India is as obsessed with its IAS officers as it is with its IIT graduates.
Earlier this year, I wrote an article about Kerala IAS officer Raju Narayana Swamy after seeing one of those Facebook appeals making its rounds. Six months ago, the post continues to attract interest. I wondered whether he had taken up that plum UN assignment in Paris or decided to remain in India to “fight it out”.
I sent a message to Srivatsa Krishna, the only IAS officer I know (on Twitter) whether he knew about Swamy’s whereabouts. As I waited for his response… more web searches. The newest Swamy article (from April 2012) was this - apparently the perfect-student-in-him had notched yet another accomplishment by becoming the first all-India service officer in the country to complete all 10 courses conducted by the National Institute of Disaster Management. Never mind that it might be news to most of us that India does possess an agency like that.
So Swamy is still in India? I came across this Kerala.gov.in page that establishes, without reasonable doubt, that Swamy is still very much in India. His current role is Commissioner of Civil Supplies. As if on cue, I got the following reply from Srivatsa Krishna “He is very much in Kerala. Don’t believe everything you read in the media.”
I called Swamy’s listed mobile# (switched off). After a series of calls (and redirections) to different Kerala departments, I finally reached the Department of Civil Supplies. A polite lady confirmed that Swamy is indeed the sitting Commissioner of Civil Supplies. Just 10 minutes earlier, some other department informed me (rather authoritatively) that Swamy was no longer in the Secretariat. I also learned that Swamy is currently in Lucknow (on election duty!) I also got his correct mobile number — but so far haven’t succeeded in getting through (for the final final confirmation).
I also came across this Oct 2007 Indian Express article where Swamy’s ex-father-in-law (Swamy and his wife have separated) alleges that the media has magnified Swamy’s good deeds beyond proportion. He also issues a few clarifications – that there was no blocking of public road but it was his own compound wall. The ex-father-in-law’s counter-claim is that Swamy ordered the demolishing of the wall to humiliate and harass his family.
Hartal bandh to protest Raju N Swamy’s transfer
This blog post casts light on the amount of populist support Swamy has among Kerela’s citizens (especially from Idukki). For the first time, a district observed a dawn to dusk hartal in protest against the transfer of a collector. The participation of many Dalit and tribal organisations (to support an ‘upper-caste’ collector) surprised many.
Raju N Swamy’s senior from school/college
Ratish Naroor writes about Swamy on his blog – corroborates most of the facts from the original Facebook share but stays clear off the father-in-law wall demolishment topic.