Lessons from Shah Faesal’s Resignation from Civil services

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Written By: ShamsurRab Khan

According to media reports, Shah Faesal, the only Kashmiri so far to top the civil services exam and that too a decade ago, has tendered his resignation letter to the concerned authorities and has decided to join politics. As a civil services aspirant during the days he topped the exam, I was inspired immensely by him and his success story. On an emotional note, I wish he remained where he was and tried to effect positive changes, but finally it’s he who’s to decide what he wants to do. I wish him success in all the good he wants to do in future.
Joining politics is also not a bad idea given the de facto relation of a master and a subordinate between a politician and an officer in India. This is a naked truth. The whole country is run and managed by politicians and others just toe the line or wield negligible influence.
The rules governing the functioning of the bureaucracy in India are crippling for honest officers. The system is so rotten from inside that no positive change is possible. Corruption, red-tapism and tyranny are so entrenched in the system that a sincere officer who qualifies one of the toughest competitive exams in the world to become a guardian of law feels so helpless that within just a span of a few years, he either succumbs to incorrupt system and gets soaked in it or is eliminated mercilessly.
The outward glitter and aura that surrounds such jobs lures many youths towards it who boast of such ambitions as to reform the whole system and work for the welfare of the people. However, they soon realise the cruel reality and are caught in a quagmire. The majority comprises, a few are eliminated and the few change the route…
This is in no way meant to wean youths away from civil services. It’s right that evil forces are in majority and good forces are in a minority there, which is indeed causing this problem. The solution is not to run away from the problem, rather to face it. Facing problem means being adamant on truth, justice, honesty and integrity whatever the costs may be. Though it’s very difficult in the circumstances we’re in, it’s necessary to make a dent however feeble it may be. The second thing to do is to try to increase the number of honest officers in the system so that they form a lobby of good forces checking and neutralising the lobby of evil forces. It’s possible only if the civil society takes upon itself the duty of preparing the honest candidates, injecting them in the system and giving them back support even while they’re doing their duty so that they don’t find themselves alone against the evil forces, mount a befitting reply suppressing the stinking elements and unleashing positive and fragrant vibes in the system. The third thing to do is on popular and activist level. There must be a popular stir to bring in holistic administrative reforms that cure the deep-rooted menace of corruption, red-tapism and tyranny from the civil services and make civil servants people-centric rather than the existing politicians-centric.
It’s in the knowledge of many that the proposals and mechanism to reform bureaucracy are all on the paper in the form of administrative reforms commission’s reports. However, they’re yet to be implemented in true spirit due to the apathy of the political class whose interests are on the stake if the administrative reform measures are effected. In this backdrop, it’s we, the common people who’ve to put up a united front and launch a wide ranging and effective stir to force politicians to act to reform the system. It’s no mean task but again not impossible before the might of a people who eclipsed not long ago the sun of an empire which boasted of the sun never setting in its realm.
Keep the spirit alive
Keep the candle aflame
Keep the courage afloat
Keep the head high and strong
To crush the head of oppression and tyranny!

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