Damn with dress code

Published on May 19, 2015 01:18:18 AM
News
Violation of dress code while attending the Prime Minister, braving the harsh sun, should be understood in the backdrop of their working conditions

English education has produced an elite class of Indians familiar with the colonial modernity that the British rule had brought to India. Much of it was carried on to the style of Indian bureaucracy, which represents the cream of services, adding very little to the dress code and etiquette.

Wearing bandhgala, tan or black shoes -- all so similar to the rulers of the past, made customary while receiving high dignitaries, only adds to decency and decorum. In a way, it added to the projection of babudom and its hegemony over other services.

Now, with a rapid change in the composition of the civil services, with aspirants from rural pockets also able to make it increasingly, the dressing pattern in civil services is undergoing a change. The case of two young IAS officers attending Prime Minister NarendraModi’s official programme in Chhattisgarh getting rebuked for violation of dress code sounds funny and blown out of proportion.

Bastar collector Amit Kataria and Dantewada Collector KC Devasenapathi were informed through official letters that their actions did not conform to the All India Services (Conduct) Rules. Kataria wore sunglasses while receiving the Prime Minister and Devsenapathi was seen wearing a white shirt in Modi’s presence.

The official missives said the actions of the duo were not in line with section 3(1) of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules of 1968 which states- "every member of the service shall at all times maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty and shall do nothing which is unbecoming of a member of the service. What is more important in the case is the occasion.

The two bureaucrats were heading two of the most disturbed and strife-torn districts of the country. As administrative heads, they would be literally on their toes, while managing such occasions. Violation of dress code while attending the Prime Minister, braving the harsh sun, should be understood in the backdrop of their working conditions.