Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Durga Shakti Nagpal: An IAS officer suspended for doing her job

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

In several of my blogs I have drawn attention to the criminalization of politics in India, particularly in the state of Uttar Prasesh which has elected a Samajwadi party as its single largest party. Mulayam Singh Yadava, the strong man of the party appointed his son Akilesh Yadava as the Chief Minister and this young man presides over a government in which  crimnals with serious crimes to their names were appointed Ministers. The case in point is the Rajput criminal, Raja Bhaiya who is known to be a thug operating in eastern UP, the bad lands of the state. There is a story, I wish it were not true, that this man feeds his enemies to crocodiles reared in a pond in his extensive "kotti" or bunglow. The Samajwadi party like its predecessor in power the Bahujan Samaj  Party under Mawawati is steeped in caste warfare and criome. The social base of the Yadava dominated Samajwadi Party is of courase the Yadavas, the Muslims, the Mallas and the intermediate caste. The poximity to the national capital has made NOIDA or Gautham Buddha Nagar an important centre for the booming real estate mafia. It may be woth recalling that Neera Yadava, the former Chairman of the NOIDA Development Authority an IAS officer is presently under conviction for crimes of bribery and misuse of power when she was in charge of the land development in the same district in which Ms Durga Shakti Nagpal was posted as Senoior Divisional Magistrate.

This young woman was palced under ssuspension two days back for having shown the courage in taking on the sand mafia. The term sand mafia may appear ridiculous to a western audience. However, given the building boom in New Delhi and Noida, river sand which is mixed with cement in order to make building concrete is in huge demand. The sand mafia was using sand dumpers to excavate sand from the dry river bed of the Yamuna and was selling it at a huge profit to the real estate dealers. The nexus between party members of the Samajwadi Party, the local power elites consisting of the usual Thyagis and Yadavas, and the real estate developers was so strong that when this young woman stated seizing the sand dumpers and confiscating the sand, the yelps from the yadava criminals soon reached Lucknow. Akileh Yadava, the son of Mulayam Singh immediately ordered the suspension of the woman who showed some courage. What is really surprising is that a week back I wrote in a comment in Times of India that this woman is taking on criminals and she is asking for trouble. And exactly as I predicted Durga Nagpal was suspended.

In western countries the officialdom is not takken to task for carrying out the law and implementing policy. The young woman was following the instruction of the Supreme Court of India which has laid down a strict policy of government regulation of sand mining because of its environmental hazards. Durga Nagpal perhaps thought that having the Supreme Court verdict on her side would strengthen her position. However, Akilesh Yadava's government resorted to a crude ruse inorder to have the officer placed under suspension. Citing law and order problems, the criminals of the Samajwadi party tries to give an "identity" colour to the issue by saying that Muslims were being targetted. This line was contradicted even by the local police. Thus, when people elect criminals to power one can expect anything and the suspension of Durga Nagpal shows the depths to which civil administration has sunk in India. In the neighboring state of Haryana, another IAS officer, Khemka who exposed the shady real estate deals of Robert Vadra, the son in law of Soniaji, faces similar problems.

The IAS Officers rallied to the support of the officer and even put out a feeble statment. However, the rot in Indian politics is so deep that honesty does not pay and hopefully in the next elections people of India will show more intelligence in their voting parrern.

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