Mysore be damned; shift Manivannan

Karnataka chief minister Mr B S Yeddyurappa is reported to  asked a media person, in the wake of the tranfer of Mysore’s municipal/MUDA commissioner Mr P Manivannan, “Is it a sin to have an upright officer in my home district ?” No sir,  but couldn’t this be done without shifting Mr M, upsetting his plans for Mysore? Isn’t there any other upright officer you could find for Shimoga, Mr C M ? Surely, there must be many Manivannans in the our civil administration, if the C M were to apply his mind to finding a suitable officer.  But then our chief minister seems in a hurry to make Shimoga ‘shine’. Never mind, if Mysore be damned, in the process. 

Popular protest, even a Mysore bandh call, against Mr Manivannan’s transfer is the best certificate an official can get for the efficacy of his administration. I don’t recall the change of a minister in charge of a district having evoked a public upsurge, even though he may be elected by me and you. Oddly enough, Mr M’s  transfer has been ordered a day after Mr Y took oath of office. He hails from Shimoga. Getting an upright guy with proven track record to run your town can be reason enough for the transfer, if Mr Y were chieftain of a fifdom. Snag is he runs a government that ought to be responsive to popular and legitimate demands of the people of Karnataka.

There is, evidently, a disconnect here between people and the chief minister. I get a feeling he listens more to his village astrologer than to the will of the people. Another popular misconception some of us happen to be under is that Mr Y is chief minister of the entire Karnataka, not just of Shimoga. A person who thinks/acts smaller than the office he occupies, can only spell misery for those he/she governs. 

The protest against Mr Manivannan’s transfer appears spontaneous; the protesters have no personal axe to grind by his retention. If anything, Mr M can prove inconvenient for some people, because of his no-nonsense approach to civic administration. He doesn’t play favourites. Mr M has been in Mysore for less than three months; which isn’t long enough for anyone to wish him ill. Instead, within this short period, he has made such an impression on people that they believe Mr Y’s action betrays supreme indifference to public sentiments. Mysore be damned, for all he cares. 

If the political executive of the day works to his own agenda, people’s only hope is in a fair and dispassionate civil administration. The chief secretary or whoever signed Mr M’s tranfer order appears to have no say in the matter. Maybe, transfers and promotion are the prerogative of the state administration. Problem arises when political bosses use them as tool to settle political scores; or further their personal agenda. This is where we could do with a bunch of no-nonsense officials who have spine enough to tell their political boss where they got off. As of now, we seem to have glorified rubberstamps at the helm of civil administration.

I don’t know about Mr M’s personal feelings about his tranfer. Maybe, it doesn’t affect his life one way or another. Anyway, he can’t be expected to voice his grievance, if any, in public. He holds a tranferable job. Viewed in this light postings/transfers of officials shouldn’t normally be an issue for public protest. And no self-respecting administration could be expected to give in to such pressure.

But then, the fact that the likes of my friend ERR ( not given to flag-waving activism) are agitated and have raised their voice against Mr M’s transfer are doing so because they can’t see Mysore being damned, by a part-term CM who has yet to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly. A dramatic turn of events on the day of reckoning may hold an answer to the prayers of public-spirited Mysoreans. 

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4 Responses

  1. This clearly shows that we in Myosre just do not have good IAS officers. If an officer is transferred within three months of his posting because CM wants an upright officer in his district, this speaks volumes about the bankruptcy about Karnataka’s administration. If CM feels that the current DC in his district is not good why is he imposing him on some other district? As a CM he should be looking after all the districts. Why has he failed to motivate the current DC in his district.

    just a year back, Mysore suffered for the transfer of another upright officer like Vijay Bhaskar. Dharam Singh wanted an “efficient officer” for his district.

    Why is karnataka unlucky in having short sighted political leaders.

  2. The tragedy of governance in Karnataka and elsewhere seems to be to ‘undo’ whatever earlier boss, especially in Govt., has done.That’s why we never seem to progress.The case in point being,Mr. Manivannan was brought to Mysore after he had served and revolutionised administration at Hubli and Dharwad and put a system in Place which is working now, even when he is not there.Now before he could do that in Mysore, which needs a good administrator and a better system to plan, get and make use of JNURM funds, the Chief Minister ‘eyes’ him and takes him to his pet city, to hell with Mysore and JNURM and everything. This is done at breakneck speed and tearing hurry even before the ink dried on his signature that made him the C.M.Equally baffling is, he wanted to do this before his partners came to sit with him to run the State.

    Much of the sympathy he had earned seems to have evaporated in the first 24 hours of his taking over with the kind of decisions and the speed with which it is done.If he cares for good governance, he must revoke the decision, get another upright officer to Shimoga to administer. Otherwise, he will worry all the time about the ‘remote’ switch JD(S) has.19 months of sleeplessness can be a terrible thing even if he survives the period.

  3. [...]  the man sworn in a week earlier as CM would find himself unemployed so soon. I had signed off an earlier post (as a lark) with a wishful sentence – A dramatic turn of events on the day of reckoning may hold [...]

  4. Father Son Drama has created difficulty for the people of Karnataka, when will the people of Karnataka get wisdome to choose the dedicated leader who can take Karnataka to greater heights. If the present situation continues, will not be surprised all the IT based MNC will shift to better place than Bangalore which as it is one of the most crowded place in India

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