Like every good thing in life, high-profile appointments for IAS, IPS and other senior rank officers come with a huge cost – in terms of loss of their bureaucratic neutrality. Most of them don’t realize it so long as the show lasts. By the time they come to evaluate their life and career, it’s often too late. That’s what happened to Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar who was questioned by the CBI on Tuesday and Wednesday in connection with a corruption case.
Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, finds himself in a boiling soup today for having rubbed too many of his colleagues and juniors on the wrong side, after being appointed Kejriwal’s principal secretary. While most who felt they were wronged by Kumar kept quiet, Ashish Joshi, who was transferred out from being Member Secretary of Delhi Dialogue Commission, decided to blow the whistle and filed a complaint with Delhi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) alleging irregularities committed by Kumar in certain deals. And that formed the basis of the CBI action against Kumar.
While the political show of Kejriwal may or may not continue, Kumar faces an uncertain future, if not a tumultuous one. It is easier said than done, but it must be stated now that if he had followed the rule book and played fair even as he was appointed in the CMO, he could have averted the situation he faces today. He’s not the first, nor the last, to get a high-profile appointment. Many were there before him; and most of them not only maintained their bureaucratic neutrality, but were also held in high esteem by successor administration because they succeeded in function according to the rule book even while being close to the centre of power in their time.
The meaning of life, as Lord Buddha said, lies in balancing it – which by no means is an easy thing.
Reported by: Rakesh Ranjan