IFS

IFS
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with 2018 batch officer trainees of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) on May 20, 2019 in New Delhi

BoI Search Engine

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

“Is this the service we are in!” An obituary of 2003 batch IAS Sripriya Rengarajan goes viral among officers

RIP: Sripriya Rengarajan
“…when I heard about her demise, I felt lonely in this heartless bureaucracy. Is it worth it to serve honestly at faraway places, leaving friends and family and still bear this ignominy?” A long message written by a colleague after the death of 2003 batch West Bengal cadre IAS Sripriya Rengarajan, 42, has gone viral on WhatsApp among IAS and other civil servants across the country. Rengarajan who was suffering from cancer died on Sunday in a Madurai hospital leaving behind…
her husband, a lawyer practising in Tamil Nadu, and two children. A condolence meeting was held in Kolkata, and as the WhatsApp message mentioned, “a handful of officers (many could not make it owing to their busy schedule) who attended it sang paeans about Sripriya Rengarajan and what an officer she had been!”
A year ago, the writer of the message that got circulated among officers, met Rengarajan. She then wanted to return to Tamil Nadu through an inter-cadre deputation. “’I think I should not be wearing a wig and make up…’ Sripriya smiled when she said, but I could see tears swell in her eyes. She had been fighting cancer for two years and now wanted to take a deputation back home,” the message mentioned.
Twelve years ago, when Rengarajan became the topper from Tamil Nadu and got an All-India rank of 72 in civil services examinations, The Hindu newspaper carried an article titled, “From housewife to topper”. A graduate in law, she took Tamil and law as her main subjects for the civils. “Preparing for examinations even while taking care of two kids was no mean task,” the May 2003 report said.
As an IAS, she joined as assistant collector in Pashchim Medinipur district in 2004, and later served as district magistrate (DM) of Hooghly district among other postings.
As her disease spread in her body, she wanted an inter-cadre deputation so that she could continue work and spend some time with her family too. She did not get inter-cadre deputation. Instead, she was allowed to proceed on leave. As the officer-writer wrote in the message, “officers do not have this luxury of private space”. "District Magistrate transferred abruptly due to liaison with a Junior Colleague", was the headline of a newspaper report next day. “It was a prominent juicy news item on front page. When officers protested with Press Council, the newspaper published a two line rejoinder on an inconsequential page,” message added.
When the writer of the message met the officer for the last time, this is what the writer remembered her: “the lining of her bald skull peeping from the wig and her frail exhausted face”. She was allowed to stay at her place but was denied the dignity to work there, the message said. “She bade farewell with a sad face and I did not see her after that day,” the writer said.
“Almost a year later when I heard about her demise, I felt lonely in this heartless bureaucracy. Is it worth it to serve honestly at faraway places, leaving friends and family and still bear this ignominy?” the writer-officer asked his fellow bureaucrats.
kya yehi h hamari service!!! (Is this the service we are in!!!)

13 comments:

  1. As an Anonymous, but part of lady Civil Servant wants to share the similar experience. Why people talks after death or love to accompany dead colleague. None of the colleague/senior will come forward to support you,when one is going through all this tough time,specially when you are honest, bold and beautiful

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is what is the truth of the Civil services. We all join with a myth that we will get opportunity to serve our country but end up serving the masters we never ever thought we will. I feel really sorry on Sripriya Rangrajan case but this has happened in past and it will keep on happening unless we all Civil Servant come together and fight with divide and rule policy prevailing as due tp 10% civil servant 90% are suffering as public think all are rascle, thief, manipulators and do not deserve any perk or previlages.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If this is the fate of an IAS officer, one could well imagine about other low rung officers. By and large people used to criticize Govt. servants. Actually, there are larger population of Govt. servants who serve with sincerity and honesty, saddest part is that their commitment goes unnoticed. No recognition from the society for sincere Govt. servants except for one or two. If this continues, in future, no one who is sincere, honest, industrious would prefer Govt. service.

    ReplyDelete
  4. May she RIP and the family have the strength to bear the irreplacable loss. BUt this should also remind bureaucrats of how insensitively we treat the commoners. From a lowly clerk to a IAS at district level to an IAS at secretary level, most of us are very very insensitive in dealing with common people. Unavoidably, it will haunt us too......

    ReplyDelete
  5. Not true...let us not generalise. There are officers who are very humble in their approach...and then there are some who think of themselves as Gods gift to the service. We must not paint them all with the same brush.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Feeling really sad to read this. I recall an old incident dating back to 1962. One of my class fellow's dad was a senior IAS officer. I asked my classfellow at PEC Chandigarh whether he would like to become an IAS. He told me his daddy wants him to become anything but never an IAS in India . Looks like not much has changed in India since then.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Government service has last its charm. To top it now the crowd around not anymore enthralling!. Mine is third generation and be the last.

    ReplyDelete
  8. RIP. Sorry friends but i have to say this. This happens . Often hi-fi people or intellectuals dont believe in yoga/ayurveda/naturopathy/mediatation they believe only in big allopathy hospital due to ego. They hate such indigenous methods .They think themself modern . These people made their mindset by reading newspapers editorials . People should read news only and then make his mindset accordingly no need to read editorials . Eg 'the hindu' 'outlook'''etc these r poisonous and anti indian culture too . After reading such poisonous news and editorials these people try to maintain that standard which they read in editorials . This is dangerous. They read others thinking they dont have their own thinking so due to mental slavery they suffer.

    ReplyDelete
  9. May the soul rest in peace. However I think she as an IAS must have faced much better conditions than officers of other cadre fellows posted in the same town/ region and they are left by the Govt at their own mercy. At least the IAS and other entrenched cadres have their cadre support in various ways..

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have full sympathy with Govt. officers. But I have seen many IAS officers who are very arrogant, corrupt and non performers. IAS have monopolized all the important posts of Govt. Even better officers of other govt. services are not allowed to take important positions. This tendency of IAS is not good for country.

    ReplyDelete
  11. In the first week of my posting as IRS, my boss told me,
    " Even if you die on this table working for government , government will not give your family anything extra, rather they would be compelled to fight even their rightful dues, so don't become over sentimental and spoil your health, social & family life by serving after hours in office. At the end of the day, your health and your family is your headache. The department was working before you and would even work without you, the additional charges, held by officers are a testimony to it. The show must go on is the motto, but your role is a limited one in the show."

    Even after a considerable time in field, I have not seen considerate seniors, may be because their seniors are/were also not considerate, or may be such inconsideration makes us inconsiderate after some time.

    Some one has rightly pointed out that, other than IAS/IPS, other services have to fight battles on many fronts to lead a dignified life as an officer.

    this is a very unfortunate incident, but unfortunately this is the price, we pay for dreaming to serve India and yes people do tell us, who told you to do so, 'Aap koi Ehsaan nahi kar rahe' please resign and go.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Am sorry about the young death. May her soul rest in peace. But friends what are you really complaining about? Is this the threshold of your getting disappointed with the service? Surely all of you must be very comfortable otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  13. IAS is a rotten fraternity now. They would attend in large numbers if a pet of an influential person dies. But they are too busy even to attend the funeral of a fellow IAS officers!

    ReplyDelete