gfiles magazine

August 14, 2012

The ‘still frame’

humour mk kaw
WHEN we had the Indian Civil Service, it ruled the country. All the power was vested in the ICS officers, especially if their skin was white. They were the burra sahibs. There was no one to share power with them, no Minister, MP, MLA or Sarpanch.
This happy situation continued even when the brown sahibs started entering the service. Contemporary accounts indicate that a kind of apartheid was practised and new desi entrants to the ICS did not socialise on familiar terms with members of the Officers’ Club, which was dominated by the British members. The brown sahibs felt more at ease in the Indian Officers’ Club.
By the time the British left, the brown sahibs had found their feet and another kind of silent discrimination was practised by the ICS against the IAS. Gradually, the politicians came into the system of governance and learnt the ropes. What was once hailed as the ‘steel frame; started rusting. Today it is known more as the ‘still frame’, on account of its lack of movement and dynamism.
Today, if you talk to a member of this ‘still frame’, he is most likely to plead guilty to the charge that all decision-making has ground to a screeching halt. As an excuse, he is likely to say that in today’s system of power-sharing between the netas and the babus, the latter have been rendered powerless. He may present any of the following gems.......Readmore

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