Thus far, one has silently been updating the developing events of governance with a modicum of scepticism in some sectors. We owe it to our people to share the truth without bias. While there are several other unsavoury issues worth delving into, for this time round one would like to focus on the subject of impending transfer of DGP Nagaland without merit…in the hope that the Government of Nagaland may pragmatically pay attention to the unwarranted storm that appears to be brewing in the horizon.
The Government of Nagaland, intensely hell-bent on wanting to get rid of Shri. Rupin Sharma(henceforth being referred to as RS) as DGP of Nagaland, on an untenable notion of ‘lack of experience’ or ‘the lack of requisite qualification in terms of 30 years service input’ does not convince a fair mind. As a senior retired bureaucrat who has had his share of negative persecution within the system, one would very confidently say that the GoN has had an inherent attitude of closing its eyes on rules and regulations when it suits their questionable interests and this unsavoury attitude has been going on without reservation for several decades mainly because the citizens had been blind-sided. GoN ought to realise that the days of ignorance has partially evaporated after RTI became a functional norm. Despite the gullible nature of our Naga people, experience tells us in no uncertain terms that our people have amply shown their staunch resolve to stand up to the government collectively when push comes to shove for a ‘right reason’ as they perceive it. Just so as to refresh the minds of those at the helms of affairs, how government machinery came to a standstill and finally ran out option other than to undergo a change of leadership during the last ministry… remember? This is deliberately being mentioned as a reminder because we tend to ignore the past no matter how grievous the consequence. This time round, it is not only the general public ventilating their resentment but the lower ranking cadres in the NP, who are apparently beginning to show signs of rebellion. This can easily evolve into a dangerously explosive situation with law enforcers themselves joining the fray. This is understandable, given the fact that RS has uprightly been fair to his subordinates. It should be noted that never in the history of Nagaland Police have we experienced the agitation of the jawans on the issue of the transfer of their DGP. The writing on the wall looks ominous if the jawans really turn rebellious an-mass. It would serve the GoN well to read the writing on the wall carefully without being blinded by their normal biased bigotry. Technically speaking, it appears like an extremely poor excuse to question the experience of RS. What will the honest verdict of the people be on the specific issue of “Experience”, when they get to know the fact that this incumbent has undergone assignments at various hierarchy as an IPS Officer starting from the rank of SDPO then as Addl. SP/ SP/ SP (Crime branch)/DIG/ Addl. DGP, mostly spent within Nagaland with his Central postings and foreign stint under UN peace keeping force in between, before reaching his present status? One has no doubt that the GoN is clearly aware of the incumbent’s service record. Now, can GoN honestly testify that the incumbents, who are silently marking time in the sideline to be considered as his replacement, match the level of the experience, be it within Nagaland or beyond that RS has rendered? Does the proposed replacement being considered have the requisite 30years of service input in the first place with comparable years of service experience within Nagaland? If government is insisting on sticking to the rules which serves their interest in this case, then anyone in contention must specifically fulfil all the criteria of service experience within Nagaland that betters the records of RS and have a clear 30 years of service inputs…failing which the hypocrisy of the government will be thoroughly exposed like Achilles heel.
‘Transparency’ and ‘Accountability’ in governance was an election promise to the people… therefore this is one instance where the GoN can walk the talk and prove its contention of fairness on this subject of transfer by ‘transparently’ and truthfully answering the questions that have been posed…lest unpleasant demand for ‘accountability’ steps in after any of the contender who takes over, fail to meet the criteria of the rules that have dubiously been delineated only with the intention of expelling the present ‘non-cooperative’ incumbent. While RS is also a human being like any one of us and would certainly not qualify as an angle, he has shown a healthy respect for Law along the long challenging road he has travelled…as compared to a good percentage of senior bureaucrats, presently in service, who spinelessly function under a win-win principle of “I scratch your back, you scratch my back.” There are innumerable commissions of erroneous practices such as the ‘backdoor appointments’ as a stark example… where transparency has been thrown out the window with rampant illegalities being committed continuously despite the verdict of the High Court against such an unbecoming practices. This deliberately unpalatable mismanagement has lead to the deprivation of thousands of our deserving educated youngsters who have helplessly been marooned and afloat without any hope because many of them have no dependable politicians or bureaucrats in the ruling Ministry to rely upon. In the case of RS, he has perhaps shown less willingness to scratch the contaminating political backside by upholding the principles of transparency and advertising the vacancies within his present establishment. This can vindictively be logged as a direct affront and a serious violation of the ‘unwritten rules’ in the management dictionary of the political bosses upstairs. Such an inability on the part of bureaucracy to conform to the ‘scratching business’ would be considered as an outcast for committing an unforgivable sin of non-cooperation against one’s immediate political bosses…which unfortunately was the general accepted governing norm in the past and is being sustained even in to this day. Trust me, one has crossed those bridges many a time during one’s service years and knows how it feels at the receiving end. Therefore, under such an unhealthy environment, the DGP has certainly committed a mortal sin…from the stand point of money hunting politicians. This questionable move to transfer an upright officer therefore smacks of despotism at its best that the GoN is prone to habitually invoke as a punishment. If the government opts to challenge this accusation of unfairness, one could respond further by bring up specific uncomfortable instances where RS had courageously stood up to his immediate superior(s), because he was unwilling to step over the line of legitimate rules…where many other senior bureaucrats would perhaps have conceded. The rule of law is no longer visible in Nagaland and does not command fear or respect…starting from the Law makers themselves. If facts are completely placed before the public, it would certainly curdle one’s blood and then boil over. However, as a matter of curtsey one is exercising restraint not to pour oil into the fire. It ought to serve the GoN well to pragmatically revisit the issue of transfer without unnecessarily delay before tide of rebellion within the ranks of Nagaland Police becomes a realistic phenomenon as never before…backed by agitated public in support. Apart from the general public, the GoN should also take cognizance of the fact that a serious percentage of the jawans also have families who would directly suffer the pinch of deprivation of their rightful facilities…like the funds for new uniforms including the funds for TA/DA and many other perks legitimately owed to them, which had consistently been siphoned off in the past. The present DGP has been known to have personally intervened and taken pains to plug many a chronic mismanagement within the establishment under his command in favour of the lower cadres. This would have definitely opened the eyes of many a sensible lower ranks for the very first time to recognise the magnitude of benefits they had been deprived for so long. As human beings they cannot but feel indebted to RS. Now add the corresponding circle of friends each jawan’s families would have as well, who would perhaps be prepared to join the rebellious fray as a show of solidarity. If these factors are reinforced with the general agitated citizens who also want an upright officer at the helm for a change, then the GoN could very well be staring at the momentum of an oncoming tsunami.
This sincere suggestion is therefore, being repeated in good faith, with the hope that the people in the corridor of power would deploy their God given brains with Christian compassion and pragmatically re-examine this issue to honestly evaluate whether justice is being served or being murdered for questionable motives. At the end of the day, this matter is not worth rippling the waters and then facing a rebellious confrontation in its aftermath…which could end disastrously all over again. Let the good sense of real fairness prevail and disallow history from repeating itself. Amen.
KHEKIYE K. SEMA, IAS (Rtd.)
Upper Forest Colony, Kohima, Nagaland.
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