|Sudhir Krishna: Lodging a complaint|
According to reports, the incident of the alleged humiliation took place at a meeting, held last week, to discuss about the central assistance for Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The meeting was attended by finance ministry officials including expenditure secretary Ratan P Watal. Watal belongs to Andhra Pradesh cadre and is one batch junior to Krishna in the service.
“As I was trying to explain my point, Hon. Chidambaram suddenly started saying that he could not understand my English and that I should speak in Hindi, which his officers would translate for him in English… He (Chidambaram) repeated the same statement over and over, in a tone and tenor that was expressly humiliating,” Krishna’s letter said. Krishna shot off the letter on the day the incident took place.
Krishna’s letter was reportedly forwarded to Prime Minister for action. But the question is what action the PM can, or will actually take on this matter? Will he admonish his senior colleague Chidambaram, even privately? It’s doubtful.
So, had the letter been not leaked to the media, the matter would have been happily buried, and Krishna’s complaints would have been confined only to a few men in the corridors.
But the episode raises some bigger questions. Are the senior bureaucrats in Delhi sensing a regime change, which effectively means that they don’t need to care about the highhandedness of the present incumbent? Or, will we see more such outbursts in the open in the next one month or so?
Also, will other bureaucrats who have a long tenure in the service left, resort to complaining against senior minister in writing? Krishna, who is retiring in June this year, does not need to worry much on that account.
Originally hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Krishna has served in many an important department, both at the Centre and his state -- Karnataka.
An M.Sc in physics and MA in public administration, Krishna also completed his PhD on federalism from New Delhi-based Jamia Hamdard University.