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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

(Un)Civil Services Day....

Its with mixed feelings that I observe Civil Services Day today.
The concept is good, but it is sad to see how people from one service have monopolized Civil Services Day.
It's as though the rest of us don't do anything, apart from pushing dusty files from one table to another.
I do not celebrate the day: for me, as for so many others, it commemorates the step-motherly treatment we receive, both in pay, allowances, perks and promotions. Most importantly, the very limited areas we have leave us virtually no scope to give real public service.
So much was promised to us as young men with stars in our eyes, and those eyes have now dimmed with unshed tears. Its a death of of a thousand cuts, each unkind cut coming in a different way every day.
Someday, some way, things will change. Both officers and the people of India will receive justice, and good administration. After all, did not the Soviet empire crumble? Did not Rome's rule end? As did Pax Britannica?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday, April 2, 2010

Guess this is the right day to start a blog.
And what could be a better way, on Good Friday, to start a blog, than to put the Sermon on the Mount, Christ's greatest sermon ( "public interaction"???) on the blog. When we crib about our careers, our promotions, the injustice done to us, it is truly sobering to know what life is all about. Besides, whenever we struggle, or launch a movement for our rights, it is always better to have a moral grounding for it in religion, as Gandhi taught us.
So here it goes, a part of that sermon, called the "Beautitudes":

"And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.

6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11"Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Even more relevant perhaps, especially when you are suffering under bad bosses in office is this part of the sermon:

"You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

44But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect"