is a former Army and IAS officer. Email: deva1940@gmail.com In the virtual police State that we are, low-level functionaries, at the behest of fascist-type leaders and crony vested interests, misuse the provision of national security indiscriminately to suppress genuine dissent and protests The three defence chiefs with Defence Minister AK Antony UNI
  25. 25. GOVERNANCE growth ashwani lohani www.gfilesindia.com26 gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 Making an organisation tick The operating ratio of an organisation is the single most important pointer of excellence O RGANISATIONAL excellence is the need of the hour, and I wonder what excellence in organisations is really all about. Perhaps it is about achieving the optimum blend of profitability, pro- ductivity, operating ratio, work cul- ture, employee and customer satisfac- tion, ethical values, environment and corporate social responsibility. Or maybe much more. I am not an expert on this subject. Yet, if I am asked to lay a finger on the one single index that can be a pointer towards organi- sational excellence, it has to be the operating ratio of the organisation. My first visit overseas was an eye- opener. It brought me down to earth and that did me a lot of good in ensu- ing years. I would, therefore, like to relate two or perhaps three incidents that really made me appreciate that there are no rich and poor nations but only productive and unproductive ones. My second visit overseas to the land of the rising sun, Japan, and then to England opened my eyes. By then, I was almost convinced that the road to prosperity goes via deliverance. What is needed in our country is a quantum jump in deliv- erance—cutting across sectors and states. Since then, the Hindu rate of growth failed to impress me for that would keep the nation relatively at the same place. Why can’t we aspire for growth rates in excess of 25 per cent per annum, especially in the case of commercial organisations? Perhaps
  26. 26. 27www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 Firm adherence to ethics, value systems and genuine concern for the employees is what really differentiates excellent firms from the routine. This is far more important than merely chasing production or revenues and is not yet apparent to many of the corporate, especially those from the sarkari sector! therein lies the difference between capabilities of managers and leaders. We need to cultivate leaders rath- er than merely focusing on impart- ing managerial skills. One defini- tion of leadership is that it is the art of achieving many times more than what the science of management says is possible. This is one singular trait, the trailblazing results of which have been amply witnessed in the cases of Gandhi from India, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Mahathir Mohammad of Malaysia, to name a few. Leadership is the issue. It is a lot about believing in yourself even when none believe in you. It is also about being more committed to speaking the truth than seeking the approval of others; besides, it encompasses all core managerial and human values. Now let us look at success. We all aspire to be successful, yet what is success all about? It is important not to measure personal success and sense of well-being through mate- rial possessions. Success is not about what you create for yourself, it is what you leave behind. Success is the abil- ity to rise above discomfort, whatever may be the current state. You can, if you want, raise your consciousness above your immediate surroundings. Success is about vision. It is the ability to rise above the immediacy of pain. It is about imagination. It is about sensitivity to small people. It is about building inclusion. It is about connecting to a larger world existence. It is about personal tenacity. It is about giving back more to life than you take out of it. It is about creating extraordinary success with ordinary lives. If wealth gave happiness and satisfaction, then Mukesh Ambani should be the happiest person in the country and if power and position gave that, then the Prime Minister should be; yet that is not the case. There is something else within us that is the true fountainhead of happiness and satisfaction. The sooner in life we understand this simple philosophy, the better it is. A T Patratu in Jharkhand, I started appreciating the real value of human resources. The combined strength of over a thousand men working in unison delivered much more than what even the best of my predecessors expected of the team. That the men in return expected nei- ther enhanced wages nor promotions nor rewards, but genuineness on the part of management was a realisa- tion that dawned on me at Patratu and continued during my next stint at the Diesel Locomotive Works at Varanasi. I also realised that unions are an essential part of any enterprise with a substantial workforce, yet they merely thrive on the incompetency or non-genuineness of primarily the apex management. Slowly, with the passage of time, it dawned on me that whether it is a parchun ki dukaan, a big corporate or a nation, it is the top guy who really matters and everything else is merely a symptom. Yet how wrong most of us really are in always attempting to The renovated New Delhi Railway Station drew applause even from the CAG
  27. 27. GOVERNANCE growth ashwani lohani www.gfilesindia.com28 gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 tackle the symptoms? Thankfully, our family doctors are not like us—they rightly attack the disease! Tackling the 3 Ms in a defined time- frame to achieve the desired objective is at the core of the philosophy of man- agement. Yet, in the complex maze of organisations that we live in, we invariably fail to appreciate that the “will” to achieve is on a much higher planethanthehowsandthewhys.The regular engagement in the hows and whys of things, therefore, amazes me no end. There are examples galore of the tremendous success achieved by nations and organisations, inspired merely by the sheer willpower of the leader. The meteoric rise of Germany in the 1930s and then again after total demolition in the Second World War is a vivid example of willpower. I often wonder what would have hap- pened if we Indians were left in the lurch in 1945 as the Germans were— we would still be begging the devel- oped world, the World Bank and the IMF for dole. What we would have done with the dole is another matter. National catastrophes like cyclones, earthquakes and what Uttarakhand recently went through have started emerging as occasions for the rulers to make hay while the sun shines. Unfortunate, yet true! How deep is the abyss, I wonder? A few days back, one of my younger colleagues asked me how to differen- tiate between a good and a bad post- ing. My reply was that a posting con- ventionally regarded as good by the masses is bad and vice versa—provid- ed, of course, that power and money are not the aim and making a differ- ence is. After all, who said that the US has potential or Germany has poten- tial? It is India that is still accumulat- ing potential in almost every sphere of activities. Potential is indeed a dirty word and generally postings regarded as bad, possess tonnes of untapped potential. T ACKLING the tourism major, the India Tourism Development Corporation, and that too dur- ing an era when the nation was going through the motions of selling the family silver, was an interesting assignment. It was no cakewalk. It was beleaguered on all sides, heavily loss-making and a corrupt organisa- tion. With my not belonging to the elite service of the nation, the ad hoc appointment and the disinvestment ministry breathing down our throats, even paying salaries to staff was a challenge. And then came 9/11 as the icing on the cake! Yet Hotel Ashok, the flagship and the conscience-keeper of the corporation, posted the biggest hotel turnaround of those times—its turnover grew by almost 60 per cent in the year when the hotel industry worldwide plummeted. This turna- round gave jitters to the powers- that-be and was mainly fuelled by two components—the turnaround decision taken by the apex man- agement and the absolute commit- ment of the staff in ensuring the success of the effort that followed. Innovative and bold promotional campaigns gave MP Tourism new life
  28. 28. 29www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 Firm adherence to ethics, value sys- tems and genuine concern for employ- ees are what really differentiate excel- lent firms from the routine. Clamping down on corrupt practices, imbibing value systems and providing genuine leadership to the men, therefore, has to be the fundamental focus area of the top guy. This is far more impor- tant than merely chasing production or revenues and is not yet apparent to many of the corporates, especially those from the sarkari sector! In the sarkari domain, most of us are often at a loss to decide from where to start, and therefore there are umpteen sad stories of confining ourselves to planning and PowerPoint presentations that paint a rosy future yet fail to impress. Grandiose futures emerging from dingy rooms occupied by demoralised employees are just not acceptable. Therefore, in all my postings, I literally begin with a clean- up drive. I cannot visualise a bubbly enterprise in the absence of smart offices, units and workplaces. The men have to start feeling the change and that is what started happening at the dingy headquarters of Madhya Pradesh Tourism in 2004 and contin- In all my postings, I literally begin with a clean-up drive. I cannot visualise a bubbly enterprise in the absence of smart offices, units and workplaces. The men have to start feeling the change and that is what started happening at the dingy headquarters of Madhya Pradesh Tourism in 2004 and continued to happen for the next five years ued to happen for the next five years. The organisation turned around in the very first year and the turnover rose so fast that the profits at the end of five years were almost double the turnoveratthebeginning.Meanwhile, rapid strides in infrastructural devel- opment, innovative and bold promo- tional campaigns and making things easy for private sector entry propelled the State to the forefront of tourism in the country—an achievement cel- ebrated by a number of recognitions in the form of national awards. While managerial excellence played a major role, the almost ver- tical growth was made possible by inculcating ethical values, rooting out corruption and genuine concern for the men of the corporation. W HAT, however, took me by surprise was the tremen- dous positive response of the railway staff in the Delhi division of Indian Railways. Infrastructural development works that normally take decades were completed in record time and at such low costs that even the CAG profusely compli- mented the renovation work at New Delhi Station in its audit report of the CWG Games. Here again, a transpar- ent environment, genuine concern for the men, quick decision-making and regular emphasis on value systems played a major role. All great performances appear smooth, be it Geet Sethi playing bil- liards or Sachin Tendulkar scoring centuries, and all bad performances give an impression of tremendous activity. The test is that if an organisa- tion and its constituents appear to be at peace with themselves, it is almost always certain that it is on the road to achieving excellence. Leaders clearly differentiate between remaining busy and deliv- ering. They also quickly separate the grain from the chaff. For them, achieving organisational excellence is simple, though it often appears impossible. It only requires the will, commitment, genuineness and integrity on the part of the manage- ment. Once the decision to achieve excellence is taken, the next step is to put life and soul into achieving the objective. g The author is CAO, Indian Railways Organisation for Alternate Fuels Delhi’s Hotel Ashok posted profits after 9/11 in a remarkable turnaround
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  31. 31. FIRST STIRRINGS shovana narayan www.gfilesindia.com32 gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 ‘You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching’ by SHAILAJA CHANDRA F INDING an unusual retired woman civil servant proved to be a challenge. Some have achieved high visibility but I needed a compel- ling story, not a list of achievements. And then the name of Kathak maestro Shovana Narayan, recipient of Padma Shri (1992) and until 2011 a full-time member of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service, came to mind! And the cherry on my story would be her marriagetoHerbertTraxl,anAustrian diplomat. To have fulfilled three pur- suits–dancer, officer and diplomat’s wife–concurrently, and without a crinkle of controversy, would certain- ly make an unusual story. The questions were obvious: What led her to dance and what drove her to excel? How difficult was it to manage two professional careers as a classical dancer and as a member of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service? Did marriage and long periods of separation affect the couple’s relationship? Shovana calls herself a “plodder” and attributes her success to two factors—hard work and determina- tion. Looking at her family back- ground, that may not be entirely true. Although she may not have been born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she certainly had bells on her toes before, as a toddler, she got shoes! Shovana was greatly influenced by her mother and the atmosphere in which she grew up. She belonged to an enlightened Bihari zamindar fam- ily where two influences were at work.
  32. 32. 33www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 before, she sensed that the audience was getting restive. It was a desperate moment for her and one that needed a quick response. In that moment, beset with forebodings about what loomed ahead as a maiden failure, she learnt a universal truth: every performing artiste must inevitably discover the untaught technique of stagecraft— and quite literally dance to the tune of those who care to listen and watch. It became the turning point of her inde- pendent dancing career as she whirled round and round, faster and faster, pirouetting to a perfect finish and a resounding applause. Shovana’s reputation as a gifted danseuse soared from then on. But it was her first tour abroad which actually catapulted her into the inter- national limelight. Performing the role of Kapalkundala, the whirlwind female fiend of mythology, she bared her teeth and spread her nails remi- niscent of eagle claws before whirling herself frenziedly across the stage. There was tumultuous applause as the curtain came down. On her return to Delhi,thedoorsofRashtrapatiBhavan were opened for the first time—the On the one hand, mehfils and kavi- sammelans were a constant feature in the household. On the other, a strong sense of nationalism was infused in the older generation. Shovana’s maternal grandfather, Bapu Shyama Charan, and two of her uncles lost their lives in the freedom struggle. Her grandfather was the first Indian to be jailed as a part of the national- ist movement in Bihar. Her mother was a close associate of Indira Gandhi and connected with the All India Congress Committee. When Shovana had hardly started towalk,hermother—herselfaproduct of the Benares Hindu University and a music-lover—took her to Sadhona Bose, a prominent dancer-actress of the 1950s. Shovana’s initiation into dancing began right then, when the diva held her tiny feet and thumped them to the reverberation of ta thai that tat—sounds that were destined to resonate in Shovana’s ears for the rest of her life. A 1957 black-and- white photograph shows six-year-old Shovana with her little chest bearing an array of medals and an even larger shield alongside. The government house in Bharti Nagar where her parents lived was visited by famous singers and musi- cians, including Bhimsen Joshi and Hari Prasad Chaurasia. Once she was a little older, Shovana’s mother took her to the Sangeet Natak Academy and the Bharatiya Kala Kendra for coaching. It was here that the young girl was initiated as a pupil of Birju Maharaj, who accepted his new pupil but did not appear impressed by her studious looks. She was handed over to a senior student who took her under his charge. But even Birju Maharaj could not ignore the girl’s persistence and doggedness. Reluctantly at first, Birjuji became aware of his pupil. The rehearsals were gruelling and became more and more demanding as time went by. Even as this tutelage continued, Shovana pursued her education. Her good performance in science led her to join Physics Honours at Delhi University. Hardly a winning combi- nation for a dancer, but Shovana was made of sterner stuff. With a Physics Masters under her belt, she secured a CSIR junior research fellowship for solid-state physics, a pursuit which could not be further removed from classical dance! A S Shovana started accompany- ing Birju Maharaj onstage, it gave her extraordinary expo- sure and high visibility; but a dancer does not emerge into her own until she can command a solo performance accompanied by her own musicians. The first such opportunity arose in 1971 at the Shanmukhananda Hall in Bombay. It was there that she got a chance to test her talent for connect- ing with the audience and to face the distinction between the theory and practice of dance. As she performed what she had rehearsed so many times Receiving the Padma Shri from President R Venkataraman in 1992
  33. 33. FIRST STIRRINGS shovana narayan www.gfilesindia.com34 gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 ultimate State recognition. Thereon, her audience comprised visiting heads of State and foreign dig- nitaries—Prince Charles, Lord Mountbatten, President Kenneth Kaunda and President Jimmy Carter. Later, in 1982, at Moscow she danced before Indira Gandhi and President Brezhnev. It was here that an infatu- ated guest broke the security cordon, simply to shower flowers at her feet. Meanwhile, in 1975, Shovana had appeared for the civil services and had been selected for the Indian Audit and Accounts Services. She proudly recounts how at certain stag- es of her official career, particularly in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, she handled double and triple charges to cushion an acute shortage of officers. Throughout a 35-year-long career and thanks to the advice of the doyenne of culture, Kapila Vatsayan, Shovana scrupulously avoided postings which had anything to do with the world of culture. Even so, combining official life with Kathak was like performing a trapeze act day after day. While work- ing hours could be devoted to office, rehearsals and performances had perforce to be fitted into the early mornings and evenings. S HOVANA realised early enough that she had to be scrupulously punctual as the slightest laxity could jeopardise her dancing career. The prevailing mindset expected 24-hour commitment from an officer and hobbies and extra-curricular pursuits of a serious kind were considered a waste of time. The only way to sustain her dancing schedules was to lead a double life and do it as quietly as possible. Shovana left office on time and drove directly to the auditorium every day—her costume, accessories, ghungroos and musical instruments crammed into the back seat. Despitefollowingagruellingsched- ule, it was abundantly clear that she would not be taken seriously either as a civil servant or a classical danc- er, if one world heard of the other. While she crossed the career hoops on schedule, this was often attrib- uted to her prominence as a dancer. Cultural organisations considered non-khandani artistes as interlopers and her other role as a stodgy bureau- crat would not have endeared her to them. Shovana, therefore, had to maintain discretion by never reveal- ing one world to the other. To add to her chagrin, her success as a dancer was often attributed to her European diplomat husband, who was credited with opening doors for his wife! That he lived thousands of miles away from India and had his own career to pur- sue never stopped tongues wagging. Indeed, her marriage to Traxl, an Austrian diplomat, is a story in itself. In 1979, a fortune-teller predicted that she would soon be marrying a non- Indian. That December, Shovana met Herbert. What followed was a long- distance courtship and the dilemma of deciding whether to give up the civil service, her dancing career, her family life in Delhi and follow her Austrian husband-to-be around the world. As she puts it, it was Herbert’s sincerity and goodness that vanquished all her doubts and they got married in 1982. Bhupinder Prasad, Shovana’s batch- mate who registered the marriage, recalled the various wedding ceremo- Shovana married Herbert Traxl in 1982
  34. 34. 35www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 nies and also recounted a rather trag- ic story and the courage her dancer friend had shown. Shovana’s father had been killed in a railway accident and it was left to the eldest daughter to single-handedly unearth his man- gled body from a mass of corpses. On the few occasions that Shovana lived with her husband in Europe, she did manage to get a ringside view of Western music and dance. This enabled her to start collaborations, which culminated in an extraordinary repertoire of fusion dance that blended Kathak with Western ballet, the Spanish flamenco and the American tap dance. No story would be complete with- out a word from Shovana’s husband. I skyped Ambassador Traxl in Vienna and asked him how he fell in love with Shovana. He laughed and told me: “Initially I was intrigued by Shovana’s rare talent for dancing, combined with the career of a senior civil serv- ant. What puzzled me even more was that she had a Masters in Physics which made her a unique combina- tion of science, art and civil service. I got to know and admire her more and more, but one thing was clear: Shovana needed her environment in Delhi. If I uprooted her, I would be taking away what made her happy. So we decided to live as we have done. A strong relationship does not depend on physical proximity, it needs trust and understanding.” I N 1992, Shovana was awarded the Padma Shri for her contribution to dance. Her regret was that her mother who had given her all the opportunities to excel was by then no more. She missed her mother’s pres- ence at the ceremony and the emo- tional upheaval she experienced engulfed her once more when she received the Sangeet Natak Academy Award a few years later. All through their courtship and marriedlifeandaslongastheypursued individual careers, Shovana and Herbert lived on different continents. They bridged the gap by exchanging audio cassettes with each day’s highs and lows, long before Skype became a reality. A five-year posting which brought Herbert as Ambassador to India was a reward for having lived separately for years. Shovana gives full marks to her husband for what she calls his “ego-less friction- less self” without which her marriage and dancing career would have been on the rocks. Throughout a 35-year-long career and thanks to the advice of the doyenne of culture, Kapila Vatsayan, Shovana scrupulously avoided postings which had anything to do with the world of culture. Even so, combining official life with Kathak was like performing a trapeze act day after day The proud mother: Shovana with son Ishan
  35. 35. FIRST STIRRINGS shovana narayan www.gfilesindia.com36 gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 Their time together was not with- out lighter moments. On a visit to Mauritius, Herbert was met on the tarmac by an official from the Protocol Department of the Foreign Ministry. Shovana followed her European ambassador husband, clad in a sari. When the officer noticed Shovana tagging along, he asked her to go back and join others in the arrival hall. It was only then that the Austrian Ambassador informed him, “That’s my wife.” “Are you sure, Sir?” was the response! A S Shovana puts it, to be married to a diplomat was like being married to a gypsy. Her hus- band had selected postings as near Delhi as possible, which gave the choice of Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritius, South Yemen, Djibouti (Iran) and Thailand, with accredita- tion to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Two years after they were married, Shovana became pregnant, which pre- sented a new dilemma—in the world of dance there is great insecurity and anabsencetohandlematernalrespon- sibilities could have grounded her dancing career, making a comeback far from easy. Shovana continued to dance till the end of the fifth month when the bulge began to show. Forebodings about abnormalities kept gnawing at her, but no gynaecologist would cer- tify anything. When she was 34 years old, she gave birth to a boy, who grew up sharing nine months of the year with his mother and three months alternating between his Indian and Austrian grandmothers. As the years passed, complex ques- tions arose: Which language should the boy speak in? Where should he be brought up? Where should his school- ing take place? The solution left the little boy in Vienna with a grand- mother and two aunts and an Indian maid servant’s son, Chotu, 13 years older than him, as a playmate. What longing and yearning must have vis- ited mother, father and child can only be imagined. I spoke to Ishan, now 28, with two Masters in Economics and Law under his belt. I asked him whether he felt the pangs of separa- tion and whether he hated the pity that must come his way. His answer was measured, but cool: “By the age of 8, I understood very well why my parents stayed in different countries. Once I knew the reason, I accepted it and never felt sorry for myself. No one in Vienna ever pitied me; they were interested in how I was doing, nothing more.” In the 1990s, what had sounded like a charmed life, suddenly changed. Shovana noticed that her face was get- ting very dark and had begun to peel, even bleed. The condition spread to theneckanddespiteundergoingevery conceivable medical treatment, noth- ing worked. It just got worse. Around the same time, Shovana also suffered a hairline fracture, tedious for anyone but critical for a dancer. And then the final blow came in 2000, when she awoke with the loss of peripheral vision in both eyes, akin to wearing blinkers all the time. At a functional level, her condition forced a depend- ency on drivers. Far worse than that, Shovana was destined to hide behind layers of make-up to conceal the dis- colouration. Remarks about her heav- ily powdered face were hurtful and continue even today. Reba Som, a music academic and a friend of Shovana’s, told me: “What Shovana has been through could have sent her into despair and depression. It could have ended her dancing career, to say the least. But the way she has faced up shows her detachment from her outward beauty while her attach- ment to dance continues. It is a blessing of sadhana. Whenever I think of Shovana, I think of her brilliant smile. It is not a façade behind which she hides. Behind that smile, there is enormous depth that enables her to talk easily about her situation with no rancour or self-pity. It is remarkable.” The last five years of a 35-year-long careerinthecivilservicegaveShovana the opportunity she needed before retirement—association with the organisation of the Commonwealth Games as Special Director General, directly involved with the delivery of the opening and closing ceremonies. Indeed, the life of this unusual woman can be summed up with a memorable quote: “You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.” g More stories written by Shailaja Chandra at over2shailaja@wordpress.com In 1992, Shovana was awarded the Padma Shri for her contribution to dance. Her regret was that her mother who had given her all the opportunities to excel was by then no more. She missed her mother’s presence at the ceremony and the emotional upheaval she experienced engulfed her once more when she received the Sangeet Natak Academy Award a few years later
  36. 36. INITIATIVE workplace dalip singh 37www.indianbuzz.com gfiles inside the government vol. 8, issue 1 | April 2014 Y OU may not be able to choose many of the events in your life, but you can choose how to react to them. You are responsible for your thoughts, emotions and consequen- tial actions. Your emotional response, as is generally believed, is not your destiny but your own conscious deci- sion. How you use your emotions to tackle day-to-day problems is what reflects the amount of EQ you have. Since EQ is important, it is necessary to know the consequences of having a low or high EQ. Consequence of high EQ is the feeling of general happiness. When you have a high EQ, you are more likely to recognise the source of your emotions, and have the con- fidence to take appropriate actions, thus increasing long-term happiness. You will set your own standards by closely examining your own values and beliefs. You will lead your life according to your own terms, rather than be governed by society’s norms. Finally, the higher your EQ, the more you will assume responsibility for your own happiness, and depend less on society. Research on EQ has Consequences of high and low EQ revealed that people high on EQ are happier, healthier and more success- ful in their relationships. They strike a balance between emotion and rea- son, are aware of their own feelings, are empathetic and compassionate towards others and also show signs of high self-esteem. Consequence of low EQ is the feeling of general unhappiness. If what you can’t deal with upsets you easily, and if you are uncomfortable with yourself, you need to check your EQ. The benefits of being aware of how you feel from an interpersonal point of view will not be available to you if your EQ is on the lower side. You may not be able to choose a friend who is best suited to you because you are not aware of your own inner emo- tions. If your EQ is not high, it is likely that you will choose a friend who is not well suited to you. You may even choose as friend a person who makes logical sense but who just cannot make you feel ‘good’. The cost of this may be very high. Eventually, you may find excuses to end such a friendship. We may conclude by saying that emotional intelligence is the capacity to create positive outcomes in your relationships with others and with yourself. Positive outcomes include joy, optimism, and success in work, school, and life. Increasing emotional intelligence (EQ) has been corre- lated with better results in leader- ship, sales, academic performance, marriage, friendships, and health. Learning some emotional skills such as expressing emotions, identifying and labelling emotions, assessing the intensity of emotions, manag- ing emotions, delaying gratification, controlling impulses, reducing stress and knowing the difference between emotions and actions can make you a star performer. g Dr Dalip Singh, a 1982-batch IAS officer of the Haryana cadre, has a PhD in psychol- ogy from the University of Delhi. He can be contacted at www.eqindia.com TABLE: Consequences of Levels of EQ LOW EQ HIGH EQ Unhappiness Failure Happiness Satisfaction Frustration Dejection Elation Contentment Emptiness Anger Peace Freedom Bitterness Dependence Awareness Appreciation Depression Loneliness Acceptance Motivation Instability Stress Comfort Desire Low self-esteem Fragile ego High self-esteem Balanced ego

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