OFFICERS AT WORK
The status is said to be a factor which decides the degree of importance the man gets from the society. Nowdays due to decline of jobs in private sector resulting into retrenchment and laying offs by the private firms, the government sector has overpowered the private sector and hence everyone is thriving upon govt jobs .They are ready to pay any cost for getting into it either by hook or by crook. They promise and work hard to get into it, apply all their sincere efforts , get recommendations of the highest officials/ministers and do anything to get into it. Once they get in, then they forget to work for the remaining part of their life and just relax as they know it is equally difficult to throw them out on the charges of not working. Ironically in the private sector jobs where you have to work sincerely, honestly, day in and day out with the sword of insecurity always hanging on to your neck and with a fear of being fired any moment is always at the back of your mind :Job insecurity.
I have seen my friends leaving good private jobs and joining govt jobs just for the sake of Job security even if they have to join at comparatively lower status since it assures them of food, clothing and shelter with peace of mind for the rest of their life. At lower levels due to stringent policies of the govt the staff is not transferred from one place to another as a result of which the staff gets the privilege of staying at one place throughout their life at least for the time they are in their service for 30 years or so which means that three fourths of their life is over in the service time itself after which they hardly move out as they plan their stay or settle at their place of posting itself.
I remember once I ordered some of the labourers and chowkidaars(watchmen) to clean the area outside the boundary wall of my office which is adjacent to the major road of the city where everyone plies to various places especially in the morning when they have to go to their offices or while returning in the evenings after the offices close. The men were deployed to clean the area and were given the basic tools like talwaars (swords) for chopping the grass, sickle for cutting long grass, khurpi (Garden tool) and brooms etc for finally cleaning the areas so that it looks good from outside and security is also catered for by enabling clear sight adjacent to the walls. These working men could be clearly seen by the commuters on the road .
After some days their union leader came to me and hesitatingly told me that the work should be stopped as the people are tired to which I asked him astonishingly that they have just worked for two days and got tired so soon. How ? The leader again said,
” Sahib woh baat nahin hai”(Sir that is not the matter)
I then asked ,
”Kya baat hai?”(What’s the matter?)
”Sahib isme kuch log pandit hai aur woh jharu nahin pakarte’(Some of these men are pandits of higher caste and they do not hold the brooms)
I said ,
”But this is a government and a clean work, let them pick the grass with their hands then or use something else”
The leader reiterated,
”Sahib yeh baat bhi nahin hai woh to main unko mana loonga”(Sir this is also not the matter ,I will somehow manage and get the same done from them)
I then asked him to explain it in clear terms what is the matter why they do not want to do it?
I was surprised at the cause which he narrated to me and you know what it was;
Some of the lower staff like mazdoors and chowkidaars who were in the govt jobs had told their friends ,relatives, even to their wives and in laws that they are junior officers (Sarkari mulhazim) in govt services and have a very high status. The problem arose when their relatives started noticing them cutting the grass with those talwaars in their hands in the morning while passing through that road . The men felt ashamed as did not have anything to say so were hiding their faces while working. So they had put their request through their union leader to either change their time of working in the night when no commuter passing by can observe them working as mazdoors or their duties be accordingly changed to work inside the office so that they are behind the curtain of the office wall.
I was shocked to hear this and wondered how they lived in such a falsehood for such a long time. There was yet another story connected to it which their leader apprised me and that was after they declared themselves to be officers their market value increases manifold as they are able to extract large dowries from the girls in lieu of their son’s status in a govt job. It was really shameful and I felt very disheartened that day. But this is a bitter fact of life in an uneducated society which needs to be curbed with the only tool of education. How can you convince a person who is nearing his age of retirement to improve and not resort to such acts. One can only hope and apply efforts to educate the forthcoming generation to put an end to all this for a better generation .
“Every educated one’s please wake up, rise, shine and spread the light of wisdom to all concerned,” is all I can hope, say and request.