The suspension of Durga Shakti Nagpal could prove to be a blot in the tenure of the Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav, whose governance has been otherwise appreciated by all and sundry. Several welfare schemes have been either started or reinvigorated under the Akhilesh regime, although law and order still remains a persistent problem in the state.
However, until now, the Akhilesh Yadav governance has not been categorically blamed for any major transgression, even though his laptop for school children scheme has been both lauded and criticized in equal measure. But the unceremonious manner in which the 28-year-old IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal was dismissed for demolishing a mosque wall built on a government tract, leaves a foul taste in our collective palate.
The suspension of the sub-divisional magistrate for purely communal reasons, could be easily traced to the hidden machinations of the state’s illegal sand mining lobby that is becoming increasingly powerful and calling the shots even at the ministerial levels. The unseemly gloating by the Samajwadi Party leader Narendra Singh Bhati that the suspension took less than one hour to get processed is a clear evidence of the utter lawlessness that has engulfed the governance, and is responsible for the administration’s apathy towards the honest and intrepid Nagpal.
This also points towards a larger malaise in the system, wherein the bureaucracy, the business lobbies and the political classes are usually hand in glove in their nefarious nexus of far-reaching corruption. Clearly, Nagpal challenged the very idea of a good IAS officer, who should kowtow to the political and corporate masters, and work to further their interests only.
While the Akhilesh Yadav government had been trying to cleanse the system of pervasive corruption, evidently, the sacking of the IAS officer is a major taint on the face of the statecraft of the country’s youngest chief minister. Akhilesh should settle the matter immediately and emerge as an impartial head of state. Nagpal’s case is exemplary and the denouement would definitely have an impact on how public servants are encouraged or deterred to work for the development of their country.