'Truth spoken without moderation reverses itself'
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Chhattisgarh govt says staff can join RSS, service rules don’t apply
Kicking off a political storm, the Chhattisgarh government
has issued a notification that allows government servants to join RSS and
participate in its activities. The Chhattisgarh Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1965
prohibit a government servant from taking part in politics. “No government
servant shall be member of, or be otherwise associated with, any political
party or any organisation which takes part in politics nor shall he take part
in, subscribe in aid of, or assist in any other manner, any political movement
or activity,” states Rule 5(1).
NB: The 'parivar' repeatedly flaunts its political interests, intervenes in selection of senior BJP functionaries, campaigns vigorously in elections; and then claims it is non-political. Who are they trying to fool? Why not be honest for a change, instead of clever? This same controversy happened in the year 2000, when the Gujarat government of Keshubhai Patel with the support of the Vajpayee government, lifted the ban on RSS recruitment among civil servants. In the ensuing controversy Prime Minister Vajpayee revealed his mind on February 5. "The RSS is not a political outfit. It is a cultural and social organisation and I don't think objections should be raised to anybody joining it."
However, the state government, in a notification dated
February 23, with the subject line “regarding participation of government
servants in activities of RSS”, said that “as far as Rule 5(1) of Chhattisgarh
Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1965 is concerned, its restriction does not
apply to RSS”. The notification was signed by Additional Secretary (General
Administration Department) K R Mishra, and copies were marked to almost all
major government officer-bearers in the state, including Principal Secretary to
Governor; Chief Minister’s Office; Principal Secretary, Vidhan Sabha
Secretariat; Registrar General, High Court; Public Service Commission; Human
Rights Commission; Lok Ayog; Information Commission and all collectors and
Opposing the notification, the Congress termed it as
“politicisation of administration”. “It is an unconstitutional move with clear
political colours. It will indoctrinate government servants. They will go to
shakhas and will no longer remain impartial,” said former chief minister Ajit
Jogi. “It is an attempt by the government to force officers to
visit RSS shakhas. It will blur the dividing line between the government and a
political party. The BJP’s top leadership is annoyed with Raman Singh. He wants
to save his chair and please them. The present move confirms his desperation,”
said PCC chief Bhupesh Baghel. “Officers will now openly speak and work in
favour of RSS-BJP. It will damage democracy in Chhattisgarh,” he added.
Welcoming the move, the RSS claimed that it was not a
political organisation. “This rule was made by the British but still continues.
This government has done a good thing. The RSS is not a political party, we are
a social organisation,” said Deepak Vispute, RSS’s Chhattisgarh Sar
Sanghchalak. Asked about the RSS’s involvement in campaigning for the
BJP, he said: “We never asked people to vote for BJP. RSS ne wahi kaha jo
Election Commission ne kaha — matdaan karo. We only asked people to vote for
When pointed out that RSS leaders occupy top political
posts, Vispute said: “Our swayamsevaks are in various fields. Some of them are
in politics also, but we are a cultural organisation.” Countering the RSS, Baghel said: “The RSS claim is bogus.
Everyone knows that it is into deep politics and controls BJP.” Several
officers also expressed their displeasure with the move.
Earlier, the Centre had held that the RSS and
Jamaat-e-Islami are political organisations and “participation in them by
government servants would attract provisions of sub-rule (1) of Rule 5 of the
Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964.” In its 1966 order, the Centre
had said that “any government servant who is a member of or is otherwise
associated with the aforesaid organisations or with their activities is liable
to disciplinary action.” The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had clarified to The Indian
Express last year, in response to an RTI application, that the 1966 order is
In Himachal Pradesh, the previous BJP government withdrew
the memorandum (restricting its employees from participating in RSS activities)
with immediate effect on January 24, 2008. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP
government issued a clarification on August 21, 2006 that the “restrictions are
not applicable to the RSS”.