Transfer Industry: Orissa’s only industry that ensures income without investment

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Transfer of government officers has become an industry in Orissa; the only industry that ensures income without investment. It affects Orissa, because it erodes work culture by promoting corruption and favoritism in administration while adversely affecting working aptitude of victims of wrongful transfers. The Chief Minister should look at the phenomenon in right earnest.

All the files of transfer of officers of class II and above rank in the Government, after what is called ‘transfer season‘, come to the C.M. for final approval. Instead of merely putting his signature in approval of the proposal, the CM should go into the pages of the transfer-files to save work culture from further erosion. Transfer affects the life of an employee and hence, manipulated transfer affects work culture by petering out the working aptitude of honest officers whom shrewd self-seekers in corridors of power make the victims.

As already noted, transfer of officers is the only industry that facilitates income without investment and this industry is very active in Orissa.

In every department there are establishment sections with ‘Dealing Assistants’ assigned with specific files for specific groups of officers where transfer proposals are basically made, and there are ‘Section Officers’ in charge of corresponding Sections through whom the proposals initiated by the Dealing Assistant reach the Joint Secretary or Additional Secretary or even a Special Secretary placed in charge of establishment. Transfer proposals initiated at the dealing assistant level thus takes a concrete shape before reaching the Departmental Secretary; and with endorsement from the Chief Secretary, the file reaches the Minister in charge of the department and from there it goes to the CM to get the final stamp of approval. Often the CM signs on dotted lines, because by that time, the CMO involved, the entire process must have been so managed that scope for the CM to say ‘no’ to such proposals would have become too scant for difference.

The entire process is vitiated with corruption. And corruption is the only fuel that runs the transfer industry under the pretense of exigencies of administration.

Transfer encompasses two sets of officers. One, who is relieved and the other, who relieves.

Relieved officers are usually the victims of machinations.

I will cite only three instances as the minimum required elaboration of patterns of the mischief.

Pattern No. 1:

In this pattern, innocent officers, having no godfathers behind them, suffer transfers, as thereby officers with backing of godfathers can be accommodated in their places.

As for example, Dr. P. C. Mahakud, a surgery specialist of capital hospital, Bhubaneswar, who had been posted there against a vacant post after serving more then 25 years the remotest areas of the State that roughly constitute the KBK region, was suddenly transferred to Nayagarh within a very short span of time, as a relation of a top functionary in the Chief Minister’s Office was eager to come to the capital hospital. In this case, Dr. Mahakud had to suffer such unjustified transfer, because, a relation of a high power person was to be accommodated in his place. He was clearly a victim of machinations at that time, though he never objected to his transfer, as to him, obeying the government was his duty.

Pattern No. 2:

In this pattern, honest officers who do not grease the palms of higher officers get transferred to disadvantageous places.

As for example, Shashi Bhusan Mohanty was District Agriculture Officer at Angul when Srinibas Rath, the then Agricultural Production Commissioner in the rank of Additional Chief Secretary, visited the place in the guise of official tour. Mohanty was asked by the private secretary of the APC to keep ready for him new sets of rest room requirements like towels and tooth brush etc, which he had done. He was again asked for new sets of the same for the next day. The accompanying staff of the APC made it emphatically clear to Mohanty that the ‘Sahib’ was not in the habit of using the same rest room materials twice. So, Mohanty supplied new sets to the APC everyday till he left. But, at the time of his departure, he served on him a detail bill for the rest room materials purchased everyday as per orders of the accompanying staff of the APC. This was not to be digested by the top officer. By that time, Mohanty, selected by the DPC for the post of Deputy Director of Agriculture, was awaiting the promotional posting. But, as an off the record punishment, he was posted to Kalahandi to be departmentally tortured by another IAS officer – Tara Datt under charges that soya bean seeds supplied by the government were lying unsold. Datt ordered for recovery of the cost of unsold seeds from his salary, though in no way he was responsible for the situation. In fact, the cultivators had rejected the seeds because of lack of their faith in the seeds supplied officially. It was often being agitated in various parts of the State that officially supplied seeds were not germinating and bearing properly. Datt soon understood the reality and withdraw his orders. But, this instance speaks of how honest officers are transferred and tortured because of reluctance to comply with dishonest desires of top bosses.

Pattern No. 3:

In this pattern, an officer is transferred not for any fault at his end, but for wrath of wrongdoers whom he/she refuses to oblige.

As for example, Labor Minister Bijayashree Rautray had to carry out oral orders of Chief Minister’s Private Secretary V. K. Pandian to transfer P.K.Mohanty, District Labor Officer of Cuttack within a very short time of his posting, because he had justly initiated action against the unfair labor practices and prosecutable contravention of labor laws by the publisher of The Samaja, the newspaper that has pledged pages to political propaganda of the CM.

These are just three samples of the practice whereupon the transfer industry stands.

In this industry, the functionaries who handle the machine of posting, have tremendous scope to earn without any investment.

While giving his final approval to any chain of transfer, if the Chief Minister looks at how the proposal is generated and vetted, I believe, this industry would pose no problem to good administration.

Let the CM use intelligence. Let him dig out how the transfer industry works. Let him find out the reason of delay beyond the normal ‘transfer season’ in preparation of the proposal for transfer and posting. Let him ascertain how much time the vetting Officer – the Joint Secretary or the Additional Secretary or the Special Secretary – takes in finalizing the transfer chain, and the reason of delay, if any, at his level; and finally when the proposal reaches the Minister, and how long time it takes to get cleared by the Minister to reach the CMO.

Every point of delay beginning from the initiation of the proposal to vetting thereof, stage by stage, and clearance of the finally vetted chain of transfer by the Minister concerned to reach the CMO is a point of bargaining for backhander. And, this is a major cause of corruption in administration and endangerment of work aptitude in the victims of machination.

The CM should look into the matter seriously if official work culture is not to be left to further erosion.

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LUXURY TO RAJU IN JAIL: JUDICIARY MUST NOT MAKE INDIA A SANCTUARY OF CRIMINALS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Equal treatment for all in the eyes of judiciary is the cardinal rule that guides jurisprudence.

Reports from Hyderabad show that a lower court there has made a farce of this rule in dealing with prisoners under trial, B Ramalinga Raju and his brother Rama Raju, facing criminal prosecution for fraud in Satyam accounts.

The court has reportedly issued orders on February 6 asking Hyderabad’s Chanchalguda prison authorities to treat them as special class prisoners on the basis of the local Collector’s report that they were used to a high lifestyle. They should be accorded with the same during their stay in the jail, the court has ordered.

All the hooligans and economic offenders in this country are used to high lifestyle and if courts use to issue such orders then only those should repent who have not yet been able to commit such high profile offences.

The Judiciary of this country must make every Indian know as to who has equipped it to allow selected number of under trial prisoners accused of fraud and breach of trust to enjoy their lives in jail matching their private lifestyle.

If any such law is present, anywhere in the country, the Apex Court should react on that and ensure that India does not become a sanctuary of criminals with the help of law that puts poor criminals in the hell of a jail while granting luxury to moneyed criminals in the same jail in stark contravention of the laws against discrimination.

JUDGES ARE NOT LORDS OVER THE REPUBLIC

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Every Indian is proud of the fact that he / she belongs to the Republic of India. But every patriotic Indian is embarrassed over the fact that this Republic stands synonymous with contradiction and corruption. This is because; post-independence India has failed to honor the wishes of its founding fathers.

The father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, had expressly wished that in free India, the Governments must keep in mind the poorest person while drafting the Plans for the country. His followers reduced his wishes to mere wishful thinking. When Congressmen are busy in competition to become factotums of Sonia Gandhi, why should we think that they could at any point of time have given importance to Mahatma Gandhi? History cannot but say that the Congress Government that stepped into power immediately after independence would be remembered for two things: one, for failure to save Gandhiji from the assassin and two, for declaring the Communist Party of India illegal so that in Constitution making, the propertied class should face no problem in safe guarding its own interest.

Giving vent to his deep dissatisfaction over failure to protect poor peoples’ interest in the Constitution, in his concluding address to the Constituent Assembly, Dr. B.R.Ambedkar had noted, “On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradiction. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic rights, we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man and one vote, one value. In our social and economic rights we shall by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny one man, one value.” (Constituent Assembly Debates, Vol.XI, p.979)

This inequality, as analyzed by Shibanikinkar Chaube in ‘Constituent Assembly of India’ (PPH, 1973), was caused by “the pressure of the propertied class”.

When President Rajendra Prasad was to admit that “the defects are inherent in the situation in the country”(Constituent Assembly Debates, Vol.XI, p.993), Dr. Ambedkar had expressed serious doubts over longevity of the Republic. “We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up”, he had warned.

But Governments of India have never heeded to his warning as a result of which India has already become two Indias.

Political equality has kept the geographical India in tact, but economic inequality has brought majority of Indians look at a handful of Indians as of a different India, best captioned in apolitical popular slogans like “Tere India mahan, mere Bharat pareshan”, which roughly means, your India may be great, but my Bharat is in turmoil.

We must try to stop this rising feeling of two Indias. We must cast off hypocrisy to admit that Ambedkar’s warning not heeded to, the victims of inequality have started to “blow up the structure of political democracy” that the founding fathers of Indian Republic had “so laboriously built up”. Terminating Naxals by military guns or using State terror to silent the oppressed poor will not close up the gap between these two Indias. Elimination of economic inequality will do.

But how has economic inequality become so massive? A man who was working for a paltry sum of Rs.300/- only per month three decades prior to his death died as the owner of around Rs.70,000 Crores and the luminaries of this country beginning from the Prime Minister to newspaper editors, instead of telling the nation as to where from and how he earned this massive money, cried over his death like widows cry over the pyres of their husbands!

This syndrome has encouraged the mafia. And, in our country, where Laws are so rampant, no mafia could have grown without backing of the Law Enforcement Authorities (LEA).

This gives us a sad feeling of black sheep presence in our LEAs that includes also the Judiciary.

It is not for nothing that a demand for disclosure of properties of Judges is so constant.

Many a judges even of higher judiciary have exhibited such conduct that not only the Chief Justice or Collegiums of Judges have felt the need for action against them, but also the general public has started looking at Judges askance. Peoples have started believing the Cinema depictions that behind every high profile mafia, there must be a Judge!

In such circumstances, it is better for the republic if property-list of every public functionary including the members of Judiciary, whosoever draws salary from taxpayer’s money is disclosed.

To avoid embarrassment over disclosure on demand, the property list of every public functionary should be authentically posted in the Internet in the portals of the institution he or she works with.

The Chief Justice of India Hon’ble Justice K G Balakrishnan in a recent response has disapproved the necessity of property disclosure in respect of senor Judges.

It is really indecent to ask the Judges to disclose their properties list. It connotes to expressing no confidence on Judges. Ethically it is not proper.

Personally I may stand with the views of the CJI as to me, Judiciary being the last refuge of our peoples, Judges should never be subjected to peoples asking for their properties list.

But as India is crumbling into two Indias, as observed supra, it is imperative that to equip peoples for defeating plutocracy and for putting leash on corruption that has so far served plutocracy and savagely widened the gap between economically unequal peoples of the country and to save the motherland from the “contradiction” so correctly pointed out by Dr. Ambedkar, the Judges should post their properties list in the respective portals of the High Courts and the Supreme Court for anybody to see that without indulging in demands to know of their properties under the Right To Information Act.

It should be appropriate for the Judges to appreciate that notwithstanding all the respects, we the general public of India unambiguously pay them, they are not and cannot be the Lords over the Republic.

LIC CHAIRMAN SURPRISINGLY SILENT OVER SEX OFFENSE IN HIS BHUBANESWAR BRANCH

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Chairman of the Life Insurance Corporation of India, Mr. T.S.Vijayan was served with an ultimatum on 24 November 2008 seeking action against Mr. Nihar Ranjan Tripathy, ADM of the Corporation’s P&GS Unit at Bhubaneswar, who is accused of sexual harassment perpetrated on a lady employee in the premises of the branch office on 16 October 2008. But surprisingly he is silent and the lady employee continues to endure the insult.

Nobody knows since when the LIC of India has developed such culture of recalcitrance in dealing with crimes of passion. But, the way the accused officer is protected till date speaks volumes of how now it sloughs over its legally required duty to protect dignity of its lady employees.

The East Central Zone Insurance Employees’ Association, in its Working Committee meeting held at Patna, Bihar, in a resolution on 28 November 2008, has “unequivocally condemned the uncivilized behavior, use of highly objectionable words, display of body language aimed at outraging the modesty of the lady employee” by Mr. Tripathy.

The resolution goes on to note, “ This meeting notes with serious concern that even though such an ugly and unbecoming incident occurred on 16th October 2008 inside the office premises and that too during the office hours and even though the victim lady …………..Assistant, P&GS Unit, Bhubaneswar has immediately lodged a written complaint with the SDM, LIC if India, Bhubaneswar Division with a prayer to give her due justice, the Bhubaneswar Divisional management has not taken any worth mentioning steps on such a serious matter and has tried to wash off its hands by referring the complaint to a hurriedly constituted Divisional cell. Even after lapse of over one month, the Divisional cell has not started its enquiry let alone investigating the matter. Even the victimized lady’s request to transfer the accused officer from that office so that the enquiry process is not vitiated is not acceded to, which is nothing but blatant violation of the LIC’s CO circular and the verdict of the Supreme Court. Rather, direct and indirect threats are hurled at the concerned lady employee pressurizing her to withdraw her complant. Even the management was made aware of all these by our organization, no step has been taken till date purportedly to shield the erring officer”.

The Employees Association, “while condemning such uncivilized action of the erring officer and the inaction of the management” has demanded that urgent steps be taken to “punish the guilty and give justice to the victim and till then, to transfer the concerned officer from his present place of posting in interest of justice and fairplay”.

The LIC Chairman has been asked to “take note that any delay in taking action against Mr. Tripathy is the same as abating in continuous humiliation and harassment” of the insulted lady. He is surprisingly silent.

SHAME; KILLERS OF GANDHI PHILOSOPHY LEAD INDIA ON HIS BIRTHDAY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is a shame that killers of Gandhi philosophy are leading India on his birthday.

Mahatma Gandhi had freed us from foreigners; we have now a Prime Minister in Manmohan Singh, who has pushed us into foreigners’ hegemony by using his coterie to corrupt the parliament in instances like nuke deal with USA.

Ganghiji had put his entire emphasis on management of administration for elimination of poverty; Manmohan Singh has ushered in the era of enrichment of the rich that expands on exploitation of the poor and their displacement even from their marginal homestead lands so that industries can grow unhindered.

Gandiji had underlined that planning of the country should be so formulated that the poor will no more degrade financially; but Man Mohan Singh has ushered in a planning that makes the poor perish in slow starvation. Free market economy has increased price of every essential commodity so much that many fold rise in dearness allowance of government servants is too inadequate to meet the cost of living as a result of which new high scale of pay is offered by the sixth pay commission. The poor sans regular source of income and denied in almost all employments the minimum wages are unable to meet the price rise and perish.

Gandhi’s philosophy in India is in peril and the perpetrators of this imperilment are ruling over India. To see Gandhi’s birthday celebrated in the country under their leadership is seeing hypocrisy in shameless display.

It is a shame that we are unable to oppose this shamelessness in India.

KANDHAMAL CONFLICT: ORISSA POLICE CHIEF IN THE TRAP OF CONFUSED CONCEPT

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Taking over from superannuated Director General of Police Sri Gopal Nanda, the new DGP Sri Man Mohan Praharaj has put priority on ending communal conflicts in Kandhamal.

Communal conflicts are not absolutely criminal in character. Hence how can Sri Praharaj lead police to end them?

Every peace-loving and patriotic citizen must want that there should never be any communal conflict. But utopia has nowhere come true. And, Kandhamal is no exception.

As I have discussed earlier, communal conflicts are religious conflicts. As long as every religion is not banned there shall exist different religions. Existence of different religions means existence of rival religions. Existence of rival religions means existence of rival communalities. Existence of rival communalities means existence of the fire of communal conflicts. Police cannot extinguish this fire. So the new Orissa DGP’s assertion that he will end communal conflicts in Kandhamal as his first work is mere sophomoric.

As the new DGP took over, curfew has been promulgated afresh in Kandhamal. This itself is the proof of the fact that despite earlier repressive steps taken by the police, communal rivalry has not ended as yet.

Orissa High Court has asked the Union to press more police to action in Kandhamal. The Judiciary is worried over continuing communal conflicts. But verdicts or judicial directions cannot terminate communal conflicts.

In Kandhamal, the ongoing communal conflicts are conflicts between the indigenous culture of immemorial age and an alien culture of recent origin. The conflict has aggravated since killing of Laxmananada, as persons who oppose the alien culture suspect the alien culturists to be the culprits, notwithstanding Naxal claims that he being a religious revivalist and a stooge of local mafia they have under notice executed their death sentence on him.

Both the police and judiciary have failed to catch and punish the culprit(s) so far. The blatant inability or deliberate negligence of the law and order machinery to catch and punish the culprit(s) that killed the known antagonist of the alien culture is surely instigating the indigenous culturists to avenge the killing by taking the suspected alien culturists to task the way that suits them and how can this be stopped before the culprit(s), who killed Laxmanananda is/are punished?

Congress autocrat Sonia Gandhi, born a Christian, being the supreme boss of the central minister that holds home portfolio, the police controlled by IPS officers of central service like Praharaj may unleash state terror on indigenous culturists of illiterate Kandhamal in the name of law and suppress the conflict. But that would be mere suppression. Suppression is not extinguishments. So, even if the present communal conflict in Kandhamal will be suppressed, communal rivalry will not die.

This is the danger to our democracy that needs urgent attention.

The illiterate peoples of Kandhamal have given a golden opportunity to administration to understand this danger so that correctional measures may be evolved. But it seems the failed political leadership both in the state and the center, concerned only with their careers and tenures, are not interested in India’s future and hence, they want to manage the instant scenario with the muscles of the police force.

More baffling than this is the intelligentsia’s total failure to study the real cause of communal conflicts.

As stressed supra, existence of rival religions flares up communal rivalry. If peoples are not addicted to religions, wherefrom communal passion would surge and communal conflicts emerge?

Why should peoples be addicted to religion? As I have told earlier in these pages, despite brain and virtues, human beings by birth suffer from a sense of insecurity to overcome which they form their society or nation and cherish societal or national solidarity. Nationality is the collective formation of the peoples of a geographic unit to ensure economic stability. Economic stability of all of the society is ensured by elimination of all process or factors of exploitation. The state that eliminates exploitation and ensures economic stability is epitomized in terms of unreserved allegiance of its peoples. This allegiance is termed as political nationality. When anti-people programs of the state shatter economic stability of the peoples, political nationality dwindles and the peoples in search of collective identity to overcome inherent sense of insecurity build up or revive their cultural solidarity, which is expressed in the name of religion. So religion is a pervert expression of peoples’ anxiety to have a collective identity in order to overcome their inherent sense of insecurity or in reality the fear of economic insecurity and therefore, all the religions are pervert socio-economic formulations. Every pervert formulation is susceptible to control by schemers. So the schemers, who use the strength of solidarity amongst peoples under their control for factually their own economic benefit in the guise of the peoples’ economic stability, patronize and control every religion. This being the position, different religions compete with each other to expand their support base so that economic empires of their respective patrons would expand. In Kandhamal, political nationality having dwindled due to continuous state support to economic exploiters, the religious nationality has raised its ugly head as the substitute and in the specific circumstances, competition is going on between the Hindu and Christian schemers to keep the area under their grip. Hindu schemers are known saffronists who work for business community of India when Christian schemers having their fountainhead in foreign lands are suspected shadow workers of imperialism.

If economic exploitation of our peoples will stop, both these religious schemers shall have no impact on the minds of our peoples and political nationality will revive to extinguish communal conflicts.

Politicians will fail to bring out this as they have en mass lost their credibility. The new DGP can play a positive role if he directs his police force to eliminate economic exploitation of the peoples. It is well known and he can, if he wants, see that all the welfare programs are being derailed as traders, contractors and bureaucrats hand-in-glove with unscrupulous politicians are looting the allotted funds. He as the police chief can intervene and arrest these scoundrels without delay. He can take stringent punitive action against caste supremacists in Hindu religion to stop socio-economic exploitation and this will stop exodus of people from Hindu religion to Christian religion. He can investigate and find out the time and cause of conversion of Hindu members to Christianity and under the anti-conversion Act in force can start stringent action against the Christian conversionists while moving for legal nullification of the so-called conversions so that the unholy competition between communalists of both the Hindu and Christian sectors would stop.

Laws of the land have given him enough power to take these steps. If he fails to do this and in stead, takes steps against peoples who emotionally join either sector in search of collective security in view of administration’s blatant failure in preserving political nationality that a real welfare state could only have given, he will fail and be seen as fallen in the trap of a confused concept.

ORISSA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY MAKES A FARCE OF LEGISLATION

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Legislative Assembly is meant to discharge two duties: Monitoring administration and Adopting Legislations.

Monitoring administration is meant to save the State from ruins and to ensure that the Ministry makes the executive perform properly; but my memory doesn’t help me finding if it has ever happened specifically since the present Chief Minister has taken over.

Now, looking at the other duty of it I feel the Legislature has made a farce of it. August 27, 2008 will be remembered for this farce. As many as five Bills have been adopted this day without application of collective legislative mind! That the House was adjourned 13 times on this day, as noisiness could not be controlled is enough to indicate under what environment the Bills were adopted.

Adoption of so many Bills including the Orissa Excise Bill, 2008 within an hour (as many as four Bills were passed within 34 minutes!) sans detail democratic discussion and that too under high-pitch uproars over collapse of law and order in the State that had totally shattered the audibility in the House is a phenomenon that may not look technically unlegislative; but it can hardly help their fair implementation as in absence of interpellant participation of legislators in their passing, legislative intention, which is most important for correct administration of law, has not been properly promoted, vetted and defined.

For more than three decades I have been covering the sessions of Orissa Assembly, but such mockery in making Laws had never been seen.