Beacon Light For Bureaucrats
Retirement period does not come as ‘bliss’ to all. But this person who joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and contributed 36 precious year of his life to the service of his country but he deviates from the usual complaints and is contented investing his free time formulating stories and scribbling them down. Whilst the general population was busy condemning the corrupt IAS officials, Bhaskar Ghosh was retrospecting the geographic scenery, the complication it tagged along with it and the glorious unforgettable 15 years spent on one of the then disturbed states of India, West Bengal. Bhaskar Ghosh in the midst of the chaos (corruption-related case against few IAS officials) did not hesitate to make his 76-year-old hand come out with his second novel—The Service of the State.
In this novel, Ghosh forcefully argues that in the past the profession of state’s service which was highly respected has been tarnished by allegations of corruption, political subservience and declining standards of efficiency but one cannot refute the fact that there are still sufficient numbers of dedicated public servants who substantially fulfil their functions.
When asked if he was aware of the recent incident involving the arrest of an IAS couple found with Rs 300 crore in their account, with a fatherly smile, he said: “With so much trust and responsibility from the poor people how could they have done something like this and still sleep soundly at night?” But then Bhaskar, who once shouldered the responsibility as a joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence, adds, “Not all bureaucrats are corrupt. There are few people, who worked somewhere else and then joined the civil services, brought their bad habits with them and developed a sense of indifference towards others.” He cited the example of a young IAS, Vineel Krishna from Odisha, who sacrificed his precious time and rather preferred staying with the villagers whilst working for their progress which led to his kidnapping in the Maoists-dominated region.
Bhaskar Ghosh’s passion is theatre; he played and directed more than forty plays for the Yatrik Theatre. One might think, he is more interested in acting than serving the general population. Whereas, it is absolutely wrong. Bhaskar being an excellent student in his early twenties could have taken up profession related to science or law, on the contrary he joined the IAS. In very simple words, he said: “I had the feeling that I could serve the people and make the country a better place and prove myself to be worthwhile.”
Ghosh describes his life by quoting from his book The Service of the State thus: “To have served the state as well as I could. That, at any rate, was my most satisfying thought when I left the service; I had little to look forward to except the prospect of getting used to living in genteel but modest, very modest, circumstances, but the thought that I had done the best I could, had fallen down sometimes by making wrong decisions and judgements, but tried to correct them, gave me a great amount of consolation… I had, in the end, like many of my colleagues merely done the best I could and no man can do more. That was what made it easy to leave the service with a tranquil mind and a clear conscience.”
By Taw Nana