Thursday, April 15, 2021

Rue for Chief Secretary

You have all read that “CS NAGALAND RUES OVER POOR ATTENDANCE IN OFFICES”, in yesterday’s papers. Well, we can only rue with and for the CS (Chief Secretary) on the same issue because it is true that while the Christmas and New Year holidays end on January 1, nobody or only a handful of state Government employees attend office on office days, which this year began from January 2. A DPRO news item, issued on January 4, 2020, stated: “Chief Secretary Nagaland … expressed his regret and noted with deep concern over the poor attendance of Government employees both in the Secretariat as well as in the Directorates”, adding that the CS “felt that after long vacation, the Government officers and employees are expected to come back and serve the people and Government with renewed spirit and vigour. As responsible Government officials one is expected to be sincere and dedicated”. But why is the CS expressing “regret and noted with deep concern over the poor attendance of Government employees …” when this is the norm, never the exception, every year? In fact, this is the deeply-entrenched culture of the rank and file of the state Government employees year after year? Therefore, it is not as if he doesn’t know of this culture. So, the CS’s “regret and deep regret” comes across more as standard practice than actual ire and indignation that is expected of someone, who means business. And this gets substantiated when the Dimapur DPRO adds in the same news item: “The Chief Secretary cautioned that if attendance remains poor the Government would have no option but compelled to take necessary action in the form of “No Work No Pay””. This is a kind of a joke being played on the people because really how many state Government employee are really bothered about “No Work No Pay” ~ most of them have their own private means of income that makes their Government employment salaries look like pocket-money or loose change in their pockets. If we take just a cursory look at the property owned by our politicians and the rank and file of the state Government employees particularly at Dimpur and its suburbs, quite clearly there seems to be cases of “wealth not commensurate with sources of income”. So yes, not attending office till almost the Easters breaks and not getting paid for these few months make no difference in the hunger quotient of a lot of rank and file of our state Government employees. Then the Dimapur DPRO further stated in the same news item that the CS “… called upon all the Government officers and employees to attend office regularly and carry out their assigned responsibilities for smooth flow of official works on time.” This is another joke on the people because this doesn’t happen even during the rest of the year ~ well, perhaps just for about two to three hours a day throughout the rest of the year, with a few dedicated exceptions. And, no member of the public, who go to Government offices need elucidation on this for we are inevitably at the receiving end of the whims and fancies of the rank and file of our Government employees as far as office hours are concerned. The point is that the CS should unambiguously tell the rank and file of our Government employees that failure to attend office on working days would invite summary dismissal from their jobs. Period. Yes, of course, there are service rules as regards dismissals but these rules are not etched in stones. If some service rules don’t work, change them. That’s all there is to it. Period. The people and state of Nagaland cannot afford deadwood and free-loaders. Meanwhile, the Dimapur DPRO also mailed another news item to all local newspapers stating that the Dimapur Deputy Commissioner convened a meeting of all HODs under Dimapur district on January 4, 20202, to discuss about the activities for ensuing Republic Day celebrations. How nice ~ but the photo accompanying the news showed less than twenty people attending it. Surely, we have much more than twenty Departments at Dimapur district? Things appear to get more and more wretched for the people and state of Nagaland. I have always wondered why our Chief Minister doesn’t issue stern warnings to the rank and file of our Government employees, as also Ministers and Advisors, about their self-extended festive holidays. The rot, they say, begins from the head.