Induction of retired officials as minister will politicise bureaucrats

They would be like the pet on HMV ( His Master’s Voice) records, deliver with no questions asked and continue to be insensitive to the concerns of the common man

PTI Photo 
PTI Photo

NH Web Desk

How do retired bureaucrats see the induction of officials as ministers? The induction makes many of them uneasy. Here is the view of one such retired bureaucrat:

What do you make of retired IAS, IFS and IPS officials becoming ministers? Not that there have never been any earlier. But the signs are ominous. A political party with an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha feels the need to fall back on the old, the tired and the retired. Well, dangerous. Not a good idea at all. The autocratic PM is sidelining politics

These retired bureaucrats and police officers will deliver, as they did when they were in service, like automatons and be insensitive to people's felt needs which a politician instinctively responds to as that is what is essential to his survival. But bureaucrats, in service or retired, will be their Master’s Voice. It will be as oppressive and stifling as Presidents rule

First the Generals, then retired journalists and then retired judges. And now the bureaucrats. This incestuous relationship of the political executive with the permanent bureaucracy, army and the judiciary (Retired CJI as governor, RAW and CBI officials as Governors and Ambassadors, Journalists, Generals and IAS, IFS, and IPS officers as Ministers) is making the hideous "beast with two backs" and bodes ill for the separation of powers envisaged in the Constitution.

It is no doubt an attempt to refurbish the unprofessional image the Modi Govt has by now established in the International media and community ahead of the 2019 elections, and a desperate attempt to deliver- at least to the MNCs, the India Inc and the International Financial and Diplomatic institutions and metropolitan opinion makers.

The induction of so many Ministers from a civil services background will also cause these services to get increasingly politicised and to lose their neutral non partisan character. Every civil servant will begin to eye an alternative or future career in politics which will colour their decisions which may no longer be just and impartial but be taken with an eye on a career in politics after retirement.

This destroys the spirit of separation of powers of the judiciary/ law enforcement. Agencies, the executive bureaucracy, the judiciary, the armed forces and the legislature as well as the political executive, which is a fundamental safeguard for protecting true democracy and preventing too much of concentration of power in any one wing of the government, by providing for checks and balances

If top rankers in the different wings keep jumping over the ropes all the time, these checks and balances will be lost, leading to the growth of autocracy, dictatorship, fascism - anything but a liberal democracy. The BJP and the PM of course seem convinced that India does not need a liberal democracy and Indians would be happier without it.

If you need concrete examples, recall how Vidyasagar Rao, formerly of the CBI has been used in Tamil Nadu, or how former CJI and now Governor P Sathasivam of Kerala summoned Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after a RSS worker's death in Kerala, or how General VK Singh has behaved and spoken in public about the judiciary and the media, just for starters.

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