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Govt job destroys creativity, says former babu at book fair

If you are a creative person and have landed a good government job, it may not be good news at all, for one would have to sacrifice the former for the latter. Prasar Bharati CEO and former bureaucrat Jawhar Sircar said this at the book fair venue on Friday, when the three day Kolkata Literature Festival was inaugurated.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Kolkata
UPDATED ON FEB 07, 2015 02:01 PM IST

If you are a creative person and have landed a good government job, it may not be good news at all, for one would have to sacrifice the former for the latter. Prasar Bharati CEO and former bureaucrat Jawhar Sircar said this at the book fair venue on Friday, when the three day Kolkata Literature Festival was inaugurated. He even said that bureaucracy in India is “rotten”.

Apart from Sircar, writers Upamanyu Chatterjee, Shobhaa De, Bani Basu and Sarah Rundle were present during the inauguration, which was followed by a conversation between Sircar and Chatterjee.

Titled “Twin Sharing Dilemmas of a Creative Bureaucrat” the intriguing session, presented Upamanyu Chatterjee in conversation with Jawhar Sircar. The discussion highlighted the obstacles faced by a creative person when he or she takes up a government job.

“Just show one role model from government service,” said Sircar, the former cultural secretary of India. He elaborated the truth and tensions of a bureaucrat and in regiment adjustment. He initiated the discussion by stating the fact he has worked in a “rotten bureaucracy”. He provoked Chatterjee to not remain discreet in his speech, which was obvious as he is still in service, and said jokingly that nothing would be held against him, the section 12 or the conduct rules.

Upamanyu Chatterjee, currently serving as the joint secretary of India to the ministry of defence, agreed with Sircar to some extent. They both emphasised on the hindrances caused by the service on the freethinking rights of servicemen. Chaterjee, who is the writer of the famous novel, English August, demonstrated in his novel the life of an Indian who was facing various problems in his government job.

The session ended with the audience raising various questions like why are Bengalis going less and less to IAS; why is the question paper of the government exams still modeled in the old pattern started by the East India Company and others. “One of the main reasons is dowry,” said Chatterjee in jest when asked why today’s youth should join the civil service.

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