Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Commissioner, The King & The People!

Our duty is to encourage everyone in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth...Swami Vivekananda.
No need to introduce who Swami Vivekananda is, though it seems that our rulers need it most as the present act they have done clearly indicates that they have not only ignored the above words of the great man  but totally forgot the history this once honorable State has! Recently in haste of showing that the Govt also can take decisions, reason we all know behind the haste, a news which made head line was       nearly Rs 100 crores has been allotted for constructing memorial of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Arabian Sea, near Mumbai. Nothing wrong as its long pending demand & such memorial is a tribute to Shivaji Maharaj who is icon for our State but at the same time another head line was there & it was transfer of one IAS officer Mr. Shrikar Pardeshi who was Commissioner PCMC i.e. Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Now people will as what co relation between the two things? Well both are acts by the same ruling Govt & a contrast in it doing so! Still confused?
Here is a famous story about Shivaji Maharaj; during his tenure as King Shivaji Raje has issued strict orders to his entire fort in charges, not to open the fort gate after sun down, for anybody & any reason. It’s keeping in mind security norms of the fort from attack of enemies. Once travelling away from his Capitol with few of his assistants, it was late night & Shivaji Maharaj reached at the entrance of his one of the forts & thought of taking halt there for the night. So the message was sent to fort in charge to open the gate for him, as the gate was locked for by sun down as per the orders of Maharaj himself. The fort in charge came rushing at the gate knowing the king himself as arrived at gate & seeing Maharaj,  saluted from above & politely said with due respect “I can’t open the gate till morning, as the orders are from Maharaj not to open the gates till sunrise.” The assistants with Shivaji Raje scolded at fort in charge reminding him its Maharaj himself at gate so open up the gates at once & even Maharaj introduced himself, yet the fort keeper was very clear & firm that he won’t open the gates. Seeing the dedication of the fort keeper, Mahraj & assistants took rest near the gate in open & spent night like that only. In the morning fort keeper opened the gate at sun rise, took Maharaj in & bent down on knees in front of Maharaj thinking now he is going to get punished for keeping his own king out in open whole night! But to his & all others surprise Mahraj held him up by his shoulder & not only praised him for his sense of duty but rewarded him!
It’s a story telling us how a King should behave with his officers who held the duty above everything & now look at our Govt! It’s high time that the Govt should understand that one should honor great men like Shivaji Maharaj, by following his values & principles & not just by making their memorials! On one side Govt is spending public money for memorial of Shivaji Maharaj & on other side by transferring officers like Shrikar which is act of punishment in a way, the same Govt is directly dishonoring the principles of Shivaji Maharaj! And what is fault of Mr. Commissioner, that he disobeyed personal whims of his Kings which was in actual in accordance with the orders from the same Kings! I deliberately used the word Kings as our present rulers’ thinks that they are the Kings of their constituency & some big leaders consider the whole State as their kingdom. Fault of Mr. Commissioner was, he held his duty above his Kings wish! Issue is not just transfer of the officer, that’s right of Govt & in past also transfers of many officers has happened before competing their tenures; then what so special about Shriakr Pardeshi, that every news paper made it headline , there were protests & still going on? Right from common people to various NGO”s to even Builder lobby (though not openly) supported him & opposed the transfer? For that we need to go in to back ground of the issue.

Since long PCMC is infamous for its illegal constructions, means not following any bylaws or making buildings over the reservations or no development zones like river adjoining green belts. It was all undercover as no one was complaining for simple reason all were beneficiary of this arrangement & then the land rates weren’t so high as well issue of homes wasn’t so serious. But then someone approached in high court for a petition which involved this issue of illegal construction & when high court come down heavily the PCMC itself admitted for over one lac of such structures & the number still growing! Then high court gave the directives about demolishing these illegal structures as well the UD i.e. Urban Development dept which is controlled by the Hon Chief Minister himself also gave the directives for the same. And present Commissioner was unlucky enough to be in the position where he was! And all he started doing is act under the orders from high court as well UD, as that’s what his duty is supposed to be!

Who allowed illegal construction in first place & under whose ownership & whose interests are going to hamper because of the action Mr. Commissioner was taking are not the issues which I think are important; as that’s something even a small kid who reads news paper can tell. What is more important is the way so called assistants of the kings got united & started targeting the Commissioner that all he does is demolishing & no productive work is being done etc etc. Well if demolishing illegal buildings built on various reservation lands; which in a way are like cancer for the entire city isn’t productive then what is productive? If you allow such buildings to stand then what about hundreds of other buildings which are being build with following all rules & by paying all the taxes? What moral right the administration has to ask other builders to follow the rules & do legal work, & ask the other law abiding residents to pay their taxes? Lets understand one thing very clearly fear of law will be there only if illegal acts gets punished & that too in time! And for that basically no one needs any high court or UD dept to pas the order that’s job of the governing body & only it has neglected its own job to such a large extent that’s why they held Mr. Commissioner as direct responsible to take action against such illegality & which he responded!

Now this is something which Govt or shall we say the Kings haven’t expected as they wanted to show that they are against illegal constructions just by issuing orders & didn’t wanted in actual to take any action against them as it would have been directly affected the vote bank. Again a thought process which shows how immature our rulers are as to make few voters happy we are allowing entire city to go illegal way! They seem to want Mr. Commissioner to take the heat of disspobeying their orders or court orders which unfortunately didn’t happen & then there were announcements in public speeches about regularizing the illegal constructions but for that also one has to take legal way, which needs lots of courage, a thing which no political figure possesses now days! So the best way is to pressurize Mr. Commissioner & the entire civic administration that we will issue orders to demolish the illegality but you don’t follow them! This is the thing which is of most concern as it’s not Mr. Shrikar Pardeshi but the post which he was holding is the key here.

Here after the real test is of the person next in queue i.e. who will be going to be the Commissioner as he will have to face the same situation as nothing is changed, the high court sword is still hanging & so as UD dept’s orders! Only thing is what kind of message we are sending by such transfers to the society or to the administration is the question? Seems the rulers want to show that they are the real boss but then that’s the fact, they are boss of the system only thing is they want a puppet to take blame for their wrong doings & not some real human being who does his duty by law & not by any individuals whim & wish. In past also this State has witnessed such transfers & effects of it, sad is neither the rulers nor the society seems to have learnt anything from it. They say history doesn’t repeat but somehow it’s for those who remembers & honored the term history. Here we are on the track where the terms like honor & duty are itself going to become the history!

So at least before it happens, lets wake up & as Vivekananda has said, let’s understand our duty to support                        Mr. Commissioner, not for any post but for the sake of entire city as we need more & more people like Shirkar who understand their duty & keep fighting against all odds. As if such Shrikar’s survives at any post in the system then only there is hope for the system as well the society or else one day there will be no any Shrikar, no system & we will be back to jungle law & we only will be the victims of our silence!!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

MSEDCL (Power) Committee, Credai, Pune

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  1. Sanjay really very right article. You've written in detail. Why don't you send it to our Chief minister, deputy CM?,

    We did our best in lay 15 days to retain Dr. Pardeshi. Both e & print Media supported us well but..........honestly middle class remained safe in their houses & though everyone was convinced that, Dr. Pardeshi was doing extra ordinary work nobody cane out openly & we lost battle. I really feel pity about this & now I am frustrated.


    Dhananjay Shedbale

  2. Sanjay pl help me to create blog & link for PCMC. My details,

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