Friday, April 16, 2010


Many of you might dismiss this as a plug; but believe me, this one comes straight from the heart. If you can spare some time, please read the cover story of T e Sunday Indian magazine that is available in the stands. You will read about a police constable Pratima Rout, one of the few who survived the Maoist massacre of Nayagarh (Orissa) in 2008. She was hospitalised with four serious bullet wounds. Forget adequate care, appreciation and compensation, Pratima realised that a senior cop of the IPS cadre actually stole some of the money allotted to her for treatment. The police department of Orissa now wants to recover the money from her. The same police department kept sending her notices demanding why the bullet riddled Pratima is not reporting for work. You will read about Mase, the widow of martyr Ganga Madkami, a policeman killed during a Maoist mine blast in Orissa in 2008. Mase and her eight year-old son Sunadhar, stay in a tribal village in the Malkangiri district – far away from the state capital Bhubaneswar. She is crestfallen and defeated by India’s bureaucracy; the illiterate widow has to go every month to Bhubaneswar and bribe a gang of ghouls (office babus) before she can lay hands on the pension due to her.

There is yet another case in which the Chief Minister of Orissa Naveen Patnaik personally intervened; or so the media reported. Sub-Inspector Ajit Bardhan was abducted and butchered by Maoists in July 2009. His retired father Jaykrishna Pradhan suffered a heart attack. The CM personally visited their house and issued categorical orders that the father and the widow (who incidentally went into labour on hearing of her husband’s death) be taken care of. Today, the retired father is doing the rounds of government offices because even the provident fund and family pension of his martyred son is yet to be released. There are numerous destroyed families of martyrs in Orissa – and everywhere else in India – who are going through more state-sponsored trauma.

Just forget all the hogwash about India Shining. How in God’s name can a nation and society even have the temerity to lay claim to greatness, when it so callously treats the families of those who laid down their lives to protect the nation and the society?

I could be biased because many of my close family members serve in the Armed Forces. But really, the shame is searing and scathing. I recall the summer of 1999 when India was fighting the Kargil war. My brother-in-law who belongs to The Rajputana Rifles, was sent with his unit to Kargil, leaving my sister and two young kids behind at Faizabad where he was posted. At the height of the war, I actually saw my sister being heckled by the railway reservation clerk at Faizabad who mocked at the fact that her husband had been sent to fight a war and she needed a train ticket that was her right as a citizen. I realised that day that the most destructive legacy the British had left behind was the bureaucracy.

Forget personal bias. Talk to anyone who knows these things and you will realise how the bureaucrats have systematically sidelined, humiliated and emasculated the Armed Forces. And then you read nonsense about India on the verge of becoming 'Great'? You must have a sick sense of humour...


1 comment:

  1. While agree with you that the bureaucracy is the most destructive legacy, and those bureaucrats are the worst creed, right there at top above the politicians or police or even the goons,it is not as you have stated a legacy left by the British.British bureaucracy and the system is actually a great one.If we have perverted that system, only we are to be blamed, not the British.So let us not blame the British because we are being governed by the greedy bunch.When each part of the system wants to corrupt it, there is nothing that can be done by the British.We have corrupted the perfectly set system.
    On different note, the very word bureaucrats, inspires absolute negative reaction. A perfect example of Pavlov's experiment.
    So good job with the description of theses bunch of greedy rich wannabes that we call 'bureaucrats', but if you expect them to be affected by your article, then good luck.