Former CBI director R.K. Raghavan’s suggestion to civil servants to reduce their stand in writing in a file, however distasteful the opinion, is sound and, in fact, practical (“The CBI and the bureaucrat,” Oct. 25). As he says, a considerable majority of officers are honest and have nothing to fear. This is the way bold decisions can be made on crucial issues leading to national gain. In the coal block allocation case, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s stand is eminently laudable and a great reassurance to honest civil servants.
One hopes top bureaucrats will heed Mr. Raghavan’s advice and record not only their views on policy matters but also the instructions they receive from their political masters frankly and fearlessly on files. That way, neither former bureaucrats nor whistleblowers will be in trouble. Some time ago, the former Union Home Secretary, G.K. Pillai, recalled the advice of Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel to civil servants to record their views fearlessly and frankly on any issue.
If all IAS and IPS officers across the country refuse to carry out illegal, improper and biased orders, their political bosses cannot do anything except transferring them out. If their successors follow the same policy, politicians will soon be checkmated.
G.M. Rama Rao,
The civil service was intended to be an independent service which could offer an honest and unbiased opinion. Unfortunately, it is neither independent nor anonymous any more. Officers are very much in the public eye. As for giving unbiased views, it is more an exception than a rule. The lot of honest IAS officers is traumatic.
H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana,