Will You Move From Your Arm Chair To Taking Real Action?

Journalists come up with strong stories, make a big noise, generate loud protests and then the story dies its natural death before yet another story takes birth to suffer an almost identical fate.

Anand Ranganathan has raised this powerful question in his write-up “P Sainath: The Anti-Mahatma”.

He reminds us that Mahatma Gandhi was a journalist first and then he did the unthinkable act of crossing the Lakshman Rekha for a journalist: “just observe and report, don’t take part. Don’t jump the line”. He says:

Dozens of journalists may have written prior to Dandi about the ludicrousness and injustice of a salt-tax through their columns and editorials, but what is etched ultimately in our collective memory is not their beautifully worded protest or a critique of the British tax policy (“Wah! Kya likhtain hain, janab!”).

What makes our hair stand on end, instead, is the image of a half-naked journalist walking briskly a thousand dusty miles just to raise a fistful of sand high up in the air for all to see and cheer.

That is jumping in; that is crossing over the line which separates journalism from activism, observer from doer, man from Mahatma.

So, that is the call for us!

Do we have the clarity and guts to realize that unless we transcend the line from observer to action, we are no better than corrupt politicians, criminals and all other varying kinds of scum.

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We Demand that Suspended IAS officer Durga Shakti who took on Sand Mafia must be reinstated

Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had justified the suspension of IAS Durga Shakti Nagpal indicating her orders had triggered communal tension in Rabupura. However, police in Gautum Budh Nagar says there was no communal flare-up in the area as reported by TOI:

Station Officer of Rabupura police station, senior sub inspector (SSI) Ajay Kumar, told TOI on Monday that all was well in the area. “There was no tension at all. You can verify it from mediapersons who were present here in GB Nagar. I have reasons to believe that not one of them was even aware of the demolition till Sunday night,” Ajay Kumar said. Asked if there had been police deployment at the demolition site and if any criminal case had been lodged against mischief-mongers trying to fuel communal passions, the officer replied: “Jab kuchh hua hi nahi to case kis liye (Why would we lodge a case when nothing of this sort happened),”

India Today has provided a long list of upright officers who were hounded by the respective governments. The report further says:

While suspensions and unceremonious transfers are routine, officers have even paid with their lives in the last one-and-a-half-year of SP rule. They are hounded, humiliated and threatened by ministers, legislators and even local SP workers, who have the party leadership’s blessings.

Officers who had to bear the brunt:Image


Ashok Khemka, an IAS officer who was transferred in October last year for cancelling an alleged irregular land deal between Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, and DLF, was again shifted amid a controversy over irregularities in the Haryana Seeds Development Corporation that he unearthed during his short tenure of five months as its head.


Mugdha Sinha, the first woman collector of Jhunjhunu, was transferred for taking on the local mafia. Organisations of farmers, traders and students came out in support of Sinha, who was posted in the district in September 2010.


Low-profile 1988-batch IAS officer Poonam Malakondaiah proved to be a hard nut to crack for politicians, businessmen and lobbyists. As the agriculture commissioner, she dragged multinational seed company Monsanto to the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission, following which the company had to reduce
the price of BT cotton seeds.


Senior Dalit bureaucrat Uma Shankar, a 1990-batch IAS officer, was shunted to an insignificant post for unearthing cremation shed scam as additional collector of Madurai, which eventually led to J. Jayalalithaa’s poll defeat. He faced suspension for daring to take on the Marans as joint vigilance commissioner.


Known for his unorthodox style of policing and “daredevilry” in taking on UP’s political brass, Swaroop, a 1994-batch IPS officer, has been transferred 38 times in last 18 years. The standing joke is that by the time he unpacks his stuff, his bosses hand him his transfer order.


IPS officer Vikas Kumar was transferred out of Bharatpur district after he cracked down on illegal mining mafia in early 2012. A software engineer from IIT-Kanpur, Kumar was transferred at a time when police investigation was close to identifying the powerful kingpins behind illegal mining.


Kolkata Police crime wing’s first woman chief Damayanti Sen, the IPS officer who cracked the Park Street gang rape case in February 2012, was transferred to a relatively low profile posting two months later for proving CM Mamata Banerjee wrong. She was transferred again within a year to Darjeeling as the new Deputy Inspector General in February this year.


Chittorgarh collector Samit Sharma was shunted out in 2010 because he refused to sack a clerk for failing to stand up when a local Congress MLA entered his office. Over 12,000 government employees went on mass leave to protest against the transfer, but it had no effect on the state government


A 1992-batch IPS officer, Rahul Sharma ruffled the feathers of the political dispensation during the Gujarat riots. As the SP of Bhavnagar in 2002, Sharma opened fire at a Hindu mob. Two months later, he was shunted out to a low-profile post in Ahmedabad police control room.


A 2002-batch Haryana cadre Indian Forest Service officer, Sanjiv Chaturvedi had five criminal cases slapped on him for taking on the authorities. He petitioned the Supreme Court in 2012 requesting a CBI inquiry into numerous scams detected by him during his sevenyear service in Haryana.




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