MP’s shunted IAS officer speaks up: They promote some icons, I praised another (Nehru)

Ever since the Facebook post had gone viral, there were talks that Ajay Singh Gangwar could be shunted out of the district any time.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Updated: May 28, 2016 5:13 am
Not a crime to comment on certain issues: IAS officer Ajay Singh Gangwar Not a crime to comment on certain issues: IAS officer Ajay Singh Gangwar

Transferred after he praised Jawaharlal Nehru in a Facebook post, IAS officer Ajay Singh Gangwar Friday said that it was the government’s “prerogative” to move him out, but it was an “ideological issue”.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Gangwar, who was transferred within nine months of his first independent posting as a district collector, said, “I think it’s an ideological issue. They are promoting certain icons and I was praising someone else (Nehru). What’s wrong in teaching history to the younger generation, which is unaware of his contribution and is forming wrong perceptions about him.”

The 54-year-old was on Thursday transferred by the Madhya Pradesh government as deputy secretary in the Secretariat in Bhopal “on a temporary basis till further orders”.

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Gangwar, who was till now posted as the district collector of Barwani, has also served as special assistant to former chief minister and AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh in the past.

“The talk about stopping India from becoming a Hindu Rashtra figures in constitutional assembly debates. There’s nothing new about it but people must know,” Gangwar said, defending his post, which credited Nehru with stopping India “from becoming a Hindu Talibani country” in 1947.

nehru, nehru rss, hindu taliban, IAS officer comments on Nehru, IAS praises Nehru, IAS Nehru, Nehru IAS, IAS transferred, Madhya Pradesh government, baba ramdev, asaram bapu, ias officer, nehru, nehru praise, ajay gangwar, whatsapp post, facebook, indian express news, india news Ajay Singh Gangwar’s transfer order did not mention anything about his Facebook post on Nehru, a state Public Relations department official said.

While he has not received a notice from the government so far, Gangwar said he is ready with an explanation.

Gangwar, who joined the state services in 1989, had also reportedly liked an article critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January this year and commented that “there should be people’s rebellion (jankranti) against Modi”. When asked about it, he disowned the comment and said that a “Facebook like” cannot be held against him.

ALSO READ | Nehru stopped India from becoming Hindu Taliban country: MP IAS officer’s praise lands him in trouble 

He said it is the government’s “prerogative” to transfer him and he cannot challenge it. While Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who holds the general administration portfolio, has not commented on the issue, a minister in his cabinet, Lal Singh Arya, has criticised Gangwar for making political comments.

“It is ironic that the central government is promoting use of social media. It is not a crime to comment on certain issues. There’s no policy that one can or cannot do certain things on social media,” said the 2005-batch IAS officer who was deputy secretary in the Scheduled Caste Welfare Department in Bhopal before his first posting as collector.

Right to Food campaigner Sachin Jain, a Facebook friend of Gangwar, described him as a “sensitive and politically conscious” person who occasionally likes posts about caste and communal issues. He also recalled how, as chief executive officer of Tikamgarh district panchayat in drought-affected Bundelkhand, Gangwar was instrumental in getting water by tankers.

Barwani-based tribal activist Madhuri said Gangwar is polite, low-profile and approachable. Calling his transfer “a kind of harassment”, Madhuri said, “What’s wrong in expressing an opinion about a historical figure? Many people hold him in respect. It’s his opinion. Just because his line of thinking is different from the RSS, that can’t become grounds for action against him.”

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  1. M
    Markendaya Jayant
    Aug 11, 2017 at 1:15 pm
    Freedom of choice for any particular political ideology/personality is always available to any serving bureaucrat like any other citizen/netizen. Such right should be exercised in voting through secret ballot cast in elections to different cons utional bodies. There is no problem on that issue.But a serving bureaucrat should not only be politically neutral, but also seen to be so in the eyes of the public.The problem is this very often the "neutral" ones are often tolerated by the small-minded and short-sighted political bosses.
    1. M
      Markendaya Jayant
      Aug 11, 2017 at 1:21 pm
      The last sentence of my(Markendaya Jayant) comment should read," the problem is this,very often the "neutral' ones are not tolerated by the small-minded and short-sighted political bosses."
    2. A
      Abhinav Gour
      May 28, 2016 at 7:27 am
      This is the Atude of the Government and except for some News Papers all the Paid Media Channels are Silent on this Sensational News in which an Honest Beuracrat is being Victimised leading to Low Morale of the Beauracracy
      1. C
        May 27, 2016 at 6:58 pm
        It shows what kind of dictatorial regime we are living in. Mere stating of facts has created troubles for this brave officer Mr Gangwar. May his courage multiply!
        1. T
          May 27, 2016 at 8:10 am
          ita sad. If my opinion on my fb page isnt the same as d opinion of the ruling government i can be transferred!! lt;br/gt;The concept of democracy has seized to exist.
          1. D
            May 27, 2016 at 3:51 pm
            IAS officer Ajay Singh should be hanged enemy of India
            1. V
              VP Joshi
              May 27, 2016 at 8:37 am
              Civil servants should not involve themselves in such arguments.
              1. A
                May 27, 2016 at 6:46 am
                No one can run away from facts. It is not easy like running away from wife we the first genration birn after Independance cannot forget what is their contributions so far in making a growing intelligent english speaking potion zero
              2. P
                May 28, 2016 at 4:56 am
                I agree that the word Taliban is not proper. Otherwise praising Nehru should not be a problem
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