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Thursday, June 1, 2023

After Award-Wapsi, it’s time for Naukri-Wapsi drama by Nehruvian bureaucracy

After the ‘Award Wapsi’ drama, which incidentally turned out to be an utter flop, during the first term of PM Modi led NDA government by a select group of so called ‘intellectuals’, a new drama, this time by civil servants, is being witnessed.

We now have a ‘Naukri wapsi’ (job return) brigade where IAS officers are resigning citing ‘no freedom to voice their opinions under this government’ and their conscience and morality asking them to quit. Well, there would not have been any reason to take a closer look and read between the lines if it not had been for the dubious record and reasoning of these civil servants who quit. 

The latest to quit is IAS S. Sasikanth Senthil, 2009 batch Karnataka Cadre IAS officer and Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district.

In his interview to The Hindu, he said it was “unethical” on his part to continue as civil servant when “fundamental building blocks of our diverse democracy are being compromised”. “The coming days would present extremely difficult challenges to the basic fabric of the nation. As such it would be better to be outside IAS to continue his work,” Mr. Senthil added.

Some of his stated peeves against the Modi Government are a clear indication of what was really bothering this ex-IAS officer- Centre’s stand on Kashmir, Ram Mandir, Triple Talaq. He even went to the extent of calling the central government ‘fascist…like Indonesia and Russia.’ 

What ‘work’ he intends to pursue, only time would tell, but this sudden ‘morality’ and ‘conscience’ that these civil servants have developed seems like a hard pill to swallow; particularly because Mr. Senthil continued in his post despite massive corruption during the UPA regime.

Sasikanth Senthil – a ‘secular’ servant in the bureaucracy

Senthil hails from Tamil Nadu and is believed to have close links to ‘secular’ political parties. While honest and upstanding IPS and IAS officers had a tough time during the Siddaramiah-led Congress regime from 2013-18, Sasikanth Senthil seems to have had a smooth sailing getting plum postings of DC in Dakshin Kannada, Raichur and other parts of Karnataka.  

Sasikanth Senthil speaking at the inaugural programme of St Aloysius Institute of Civil Services (SAICS), a unit of St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangaluru (Credit: daijiworld.com)

Although seculars and liberal media want to make a hero out of Senthil and project him as someone who fought corruption and mining mafia, the reality could be quite the opposite.

It has come to light that RTI activist K.R Ravindra named Sasikanth Senthil as one of several corrupt officers involved in allowing illegal quarrying at Baby Betta Forest Range, and of being hand in glove with those politicians who were involved in the illegal activity. The activist has even written a letter to Karnataka State Human Rights Commission about the alleged violation and requested action be taken against the corrupt officials.

Joint Action Committee of Sand Contractors, Sand Boat Owner-Workers and Building Materials Transporters and Federation of Dakshina Kannada district Lorry Owners Association have also levelled several serious charges against Senthil such as favouring few families while giving sand extraction permits, giving contract for GPS installation on lorries to a blacklisted company etc.

Seeing the current climate of unsparing crackdown on corruption in Karnataka by ED and other central agencies, it is likely that the ‘conscience-stricken’ IAS officer quit in order to pre-emptively play the vendetta-victim card fearing investigations in sand mining scams where he is one of the kingpins. 

While quitting one’s job to pursue new career interests is neither unheard of nor surprising, the spate of resignations coming from the bureaucracy in the name of ‘fascism is rising’, ‘people’s voice is being suppressed’ or ‘secularism and democracy under threat’ are far-fetched and farcical at best.

Be it Shah Faesal from Jammu and Kashmir, Sasikanth Senthil from Karnataka/Tamil Nadu, or Kannan Gopinathan from Kerala/Dadra & Nagar Haveli,  there is surely more than what meets the eye. Faesal started his own political party after quitting from IAS and raised the bogey of ‘Muslims under threat’, conveniently ignoring the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus & Pakistan-sponsored Islamic radicalization in the valley.

What Senthil is up to and the kind of ‘work’ he will pursue out of the system will be clear in the coming days. However, there is no denying that anti-Hindu forces are at work and their single point agenda is to somehow derail ‘fascist Hindu’ Modi government. But people have seen through the farce; award wapsi failed dismally and Naukri wapsi is also headed that way.

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