Should Politico Pot Call Admin Kettle Black?

September 24, 2021

(For the uninitiated, ‘Pot calling the kettle black’ is a situation in which one person/section/class criticizes another for a fault the first also has.)  

This takes us back to the Bible and the oft-repeated advice to forgive and forget.

“… Jesus (was)… in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The…Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery… the Law (of) Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground (sand) with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote … At this, those who heard (him) began to go away … until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8: 1-11).

Now we come to a local and immediate situation.

Bengaluru, Sept 19: After the poignant verbal attack on Indian Administrative Service (IAS) personnel in the legislative Assembly, the Karnataka government has issued a circular imposing a ban on holding press conferences and issuing statements by the bureaucrats. The circular said that 'it has come to the notice of the government that government officers are indulging in issuing undesirable statements through press notes. These developments will have a wrong impact on the administration system in the state and they will also embarrass the government'.

The government has considered these developments seriously and imposed a ban on issuing undesirable statements through press conferences and press notes. They are only allowed to carry out official duties, the circular said. The circular warned that if any government official is found to air his views and opinions on any platforms against the government damaging the image and embarrass the government, serious disciplinary action will be initiated against them.

The circular was issued in the backdrop of a public spat between a JD(S) MLA and former minister and a lady IAS officer over two months ago. After the development, the state government had transferred her to the Muzrai department from the post of District Commissioner of Mysuru.

The issue was raised in the legislative Assembly session by the MLA, who said that officers should be tamed. "They are minting money here and amassing wealth... After retirement, they will contest against us in the polls," he charged. He also said that IAS officers shall not be allotted bungalows and they should be given smaller houses.

Sources in the IAS officers group maintained that they are upset with the government's decision and it is unfair to attack the whole IAS fraternity for the fault of few officers.

Coming back to the title of this topic essay, here is another news item headline:

More Than 2,500 Sitting MLAs and MPs Face Criminal Cases, Supreme Court Informed (9/8/20):

New Delhi: A submission made to the Supreme Court has revealed the startling number of sitting legislators who face criminal cases, with the data showing that a whopping 2,556 MLAs and MPs from 22 states are accused in cases. If former MPs and MLAs from these states are also included, the number rises to 4,442.The submission was made by a senior advocate, who was the amicus curiae (Friend of the court) in a PIL seeking speedy disposal of criminal cases against elected representatives of parliament and state legislatures. In recent years, with the number of candidates and elected representatives who face criminal cases is rising steadily, there has been an increasing outcry against the criminalisation of politics. The top court was informed that in 174 cases against sitting MPs and MLAs, the offences are punishable with imprisonment for life. Other cases against elected representatives include offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002, Arms Act 1959, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984, defamation under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and cheating under section 420 of the IPC.

Uttar Pradesh has the most number of legislators (current and former) who are facing criminal cases. There are 1,217 pending cases, in which 446 cases sitting legislators are accused. Further, 35 sitting legislators and 81 former legislators are accused of heinous crimes which are punishable with a life term. In large number of cases even charges have not been framed including those punishable with imprisonment for life.

On September 22,2021 the subject was brought up in the legislature as a breach of privilege by the MLA noted above. But, the Law Minister, with wide support, said that it was not a breach of privilege issue but one of protocol. The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly has written to the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms to inquire into alleged protocol violation by the IAS officer involved.

Some legislators might think that they have the power of an elephant. But, such power must be used like an ant. Otherwise, it could hit back like a boomerang – as is happening

The subject is open to many views. What are yours? Your response is welcome in the format given below. (Please scroll down.)


Poonch ka niche Kya Hai

Readers might recall an old Hindi film/song “Choli ke piche kya hai”. There is a non-filmy sequel to this. A cattle herder was driving the cows through a narrow causeway in a single pile. A new cow took position behind the first cow in the long line and, after a short march, shouted that the lead cow was nanga (naked). Then the other cows called the cows in front of them “nanga”. There was a bit of commotion and how it ended is a long story: “Poonch (tail) ka niche kya hai?”

When physical fitness tests of large group of job aspirants have to be done at one go, the candidates are asked to strip completely and line up warning that if anyone looked back would be instantly disqualified. There is a saying about “Curiosity killed a cat”. Many job aspirants have lost their prospective jobs because they couldn’t control their curiosity. Serves them right?


Also read:





By John B Monteiro
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • Mangalurian, Mangaluru

    Mon, Sep 27 2021

    Thank you for the article, Mr Monteiro. Admin folks are 9-to-5 workers. They typically know all the processes and procedures, and of course, all the forms to be filled in triplicates. The politicos in democracies are like company directors, attending to a few Government events during the year. They might make tall promises, but know absolutely nothing about the processes and procedures of the departments they are assigned as ministers. So, my take is that, for the admin staff (babus), all elected persons are like short-term pili-vesha acrobats who cannot/will not understand the real politics that goes on within the departments managed by the admin folks. "Yes Minister", the British political satire sitcom, portays it all beautifully. Quite zimbly, the Governments are run by the babus, and not by the elected reps.

  • mohan prabhu, mangalore/canada

    Sat, Sep 25 2021

    Thank you John for your contrasting attitude of legislators to administrative service officials. The legislative branch of government has to maintain some discipline on the administrative officials, and muzzling them for public statements is one of those - a practice followed in many other democracies, including Canada. Public servants cannot go out to the media and make statements without the sanction of the government. If allowed, they will be undermining the legislative authority.

  • John, Mangalore

    Sat, Sep 25 2021

    Refered Bible quote, To know what Jesus wrote on the ground, Following recent video by an Indo Canadian woman Pastor dwells deep into FINGER OF GOD ....

  • Rohan, Mangalore

    Sat, Sep 25 2021

    I liked the physical test story, the story of the cows and their tail. Also what the Lord said to the crowd is a classic example and understanding for us to remember that we ourselves have not overcome the ashtha pashas (the 8 chains of spirituality) to make our life one with the divine. Envy is the biggest and most difficult evil together with remorse. In small quantities these exists but effect is considerably.

Leave a Comment

Title: Should Politico Pot Call Admin Kettle Black?

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.