A Facebook post by an IAS officer in Chhattisgarh on Friday questioning the achievements of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, a founder member of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh has earned a swift reaction from the state government which transferred him with immediate effect.
Shiv Anant Tayal a 2012 batch IAS officer posted as chief executive officer at Kanker district panchayat, south Chhattisgarh, in his FB post said, “Can’t find a single work of his (Pt Upadhyaya) authorship or scholarship to gauge his ideological stance and that there is not a single election where he won by a popular vote.” The officer further quoted a comprehensive repository written by historian Ram Chandra Guha in his book ‘Makers of Modern India’ where “there is no mention of Upadhyaya”.
The government reacted in less than 24 hours.
“The government has taken cognizance of the officer’s post and has expressed displeasure. He has been issued a show cause notice has been transferred him to the state secretariat,” the Chhattisgarh government spokesperson told Hindustan Times.
The post also raised the hackles of the BJP, and eventually forced Tayal to delete the post . But that did not stop the government from transferring him.
Tayal’s post came at a time when the BJP is observing a year-long birth centenary celebrations of the party’s ideologue.
Expectedly, the BJP hit back at the officer.
“It is a sign of immaturity and shows a lack of understanding. Officials should desist from such making statements on public platforms. The government is working on Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s ideals,” Sanjay Srivastava, president of the BJP’s Chhattisgarh unit told Hindustan Times.
Another party leader said that in the BJP’s recent national council meeting at Kozhikode the party has cited Upadhyaya as “ideal icon for the younger generation” and the IAS officer had run “misinformation” on the social media site.
Despite repeated attempts, the Kanker CEO couldn’t be reached for his comments.
Around 11 pm on Friday, he tendered an apology for his remarks. “I raised some spontaneous questions on Pt Deendayal Upadhyay. It was never an intention to raise questions on credibility of stalwarts or to offend anyone. Nevertheless if that happened, I am deeply apologetic and express regret,” he wrote on his post.
Tayal’s post about Upadhyaya came after another IAS officer in BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, Alex Paul Menon was served a show cause notice by the state government in July for “casting aspersions” on the criminal justice system on his FB post in June speculating: “Is there a bias in India’s legal system with 94 per cent of those on death sentence being either Dalits or Muslims.”
FB posts by bureaucrats in recent months triggered various controversies. Bastar collector Amit Kataria faced criticism citing that the attack on AAP leader and tribal activist Soni Sori was stage-managed and he was forced to withdraw his remark. Similarly, Badwani collector in Madhya Pradesh Ajay Gangwar “liked” a FB comment that was critical of PM Narendra Modi and praised the nation’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Subsequently Gangwar was shifted to Bhopal secretariat.
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