Political strategy and expediency are indeed behind the Samajwadi Party government’s action against IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal (“U.P. serves charge sheet on Nagpal,” August 5) — suspended for ordering the demolition of the wall of an under-construction mosque in Kadalpur.
That said, the bureaucrat’s unilateral action on such a sensitive matter in a State that is vulnerable to communal conflicts was avoidable. Discretion and consultation are essential for effective administration.
The editorial “A suspicious suspension” (Aug. 5) rightly calls for the revocation of Ms Nagpal’s suspension. But it has also been reported that she is not a hero in Kadalpur where the wall of a mosque was demolished under her orders. Many residents to whom The Hindu reporter spoke have said the SDM showed undue haste in ordering the demolition. One wonders whether Ms Nagpal was a bit impatient. While she deserves all support for her bold initiative against the sand mafia, it appears that she is in need of some good counsel to tread cautiously in sensitive matters so that her well-intentioned initiatives are not faulted for procedural flaws.
That the Nagpal issue has been hyped so much in the media is disappointing. Why is no one talking about the Almora sub-divisional magistrate, Ajay Arora, who fell into the Mandakini during the relief operations in Uttarakhand?
The U.P. government has not followed the minimum requirement of calling for an explanation from Ms Nagpal through a show-cause. The authority who signed the charge sheet should have ensured that there was prima facie a violation of the code of conduct. Supervising the demolition of an illegal structure cannot be misconduct for an administrative officer.
T. Job Anbalagan,
Politicians spend crores to get elected. They cannot tolerate bureaucrats coming in their way of getting back the money they invest in coming to power.
As for civil servants, it is not as if all of them are honest and straight. There are instances of their acting vindictively against innocent officers who do not toe their line. They tamper with records, even fabricate them, to take action against non-civil services cadres. The associations of civil servants as well as the political lobby are very strong. The common man should not be fooled by them.
This has reference to Sonia Gandhi’s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to intervene in the Nagpal issue. Political parties vociferously champion the cause of honest officers when they are in the Opposition but become despotic once they come to power.
P.V. Ramana Rao,
As a teacher, I tell my students that they are the future of our country, they should always stand up for what is right and fight corruption. When I read about the courage, honesty and fearlessness of Ms Nagpal, I said to myself here is a young woman who has made India proud.
When I read the newspaper this morning — that the U.P. government has served a charge sheet on Ms Nagpal — I was stunned. Whatever has happened to the sacred maxim that democracy is of the people, by the people and for the people?