Vijay K. Saluja
On 31st Dec 2010, after 7 PM, various TV channels were busy transmitting their programmes which they had assembled for the new year eve. One of the channel had a programme with the Title:`2010,Year of the Corrupt`.
In this programme , some of the scams which hogged the headlines were reported about, with texts & video-footages. Some of the scams featured were-Radia Tapes & 2 G scam, Adarsh Housing scam in Mumbai, CWG scam in Delhi, Land scam in Bengaloru. Apart from the huge money which the citizens/nation had lost in these shady goings- on, to my mind, the nation was loosing much much more, by way of monopolisation of these unethical happenings, in the media, both print & TV. Besides the attention , efforts , energy & time being put in, by the investigative agencies-CBI, CVC, CAG, Police, Administration, MPs, MLAs,public etc etc.
The Parliament was in limbo,then?!Debates about JPC or PAC, raged on with no logical conclusions ?! Analysts fond of debating & debating had,then, great time, in print media & TV channels!
Let us ask ourselves? Can our poor country afford all these luxuries- of non productive activities? Don`t you think, we are poor, because of all these negative activities, day in day out?
In the newspaper-TOI, those days, there was also a news about an Indian Forest officer Sanjay Chaturvedi-a whistle blower, who had been harassed & victimized for years by the Haryana Govt for his only fault`[I will say-taking brave stand] for not toeing the lines of his unethical seniors. He was charge-sheeted five years back as reported on fabricated charges.It was though heartening to learn from TOI of first January,2011, that Union Environment Minister Mr Jai Ram Ramesh had, then revoked the fabricated chargesheet bringing an end, to the ordeal of five years of harassment & victimization, of the young Indian Forest Service official.
In 2014, after about three years ,now the readers must be reading day in day out about much bigger scams in the country & also about the travails of another IAS officer from Haryana-Mr Ashok Khemka!To my mind, the environment in the governance of the country has taken a big hit. Corruption is rife in many organizations which gave impetus to a newbie political outfit-AAP to defeat old established political parties candidates in recent Delhi elections!!
Why, I mentioned above the cases of Mr Chaturvedi & Mr Khemka is, because these are just similar to my own case [about which I am briefly mentioning as under,to buttress the point] & then only one can, understand how much agony & harrassment, a conscientious & honest officer goes through & becomes lonely, if he cares for the citizens & about nation`s funds, instead of pandering to the whims & fancies of his unscrupulous seniors/ masters.
`In January 2010, Sony TV happened to give me their inaugural CID Gallantry Award for demonstrating an exemplary act of bravery as the certificate given to me stated & the citation given to me also mentioned that the signatories of the citation hoped that that this achievement served as an example for others to follow. The award ceremony was telecast on 26th January,2010 by Sony TV. www.setindia.com/cid .One may ask what was the achievement? Well, It was standing up against the unethical seniors for more than twenty years when being in the municipal service & the agonosing & lonely roller coaster journey one went thru.
The recognition which one thus gets for honesty, integrity & for efforts in fighting corruption, as the citation in Satyendra K.Dubey Memorial Award, which I also happened to get from IIT Kanpur & IIT Kanpur Alumni Association in Feb 2009, are no doubt, great morale boosters for the recipients. But, having said that, it is my humble submission that these civil society organizations & TV channels should not be content only with giving away awards, but if they also take up these causes-fighting corruption, backing officials standing up to unethical seniors, & commending ones, who hold on to values & ethics despite all odds etc etc, through sustained meaningful & purposeful activities/ events, & making serials about their experiences then, to my mind, it will have very salubrious effects on the present perverted system/society, besides giving morale-boosting to the courageous & honest officials/elected representatives, who I am sure, are in plenty, too, in our governance .
The Delhi Government who perhaps is now intent upon arresting corruption must also give particular attention, care & provide shoulders to their courageous & honest officers. They are their[the govt] assets which need treasuring.
I also wonder why whistle-blowers/ honest officers do not figure more, in annual PADMA AWARDS LISTS/ other govt commendations??!!
What do you the readers think?
Presently, I am steering Giraffe Heroes India Program an offshoot of Giraffe Heroes Project[US]. Giraffe Hero is a person who sticks his/ her neck out for public good at huge personal risk on sustainable basis. More details about this Program are at www.giraffe.org. Readers are invited to send nominations for prospective Giraffe Heroes.
We have a desire to start an Essay Contest?
Winners to be given reasonable cash prizes & Certificates.
How Parents & Schools, can motivate children in fighting Corruption?.
School principals & parents may send their views on this.
We, the citizens & honest officials should not remain mute spectators, but be proactive in helping the Govt to arrest corruption. The Govt, I am sure, will love it.The media need to be pro-active in these endeavors. It will help them immensely,too.
Pl send me your views on firstname.lastname@example.org
Will you like to be involved in the areas of GOOD GOVERNANCE?
Profile of Mr. Vijay K. Saluja
· Director Giraffe Heroes India Program
· Senior Fellow Institute of Social Sciences-New Delhi www.issin.org
· Ex Chief Engineer[civil] New Delhi Municipal Council
· Ex President, IIT Delhi Alumni Association
· Red & White Bravery Awardee-2002
· Giraffe Hero-2004 www.giraffe.org
· Nominee-`Delhi Citizen One Award`, instituted by `India Today Group`
· Honoured by Technology Alumni Association of IIT Kharagpur[2012-2013]
· Idea Daredevil Awardee