53 transfers in 27 years of services, this is the story of an Honest IAS officer

It would not be wrong to say that the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the epitome of administrative civil service in the Government of India. When it comes to the duties of an IAS officer, it can be easily said that they hold an important and crucial position within the Union Government, the States, as well as the public-sector undertakings.

The country has witnessed so many brave IAS officers till date for maintenance of law and order. Being in the thick of things only to bring a change in their respective cities is every IAS officer’s vision. But not all of their plans work out as it is entirely up to government’s hands to grant approval.

However, the ultimate aim of a civil servant is to make a huge difference in people’s lives. Time and time again, they have proved that they are worth the weight in gold. Once they decide to bring a change, there is nothing that can stop them.

Today, we are going to talk about such an IAS officer, for whom duty and responsibilities are paramount. Yes, we are talking about Ashok Khemka, the 1991-batch Haryana cadre IAS officer. Ashok believes in “Kaam zyada, baatein kum— more work, talk less”. He made a significant contribution to society by maintaining law and order. 

But here comes the shocking news which can hold your breath in awe. IAS Ashok Khemka has been transferred 53 times in 28 years by state governments after he exposed corruption in the departments he was posted in.

Ashok Khemka who is the principal secretary of the Science and Technology Department was transferred to the Archives Department by the Haryana government. He played a significant role at various levels of administration. It should be noted that it was his 53rd transfer within 28 years of service. He was already transferred last in March from the Sports and Youth Affairs Department, where he spent around 15 months.

“Transferred again. Back to square one. A day after we celebrated the Constitution Day, the Supreme Court order and rules have been broken once again. Some must have been pleased, after all, I have been pushed to the final corner. Prize of honesty is humiliation,” Ashok Khemka tweeted on Wednesday.

He is a 1991-batch IAS officer and had first been mentioned by the Indian media in the year 2012 when he had cancelled the mutation of a land contract between Congress leader Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality and major real estate developer DLF.

He has been transferred for being honest officers. But here a question comes to mind that is it right to transfer an IAS officer for maintaining law and order? But he is still an inspiration to all upcoming civil servants. Every aspirant should learn from him.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.