Is UPSC ‘killing’ talents? Or corrupting them? Think about it.

UPSC IAS IPS arbit Speculations Legend has it, becoming an IAS or IPS officer is the ultimate gift a talented young person can give to his/her family. You might not want to agree, but the truth remains that many of us have been at one point of time in life, ‘inspired’ ( or were tried to be inspired) by our fathers and uncles and grandfathers to study hard to be an IAS/ IPS officer.
Legend also has it that there is no power and status compared to an IAS/IPS in the administrative circle. Even the politicians can only transfer you, but they can’t fire you. You roam in ‘laal batti’ cars, and make decisions that matter, and you know that you are among the very few capable and deserving of making such decisions.

So, every year, tens of thousands of young talented men & women in India gear up for this ultimate test of old school wisdom of their country. A wisdom that is not based on mere laboratory experiments or calculus formula, or financial/marketing/entrepreneurial knowledge, but one that requires a basic understanding of how each of these important factors should be administrated in such a way that the nation progresses as a whole.
And then, surprisingly, the next thing you hear about an IAS/IPS officer is that whether he/she has been killed or, suspended for being involved in some kind of corruption. Either it’s a problem with the way media presents news to us, or there IS some actual flaw with the way IAS/IPS officers have to lead their lives in India.
What’s common between Narendra Kumar (2012), Yeshwant Sonawane (2011), Jagadananda Panda (2009), K.C. Surendra Babu(2005), Chadalawada Umesh Chandra (1999), G. Krishnaiah (1994)?
You seem to be getting a hang of this post. Yes, these are names of some of the many IAS/IPS officers who were either brutally murdered or committed suicide (after killing their family members). And the years in brackets doesn’t show their cadre or batch. They show the year they were killed.
Some of the news clippings read:

“Bhopal: It has been less than 2 days since IPS Officer Narendra Kumar Singh was murdered, another officer has been attacked by Mafia in  Madhya Pradesh. Alleged members of the sand mafia fired at the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) and sub-divisional officer (Police) in Panna district Saturday afternoon.”
~After killing Narendra Kumar, another officer targeted by Mafia,, March 11, 2012

“MUMBAI: The additional district collector of Malegaon, Yeshwant Sonawane, was on Tuesday burnt to death by the petrol and diesel adulteration mafia when he went to conduct a raid, police said.”
~Senior Maharashtra govt official burnt to death by oil mafia, The Times of India, January 25, 2011

Bhubaneswar: An under-investigation IAS officer who allegedly shot dead four family members before killing himself has left behind a letter claiming he was innocent of the corruption charges against him.”
~ Innocent cry before suicide, The Telegraph, August 2, 2009

“ HYDERABAD: Amid heart-rending scenes and a charged atmosphere, K.C.Surendra Babu, the Munger Superintendent of Police, who was killed in a landmine blast in Bihar, was cremated with State honours at Nalagandla in Ramachandrapuram here on Friday.

“HYDERABAD: A senior IPS officer, Chadalawada Umesh Chandra (33), his driver and gunman were shot dead by suspected People's War Group activists at Sanjeevareddy Nagar in the heart of the city this morning.”
~Senior IPS officer shot dead in AP, Express India News Service, September 5, 1999

The other side of the coin shows many IAS/IPS officers getting suspended for being involved in high level corruption case. Patna’s DM, Gautam Goswami, and scores of IAS officers involved in the Adarsh ghotala clearly show how the high level decision makers can and do easily get involved in corrupt practices. Just google ‘corrupt IAS/IPS officers’, and the wikipedia page for IAS mentions it, for crying out loud!
This brings me to the basic question. What happens to the starry eyed, grandfather-inspired, talented, outspoken, wise UPSC aspirant, who once left no stone unturned to burn all his midnight lamp studying the rich heritage and geography and political nuances of India amongst others?
The question is a bit disturbing. Suddenly the IAS, IPS posts start appearing as a sharp pointed hill. You either roll this way or that way.
It’s projected as if there is no mid way. As if there is no way an IAS/IPS officer can remain honest and alive.
It’s projected.
Is it a problem with the media, then? How about talking about some honest IAS/IPS officer retiring after having lived a spotless life. How about showcasing the achievements of an honest officer while he/she’s alive?
But what if we haven’t any? It’s something to be pondered about.
The UPSC talent hunt continues in the meanwhile. And the killings too. And we celebrate Holi.
Alok K.
March 12th, 2012
P.S. I apologize for having not raised the issue of mafia and the criminals and the illiterate politicians who comment after a brave IPS/IAS officer is killed. They are the real culprits, all of us would agree.


Mohi said...

First of all, Congratulations ALok! It is a wonderful write up!

It is the saddening truth. The worst part is, these killing or the 'projected' or 'real' corrupt officers are discouraging a huge pool of talented youth of India to appear in these talent exams and hence are cutting down a big percentage from the participation of young minds in governance which is the need of time. Huge loss, I'd say.

nitesh bhasker said...

The abuse of power to accumulate wealth has become the general norm, in almost every layer of the government and political machinery. Wealth and power have a close nexus as old as between crime and politics or between castes and votes...
An attitudinal shift in the mindset of the general public and higher levels of accountability help eradicate corruption in the bureaucracy as well as in the higher echelons of the political class.

sipendr said...

I still remember the furore created when DFO, Sanjay Kumar Singh was murdered by the quarry Mafia in Rohtas district.The matter reached till the central government but everything faded away,and real culprits where never punished.This same story goes on still today,this happens cause of political influence of the Mafiosi.

Unknown said...

Even the movies shows honest officers either getting killed or suffering a loss or something. they can't believe that an honest officer can very much leave a live a life without too much troubles. the pay scale is not that bad and if the standard of living can be kept in control it is not difficult to actually have a good life. the problems do come, because of the pressure created by the colleagues or people trying to bribe you constantly or if you dont do something then filing absurd charges against you, but comparatively they are much better than the trouble that a corrupt officer has to go through, apart from the shame of being called a corrupt one. Surely this has to change, we have to treat honest officers as normal human beings who can lead normal life. Neither it is necessary to make them look a godly unattainable figures nor to show how miserably they have to live their life.

Nice write up :)

Ankitchoudhary said...

actually....sir...whatever u r saying....i consider correct....but we have to face the reality....the atmosphere is full of corruption...n....civil servants have to survive in know honesty is best policy...but sir...u need flaw this quote to survive....we need to work smartly...understanding challanges of ground of being a fool...and getting died..need to work smartly...n formally...we cant change the country whatever happens....if anything can change the country..its politics..not buearocrats..thanks..

Ankitchoudhary said...

we need to work smartly..thats the solution..its just a job.....thanx

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you , with this very taught there may be thousands of youngsters give up their dream of becoming a civil servant. Every year you could hear a story of some IAS,IPS officer getting murdered or getting arrested for being corrupt. It will start from 1 page of newspaper and then soon fade away. Ministers will constitute a committee and hell no one knows what really it does. Mafia's will continue to operate with support of the powerful politicians.

If you have to be with politician you will have to be corrupt (there are always exceptions though) and if you are against them get ready for transfer. When does the stability really come in their life? Do IAS/IPS even get a chance to serve people? Do they really ever change a system? there might be instances but as in whole the stats does not look rosy.

And probably the post glitters only in the pages and in reality its a path filled with thorns

Anonymous said...

The Plight of India is that the country is no longer secular and united for achieving unified goals or objectives. India lacks strong leadership at the central government and due to which every single politician is taking their respective constituency as a miniature country and dividing the people on the basis of language, caste, religion and lineage to some influential political party.

We should not forget that we were ruled by so called Britishers for over 300 years with the same analogy i.e divide and rule for fetching maximum profit for their nation. This mindset cannot be changed with just 60+ years of so called independence. People still this date want to be broken apart from nation and they are more comfortable in addressing themselves as Gujarati, Punjabi ,South-India etc as opposed to be a pround INDIAN citizen.

The foundation of corruption is lack of nationalism,Manifestation of vested interest, No fear of judiciary as the prosecution rate of Indian judiciary system is very low,No system of checking the and prosecuting the elite.
Until and unless the three pillars of democracy i.e Legislative, Judiciary and Executive wings are not overhauled to the suit the demand and supply of the current society we would not be able to notice any changes happening any sooner. The elite needs to be punished for their corrupt practices which would ultimately set fear in the heart of their subordinates and curb corruption to some level.

In the last if anyone wishes to become IAS/IFS/IPS officer with the mind set to CHANGE THE SYSTEM then they would be simply wasting their precious lives. You can always serve your nation by following the fundamental duties of a citizen.

India can never progress or move ahead until and unless it set example for their younger generation as people are quite aware of the world with the advent of internet and flocking to overseas for brighter future is now in trend for this very particular reason.

Hope this gives a idea to those individuals who wishes to pursue their career in civil services with some wrong goals.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Such a condition existed since time immemorial. all empires had corrupt rulers and officers. Its kalyug. it takes chanakya niti to defeat alexander without much fight


Anonymous said...

Judiciary in India perceived once as last resort for justice is the most corrupt and has eroded the fabric of social ,economic and governance system in the name of independence of judiciary through so called collegium system which in effect is fraternal collusion

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