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By the Way

Shame to the service

The recent sacking of the graft-tainted couple Arvind and Tinoo Joshi from the Indian Administrative Service will surely go down in the annals of the bureaucracy as the darkest chapter in its history for more reasons than one. Arvind Joshi was never as flamboyant as his wife, Tinoo, a Bengali who loved the fancy life in Delhi, rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty in the top party circuits. A colleague of hers narrated an incident: “During a small party of our 1979 batch (to which she belonged) we had invited her but she, rather haughtily, retorted over phone, ‘Who is interested in your MPwallah’s low-profile party, I am already at a five-star hotel, enjoying the evening at a Vijay Mallya-hosted do in Delhi’.” That was Tinoo’s lifestyle! Since Arvind appeared to be a quiet, friendly and hard-working bureaucrat, no one ever thought that he would turn out to be ‘a smooth operator-turned-crorepati’. After his return to his parent cadre in Madhya Pradesh, he was posted in the Water Resources Department for a fairly long period, when he is reported to have mulched the department the way he wanted. He served in the cash-rich department, with huge budgetary allocations, for over four years before being shifted, only after the MP government got wind of his corrupt practices. It’s not that the Joshi couple are the only corrupt officers in MP (or for that matter in other States) and all others are honest. There may be equally or perhaps more corrupt babus in the country, it’s that the Joshis were caught, thanks to the income tax sleuths. But the Joshi couple did bring a lot of infamy to the service and also to Madhya Pradesh. The unceremonious yet deserving exit of Arvind and Tinoo Joshi (she was once close to Sonia Gandhi) should teach a lasting lesson to serving bureaucrats.(Contributed by Abhilash Khandekar)

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