Barely a fortnight after Barwani ex-collector Ajay Singh Gangwar was shunted for praising former Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru on Facebook, a tehsildar from Ratlam district has kicked off a controversy through a post on a ‘Rajiv Gandhi Atmahatya Yojana’ (Rajiv Gandhi Suicide Scheme).
In a comment posted on Tuesday, Amita Singh – a Gwalior resident serving as the tehsildar of Raoti village in Sailana subdivision – asked the government to launch a scheme with this title for “people who envy Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
Though the post was later deleted, Ratlam district collector (in-charge) Harjinder Singh served Amita a show-cause notice and asked her to reply in three days.
Many of Amita’s colleagues and Facebook friends started targeting her as soon as the post went viral. Congress Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh, for his part, shared a couplet written in Bagheli by retired IAS officer Akhilendu Arjeria: “Gangwar ki post ko khub padhe, Shivraj. Amita Singh ko bhi padhe, kiya post jo aaj (Shivraj Singh has read Gangwar’s post, now read Amita Singh’s post also).”
Alleging a political bias in the implementation of laws, Arjeria – in another post – asked the chief minister if Amita would get an out-of-turn promotion for her pro-Modi statement on the social networking site.
In her post, the tehsildar said many Muslim people in Afghanistan greeted the Prime Minister with the tricolour and raised slogans such as ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. “He also got the highest civilian honour as Muslim kids recited Sanskrit Shlok in Modi’s honour (sic). My humble request to Modi is to launch a ‘Rajiv Gandhi Atmahatya Yojana’ in the next general budget, so that Congress supporters and ‘seculars’ can commit suicide,” it went on to say.
Ratlam district collector (in-charge) said Amita’s act was in violation of the rules of civil service conduct. “We took screen grabs, but I’ve been told that the post is now deleted. Let the reply come. The administration will take relevant action if she is found guilty,” Harjinder added.
Amita, however, insisted that she had done nothing wrong.
“It was meant to be humorous. I posted the joke on my Facebook wall after receiving it through Whatsapp. When people objected, I deleted it immediately,” she said, accusing a “senior” (Arjeria) of making a mountain out of a molehill.
The tehsildar first hit the limelight when she won `50 lakh in Kaun Banega Crorepati, a television quiz show hosted by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, six years ago.
“Bureaucrats are turning communal and highly political in the name of freedom of speech,” a senior administrative officer told HT on the condition of anonymity, citing Amita’s post as an acute case of sycophancy.