IT’S a tale of two doctors, Dr Shah Faesal, the IAS topper of 2009 and Dr Ravi Inder Singh, 1994 batch IAS and home ministry director who was recently detained for allegedly leaking information in lieu of money and sex. Both happen to be MBBS-turned IAS officers, but they are not on the same side when it comes to Brand IAS.
On last Thursday,
’s home minister P Chidambaram released a video entitled “Ray of Hope”, prepared by government-run autonomous organization, National Foundation for Communal Harmony, highlighting the importance of peace, communal harmony and national integration. The video has featured Dr Shah Faesal, 2009 batch IAS topper hailing from the trouble-torn India , as the Goodwill Ambassador of NFCH. In the video, Dr Faesal has highlighted the need of being resilient against odds in life. While home minister Chidambaram released the politically correct video of featuring the young Indian IAS from Jammu and Kashmir , another IAS, a director ranked officer from Chidambaram’s own ministry was already detained as he allegedly leaked sensitive information related to a telecom company. And his reported code language, software from Jammu and Kashmir , meaning sex workers from that country, became a spicy topic for discussion both inside and outside the corridors. Uzbekistan
Here comes the big question in corridors of power--- is it the beginning of an end to Brand IAS? Remember, every IAS officer is a big brand in his locality and many middle class families virtually worship IAS officers of their locality or districts as big heroes. And there are many occasions in which IAS toppers are more popular than local MPs and MLAs, both elected representatives.
So, will the young breed of IAS officers being represented by Dr Faesal and his friends be able to stop the fast erosion of a century-old brand, Indian Administrative Service (IAS). Though IAS was formed in 1946, it was a much older brand considering that Indian Civil Service that was created in 1893 was just another name of today’s IAS. But Ravi Inder saga is just one of many recent occasions where brand IAS gets diluted. In February, 2010, Arvind Kumar Joshi and Tinoo Joshi, both 1979 batch Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS, became the talk of the corridors when I-T sleuths recovered a whopping Rs 3.1 crore in cash, jewellery and documents of properties disproportionate to their known sources of income. Similar raids also recovered Rs 52 lakh cash and jewellery worth Rs 72 lakh.from the residence of 1988 batch Chhattisgarh cadre IAS, Babulal Agrawal.
What’s more, in the world of RTIs and growing activism, if the IAS officers finally succumb to the public pressure to disclose their assets, more fall guys are bound to surface. Your assets, your file noting and yes, your telephonic conversations could soon be under public scrutiny!
Munna Bhai MBBS, an MHA insider