TODAY -

Once in a blue moon Chief Secretary

Free Thinker *

Chief Secretary Oinam Nabakishor Singh at  Old Secretariat (South Block), Imphal :: 24th February 2017
Chief Secretary Oinam Nabakishor Singh on 24th February 2017 :: Pix - DIPR



After Independence and merger we have our first Meitei Chief Secretary of the State. He has a few years to go till his superannuation. But at present he is seeking voluntary retirement.

Everyone knows the reason why he is seeking VRS. Posting / transfer of Secretaries and high ranking officers of the State is normally done by the State Cabinet headed by the Chief Minister. Allowing interference (if so) in such matters is considered imprudent and untenable.

However these days some strange things have started cropping up; it is learnt that the choice of Chief Secretary of the CM of a very big State has been declined. If it is true, it is an infringement upon the domain of the State administration and undermining the power of the State. Consequently a news is floated that CM has strongly asserted and now he is getting the Chief Secretary of his choice.

Meiteis are a very sentimental people; they constitute nearly 56 % percent of the total population of the State. It includes Meitei SCs , Meitei Pangans, Bamons and also Meitei STs (aspirants).My calculation may not be very accurate.

It reminds me of my Mathematics score in XII; I got 35 out of 100, that too after taking tuition for 2 years. If political leaders want to remain robust in politics they ought to understand the pulse of the people and the significance of demography in democracy.

We all know that Meitei direct IAS are extremely rare . Normally they are protected and nurtured like endanger species . They may get a chance to become CS once in a blue moon. Similarly the Meitei direct IPS are equally uncommon; they are now almost extinct.

The first Meitei Director General of Police(DGP) is now the present Dy Chief Minister ( perhaps he will be last Meitei DGP of the century) . Meiteis are emotionally and unreasonably possessive; even if their IAS or IPS officers are not doing well , committing mistakes and becoming extremely affluent , they simply ignore them and pardon them as they are the sons of the soil and their own.

Whether ‘the transfer’ is prudent or not is a ponderable question. What are the compelling circumstances for this widely publicized transfer? The reasons cited below are all conjectures. He was an appointee of the last regime. He is becoming richer and richer.

CS and Rajya Sabha Member(President) is a deadly combination which has to be checkmated. It is because of the marriage. Ima keithel is of the view that one ‘Panji’ advises him to change the top officers including CS & DGP for ensuring a long innings? Another incredible theory is, it is a culmination of a bureaucratic conspiracy and they used the gullible CM for advancing their agenda.

We are happy that the corruption level has come down in the State in the last few months. People say that earlier it was 10% and now it has drastically come down to 5% . It is a great achievement. Moreover people/contractors/job-seekers are unable to pay bribes because they don’t have enough hard cash after demonetization.

Digital transactions for bribery are still at the nascent stage. Now GST has also arrived; things and services will be cheaper. But the quantum of success of GST is dependent on the degree of honesty of the traders, buyers and CAs. In any case Manipur will be benefitted as a consumer State.

It is hard to believe that the Centre interferes in the posting/ transfer of State bureaucrats and police officers. We can understand the exceptions under Presidents Rule or on the eve of elections by the ECI. Of course the posting and transfer of key-officers are done by the Governor during President’s Rule and by the Election commission at the time of elections.

In normal circumstances transfer /posting from CS to chawkidar and from DGP to driver is solely done by the State government. Centre usually endorses the proposal of the State even for the appointment, posting and service extension of CS or DGP.

There are many well wishers of this new government not because of their ideological affiliation or linings but because of their belief in change for the better. Inadvertently the government has entangled with an emotive issue. People strongly feel that this will be rectified after three months without embarrassing the present incumbent (retiring).

Local sentiments are normally respected in politics as well as in governance. This faux pas may be addressed without causing further damage.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on July 11, 2017.


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