Monday, May 27, 2024

Monday Mirchi: Did Santhi Kumari do her part?

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The other day when Telangana Governor chose to tweet her jibe at the state Chief Secretary, it raised many as-yet unanswered questions, apart from highlighting multiple dimensions of the gulf between the two. When yours truly tried to verify from members of the Chief Secretary’s Office whether Santhi Kumari had visited the Governor after taking charge, interestingly an official confirmed that she did go the same day, though there are no photographs to testify that since they were clicked by the Raj Bhavan staff. Curiously, Raj Bhavan officials had a different take on this. When confronted with the same question, an IAS officer in the Raj Bhavan mentioned ‘network is bad’ and hung up. However, other Raj Bhavan sources said neither the Director-General of Police nor the Chief Secretary visited the Governor ‘formally’ after taking charge. Nonetheless, there are whispers in the corridors of power that, irrespective of whether the CS went to Raj Bhavan or not, the Governor taking to Twitter for posting her peeve sounds deeply infra dig. Ahead of the International Women’s Day, this woman against woman spat on social media is not far removed from the one reported in Karnataka recently. In the neighbouring state, IPS officer and Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation Managing Director Roopa D, and IAS officer and Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, Rohini SindhuriDasari had levelled allegations against each other on social media, following which the Karnataka government transferred them without specifying their new posting. Regardless of who is right, such ego-driven spat does set a bad precedent. One wag commented: “If the CS were Somesh or some other male, would the Governor have posted such a tweet?”

Going by visuals made available to the media, Santhi Kumari met the Governor on the Republic Day, attended At-Home and later greeted her on the opening day of the Budget session.

Collector wins hearts
Jagital Collector Shaik Yasmeen Basha has set a healthy precedent by taking matters of faith to her heart and has thereby won the hearts of legions of netizens and politicos. The Collector,sporting tilak, offered silk clothes and talambralu(perfumed mixture of pearls, rice, saffron and turmeric) to Dharmapuri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy as part of the recent Brahmotsavams. For once, BRS and BJP supporters were one in praising her gesture. Netizens sang paeans to the Muslim IAS officer, who not only sought blessings of Hindu deities but also did pradakshinas (circumambulation) in the shrine. Some Twitterati recalled another such IAS officer Musharaff Ali Faruqui’s hearty celebration of Holi and winning hearts. The best part is that such officers stand out as role modelsfor citizens, who are tired of politicians using religion for selfish ends.

Differing yardstick for action
It is not all that easy even for a DGP to act against politically active babus, especially those inclined to publicly go with the ruling party without qualms. What if the diktat comes with the Centre’s blessings? Days after the Chief Secretary, acting at the behest of MHA, wrote to DGP seeking action against P V Sunil Kumar and an ATR at the earliest, the authorities are weighing if a DGP could proceed against a DG-level official. Noticeably, such niceties of hierarchical matters never came up for discussion when the authorities went after A B Venkateshwara Rao, who had faced punitive actions in quick succession. The corridors of power are discussing how what goes around comes around. When it comes to an officer in the good books of the ruling party, the action seems to be delayed by default. A little bird told us that the DGP is waiting for a green light from the Chief Minister to proceed against P V Sunil. For newbies, the CS of the AP government has directed the state DGP to proceed against Sunil, formerly head of state CID, for misuse of power to take revenge on opposition leaders.

It’s no Sin,ha!
People have a pen name, nickname, alias, or other moniker as a pseudonym to represent some distinctive trait. Although Telangana DGP is popular as Anjani Kumar, for reasons we cannot fathom politicians call him ‘Sinha’. While greeting the DGP at T-Works inaugural, Minister K T Rama Rao initially referred to him as ‘Sinha’ and immediately filled in the blanks to correct it as ‘DGP Anjani Kumar Sinha’. Well, it is no sin to call him Sinha! Of course, in media circles, the DGP is popular as Anjani Kumar. And few know him as Sinha even among the public. If anything, sometimes he is erroneously referred to as Anjani Kumar ‘Yadav’ by those who mix up his name with politician Anjan Kumar Yadav. Regardless of what the Bard has to say, there is something in a name.

Retired babus take to blogging
Babus, while in service, have a lot of pent-up emotions and unexpressed ideas that they think can help mend matters in administration. Post retirement, some of them write books. Social media has opened a window of opportunity for those itching to share their ideas on a smaller canvas now. Many retired bureaucrats are making the most of social media, mostly via blog posts. If the blog posts evoke good response, they try their luck for wider publicity by sharing them with the media. Whatever it be, the number of babus who speak their mind post retirement has been on the rise, thanks to social media.

SSS a la RRR
RRR has made Indian films popular across the globe. Likewise, ‘SSS’ is now being used in official circles of AP to refer to two resourceful women IAS officials who turned the spotlight on AP by their dedicated work for the resounding success of the Global Investors Summit at Visakhapatnam. The ‘S’ in GIS, thanks to Special Chief Secretary Municipal Administration Y Srilakshmi and Director of Industries department Gummalla Srujana, made awesome presentations for the galaxy of industrialists and others present at the GIS. Their presentations helped the state government temper the criticism of opposition parties so much so that even Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy believes that they will give additional political advantage to him in the coming elections. Like RRR, SSS now has a pride of place in the administration.

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