Nehru is not enemy of BJP: MP govt's decision to transfer IAS officer is just petty

IAS officer Ajay Singh Gangwar, who praised the country's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in a Facebook post, was transferred by the Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday night. Gangwar was transferred as Deputy Secretary in the Secretariat in Bhopal.

"The state government has transferred Barwani Collector Gangwar as Deputy Secretary in the Mantralaya in Bhopal," a state Public Relation department official said.

In the Facebook post written in Hindi, which has gone viral on other social media platforms, Gangwar has written that "let me know the mistakes that Nehru should not have committed...Is it his mistake that he prevented all of us from becoming Hindu Talibani Rashtra in 1947? Is it his mistake to open IIT, ISRO, BARC, IISB, IIM, BHEL steel plant, dams, thermal power? Is it his mistake that he honoured Sarabhai, Homi Jehangir in place of intellectuals like Asaram and Ramdev?"

People on Twitter were sharing Gangwar's original post, which had landed him in trouble.

According to the government official, the Facebook post had not gone down well with the top officials as it was in "violation" of the service rules, following which an initial probe was conducted and Gangwar was transferred.

Another report in The Pioneer said that state general administration minister Lal Singh Arya instructed the chief secretary to take action against Gangwar because he said that Collectors should not make political statements on social media.

Ever since the Facebook post went viral, there were talks that Gangwar could be shunted out of the district any time. However, his transfer order did not mention anything about his Facebook post on Nehru, the official added.

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. PTI

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. PTI

Praising Nehru or any person from the Congress umbrella has never gone down well with the BJP or vice-versa. It is obvious that the BJP government or its leaders will not heap praises on Nehru or not feel it necessary to automatically genuflect before the Nehru-Gandhi trinity. But the fact that Nehru was one of the founding fathers of Independent India and a legacy in Indian politics cannot be ignored.

It does not bode well if a state government takes strict action (such as transferring a bureaucrat) just because he praised an iconic Indian leader. Like Sandip Roy observes in this piece it exposes the government's insecurity because mention of Nehru's name is not an act of treason. "The name of Nehru is no threat to the new government of Narendra Modi."

Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior BJP veterans like LK Advani, have praised Nehru in the past. Advani had, in fact, paid glowing tributes to Nehru while addressing a rally in Madhya Pradesh in 2014.

"The democratic structure of this country has been strengthened because of people like Nehru, Gandhi, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee," Zee News had quoted him as saying.

Modi, on the other hand, had praised Nehru in the Parliament in November last year. "When Lohia told Nehru that his policies weren't working, Nehru stood up and said 'I can't deny those facts.' That was his maturity," India Today had quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

Maybe, the BJP-ruled state governments should take a cue or two from their senior leaders.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: May 27, 2016 09:57 AM

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