Double standards have always been the norm in this country. At the macro level, most of the time they are borne out of political expediency. The suspension of Durga Nagpal by the Uttar Pradesh government and the clamour for her reinstatement by the opposition parties and media is something nothing short of double standard considering a recent event of similar nature in the state of Karnataka.
Thulasi Maddineni, a 2005 IAS officer who was DM of Koppal district in Karnataka was unceremoniously demoted to the post of CEO, Zilla Panchayat, Malngalore thanks to her bold decision against a brother of junior minister in the Congress government for illegally encroaching land of a poor man.
Durga Nagpal was suspended by the Akhilesh Yadav led SP government for the dubious reason of ordering of felling a wall of an under-construction Mosque in a village. Whereas, Thulasi was transferred by the Congress government in Karnataka at the behest of State Minister for Irrigation, Shivaraj Tangadagi against whose brother Thulsi was about to initiate action in her capacity as the District magistrate.
Thulsi Maddineni, known for her grit, when came to know about the impending transfer, hours before she formally received her transfer order, rejected the claim of minister’s brother to the ownership of the disputed land where he was constructing a bungalow.
What if the government in Karnataka was run by a regional party or BJP? Why didn’t Sonia Gandhi write to the CM or PM asking for reinstatement of Thulasi Maddineni to her former post? or as pointed out by a reader in The Hindu, on behalf of Ashok Khemka to the CM or PM in the Vadra case of illegal land grab?
Why BJP and BSP have suddenly come to the rescue of Durga Nagpal? Where were they when Thulasi was demoted to junior scale from senior scale? or when hundreds of other IAS officers were frequently transferred in their own tenures?
One plausible explanation is; the bungalow in Karnataka didn’t belong to a person of minority community.
And in UP or elsewhere in India, the honest can not stand alone. Durga Nagpal would have waited for another week and given a chance to the villagers to get permission to build the mosque, but all she would have had was that only one week to survive in the badlands of UP – the sword of Damocles was always hanging on her head, waiting for a moment like the mosque episode to shunt her away to a place where there was no Sand, water and mafia.
Two brave officers early in their careers are being punished for standing for truth and justice. In Karnataka the issue made few headlines in the regional media, but Karnataka is not UP – the state which is the road to PM’s gaddi – hence the issue was given a silent burial.
In the case of Durga Nagpal, for political parties it makes sense to create noise. But for honest bureaucrats it is demoralizing because young officers soon come to know that they are just pawns in the hands of greedy politicians.