The country is awash with the news of the Samajwadi Party's (SP) Government in Uttar Pradesh bowing to the pressures of the so called Noida based Sand Mafia and getting the officer in question, Ms. Durga Nagpal IAS, suspended on what seems like spurious charges. The powers that be in SP, must have assumed that like in the past 65 years, they could ride roughshod over this lady, and via their retrograde action on her, send out a stern message to all other officials - that they will face similar consequences if they do not toe the Party line. Being Democratic Dinosaurs, the poor chaps may have never imagined that the entire nation will erupt in anger and condemnation, as is happening now, in response to their illegal actions.
On the first hand, we understand that the Sand Mafia is an entrenched lobby with close connections to the ruling party honchos. Thus, it is quite conceivable that goons from the Mafia, who have been facing the brunt of Ms. Nagpals’ official actions, would have complained to their Political Godfathers to fix this ‘pain in their side’ Officer. After suffering the seizure of several trucks and many Crores of Rupees worth in fines for the illegally mined natural resource, the Mafia would have naturally chafed at the ‘interference’ in their activities and resented it. Naturally.
While I do not support retrograde action of any sort, I believe that the SP Government should have handled this with more finesse. If an officer is causing you problems by preventing your cronies from say, looting, then you would typically look for a more pliant Officer and post him / her in place of the honest and upright Officer. Such action is permitted by law and is well within the boundaries of civilized governance and decency, even if the action was contemplated for less than honest reasons. But, to give the whole issue a religious and communal color to suit their actions is reprehensible and deserves condemnation in the strongest possible language and the strongest purgatory actions permitted under the Constitution.
The Officer was just doing her job and apparently following a Supreme Court order prohibiting the sprouting up of religious structures illegally on Government owned land. Media reports suggest that she herself did not get the structures demolished, but in a most mature and sagacious manner, managed to convince the villagers themselves to abide by the law and demolish the structures in question. Even while this needs to be proven, one must express ones’ total and complete admiration for the maturity of the young officer. If this is indeed true, without doubt she needs to be felicitated and publically adored instead of being witch hunted, as the SP Government seems to be doing. Another report in the media also mentioned the fact that her superior Officers at the District level have given their reports to the Government that there was no evidence of malafide intent on the part of Ms. Nagpal, and that post her actions on the demolition of the Mosque structures, there was absolutely no evidence of communal tension or unrest, nor was any complaint received protesting her actions. All this seems to show the SP Government in very poor light, unfortunately.
Thus, for the SP Government to latch on to this flimsy excuse and accuse her of taking actions that could Endanger Public Peace and be Detrimental to Communal Harmony is just a whole lot of rot. This is Minority Appeasement and Communal Politics of the basest order, and their using it as a fig leaf to cover the disgusting naked illegality of their action in suspending Ms. Nagpal, and later serving her with a Charge Sheet, is plainly visible to every right-thinking citizen of this country.
We the people of India have to protest this illegal action and make it clear that we will not stand for such Banana Republic Politics any longer. Since the SP Government seems to have decided to brazen it out and continue with this travesty of justice, we are forced to turn to the Judiciary to set thing right, as usual. Unfortunately, the Judiciary is currently, the only arm of Democracy that still overwhelmingly stands up to scrutiny, particularly at the level of the High Courts and the Supreme Court. Thus, it is inevitable that we petition the Respected Chief Justice of the Honorable High Court at Allahabad, and seek his intervention in the matter.
- The Actions of the SP Government are illegal and anti-Democratic in nature, and Bad in Law.
- The principles of Natural Justice and the Fundamental Rights of the IAS Officer Ms. Nagpal seem to have been undermined.
- The actions of the Government looks to be strongly in response to the spectacular work the Officer has done to preserve the Natural Resources for the public good, which apparently impeded the functioning of the Sand Mining Mafia.
- In smothering the faculties of an honest and upright Officer, the SP Government has verily extended its tacit support to corruption and crony capitalism, to the detriment of the nation.
- Instead of encouraging and motivating Good Governance, the SP Government seeks to exercise pecuniary control over its Officers, and encourage yes-men and pliant Officers who look the other way when an illegality is being perpetrated.
To do my bit, I have created an online petition, addressed to the Respected Chief Justice, and am collecting signatures in support of the same. Please click on the link below and sign the petition, and then share it with all your contacts, exhorting them to sign the same too. It is hoped that we can all manage to collect 500 endorsements. Thank You.