The post that a BJP MP got Facebook to take down

IPS officer Roopa Moudgil’s post criticising the stand of a BJP Member of Parliament, Pratap Simha, was taken down by Facebook. Read the post yourself and judge if this was justified

Photo courtesy: pratapsimha.com
Photo courtesy: pratapsimha.com
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NH National Bureau

Pratap Simha had taken to Facebook to allege that honest officers were seeking transfer out of Karnataka and lobbying in Delhi for central deputation. While it was meant to be a veiled attack on the Congress government in Karnataka, Moudgil, who is a DIG rank officer, responded by requesting the MP to leave the bureaucracy alone and refrain from politicising it. The MP first reacted by complaining to Facebook and got the post removed from her wall. He then defended his stand on social media before eventually relenting and saying that he had great regard for Moudgil and other officers. The standoff was reported by various newspapers including The Financial Express here.

Pratap Simha had earlier hogged the headlines for criticising Gurmehar Kaur, a Delhi University student who had posted a video advocating peace between India and Pakistan, and comparing her to Dawood Ibrahim.

In her post on “Why the views of Honorable MP Pratap Simha are so very wrong and dangerous,” the IPS officer wrote the following open letter:

“Respected Sir , I earnestly request you to let the bureaucracy be to itself free from political endorsements. Because, politicisation of bureaucracy does not help the system and society in the long run.”

“I know these officers personally—the ones you have mentioned in your facebook post/twitter and I can vouch that none of them have raised any hue and cry about political harassment whatsoever.”

“Sir, you have said that Mr Madhukar Shetty left the state because no good posting was given to him which seems to be just your imagination. The fact is that there is no post as good or bad in rules and legislations. It is the officers who make a post good or bad. Shining example of this is none other than Mrs Kiran Bedi who did wonderful work in the so called nondescript posting in Tihar Jail. We officers know when we get selected that there are no promises in government jobs about posting in the best of best places. Most of us come with a zeal to serve the rural hinterland of our country.”

“It is a necessity as well as a desire of every IAS and IPS officer to serve on central deputation for enrichment of job experience. It is basically this desire that pulls us to the national capital and not any push factor as brought out in your writing. In the present case, it's the personal choice of these officers to serve outside the state and is a routine thing in administration.”

“Respected Sir , I earnestly request you to let the bureaucracy be to itself free from political endorsements. Because, politicisation of bureaucracy does not help the system and society in the long run. I know these officers personally—the ones you have mentioned in your facebook post/twitter and I can vouch that none of them have raised any hue and cry about political harassment whatsoever.”
Roopa Moudgil

“Secondly, hero-cult is equally bad. It is bad for the system to make heroes of one or two officers. When the system becomes dependent on one or two officers, it weakens the whole set up. And when that officer leaves the post due to transfer or retirement, it leads to crumbling of the whole set up and the period to recuperate is rather long.”

“I wish you had recognised the efforts and hard work of constables, inspectors, sub inspectors, Dy SPs about cracking the PUC paper leak instead of attributing it to one single officer. It is an injustice to the dedication and hard work of each one in the team.”

“It is this factor that makes subordinate ranks to feel that the IPS officers take singlehanded credit for the blood and sweat shed by subordinate staff. It is this which creates rift between police ranks, demotivates the unsung heroes in the department. It is this which has at times made the lower ranks feel neglected and harassed. In the long run, it only creates a divisive police system which is a bane to society.”

“For that matter, Mr Shetty was never posted in a good post (by your measure) even under the previous government. He was prematurely shifted from Chickmagalur and Chamarajnagar in the previous regime. Mrs Sonia Narang was left with no option but to file a case because it came to light that some unscrupulous elements were collecting bribes in Lokayukta in her name. We bureaucrats know how to battle it out. We also know that each one has to fight one's own battle and we come prepared for that.”

“By making one or two officers larger than life, we are actually jeopardising them. We have seen this a number of times that it puts the whole attention on such officers 24×7 and if they ever happen to err knowingly or unknowingly, they fall into unrecoverable depths.”

“Politician-bureaucrat nexus is hated by the public and the view endorsed by as learned a man as you occupying a high public office only adds to the problem and not solve it.”

“Finally, bureaucracy doesn't require politicians championing their cause for political gains. What we ask for is a free hand in (doing) our job…

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Published: 18 Mar 2017, 2:39 PM