IAS officers' toolkit to tackle political pressure....by KBS Sidhu
The 12-course gourmet recipe has been a closely-held secret among the “Babus”.
Serious or Frivolous, You Decide!
Originally published by mein May 2021, this mysterious revelation took the bureaucratic world by storm, spreading like wildfire, not so much on the internet as in the super-exclusive WhatsApp groups of IAS officers. Now, after having its clandestine moment in the shadows, the time is ripe for it to step back into the limelight and be placed once again in the public domain.
Welcome to the vibrant world of bureaucracy, where political pressures can be applied very gracefully, almost like moves in a classical dance¹. But beware! The antics of an annoyed supremo, often incited by a colleague of yours, may set the stage on fire with a fiery "tandav nritya." Over decades, the IAS fraternity has spun their very own secret recipe – the legendary "IAS Officers’ Secret Toolkit" Now, imagine me – an experienced (okay, maybe slightly jaded) ex-member of the Indian Administrative Service, ambling through the dusty corridors of power for a grand 37 years. But fear not, I bring you my finest, carefully distilled wisdom.
Is it a stone-cold serious cheat-code to conquering the murky political waters? Or just a whimsical glimpse into the bureaucratic folklore? Oh, my dear reader, that's a riddle for you to solve. So, get ready and let's take a lively twirl into this mysterious, bubbling concoction of secret bureaucratic grimoires, as it emerges once more from the shadows to enthrall and intrigue².
The 15-Minute Magic: Picture this – VIPs calling left and right, seeking your attention. What do you do? Play it cool! Wait for 15 minutes before returning the call. It's a strategic move – the VIP might have moved on, and they still revel in the glory of their call being returned. Importance level: Supreme!
"Note"-worthy Strategy: In the era of verbal instructions, why take notes like a diligent bureaucrat when you can add a twist? Politely ask the VIP to have the person concerned submit a written representation to you personally. In sensitive cases, embrace technology – text or WhatsApp the precise particulars. The result? A hilarious mix of confusion and amusement!
The Art of Diplomacy: Ah, diplomacy – the bread and butter of bureaucrats. Instead of firm "yes" or "no," keep it vague! Say, "Sir, I will do my best to help." Let them decode your ambiguous commitment – it's like a cryptic puzzle for VVIPs to solve!
Subtle Alertness: Why fight other people's battles when you can subtly alert them? When a recommendation may displace someone or go against another's interests, let them handle it themselves. It's like a VIP-friendly survival game!
VIPs on Your Time: VIPs expect everyone to drop everything for them. Not you! Be the boss – just tell them the person can meet you at any time on any working day. A little slip with your reference, and voila! Freedom to manage your own schedule.
Sensitivity Leak: Handling sensitive instructions with potential scandals can be tricky. How about a touch of suspense? Leak it to a friendly journalist after a few days, but choose your timing wisely. Suspicion, intrigue, and a dash of thrill – it's like a bureaucratic mystery novel.
File Detective: Who knew files could be so mysterious? When straightforward cases are pushed aggressively by higher-ups, beware! Hidden controversies or scams might be lurking. Welcome to the realm of bureaucratic detective work!
Breaking News: Celebrating a task accomplished for a super VVIP? Be the first to share the good news! Call them as you sign the file – formal orders can wait. It's like delivering hot-off-the-press news!
The Messenger Dilemma: We all dread being the bearer of bad news. So, avoid it if possible! If something can't be done, let someone else break it to the VIP. Pass the baton of disappointment!
Shifting Responsibility: Who likes taking responsibility for a faulty recommendation? Not you! Smartly shift the burden to other departments – it's like a bureaucratic game of passing the parcel!
Bulletproof Strategy: Rejecting a project, that’s a political minefield, within your authority? Get creative! Tire out the "sifarishi" with objections one by one, or blast the project with a fusillade of bullets – a bureaucratic war of wits!
When All Else Fails: VIPs relentless? Escalate! Throw the ball to a higher level, even the Council of Ministers if need be. Or better yet, delay the matter till your transfer – problems solved, right?
July 24, 2023
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