Disclaimer: If you are someone who is related to Pratibha Devi Singh Patil (India’s ex-president), please don’t read this post. You might like to get warned that I am reacting to this piece of news – Rs 18 Crore spent on Pratibha Patil’s Trip, and you would certainly hate me for writing anything about her trips.
Everyone loves holidays, especially the ones which have got to do with overseas travel. We Indians are fascinated with overseas travelling, and the most recent obsession has been with the overseas travel for holidaying. Many of my friends travel to neighboring countries during the new year, and the richer folks even go on world tours whenever they get burnt out. But they do it with their own money. They either ask their parents for such trips, or save their money across the year, or worst, get an EMI scheme for such tours. But they do invest their own money.
We all wish that someone else could pay up for their trip, and if not all, at least they sure wish that the places where they are visiting have some relatives or friends so that they may be able to save some money while staying with them. After all who doesn’t want to save a bit of money while exploring the world. I remember having stayed with my friend while on a business trip because I didn’t want my company to suffer, and at the same time it was a reunion opportunity for me while staying with my friend. Each one of us wants to save every-bit of money we can save.
However, a look at our politicians, bureaucratic people, and top shots of the society I get confused at the whole situation. They simply don’t follow the same rules, or at best, they follow the rules but not when it comes to other people’s money. I personally know a couple of IAS officers who make foreign visits on the government’s expense and the best part of their travel is about shopping or site-seeing. While it is not bad or anything out of the world to do shopping or get engaged in the site-seeing while away, but why not do it at your own expenses? I have repetitively seen them billing the government for their shopping, taxi bills, exclusive hotel stays, and extended holidaying. Isn’t that a cheating? But I believe we as people of India either do no understand those ways of cheating and robbing our tax money, or we have become too adjusted with the thought that – ‘Agar Hum Hotey to Hum Bhi Yehi Kartey!‘
I am really horrified at the news of Pratibha Devi Singh Patil’s trips, I mean, it needs courage to even face the fact that someone can go for 12 extended trips, cover 22 countries, and spend Rs 205 Crores of Tax Payer’s money in a span of 5 years. So unless Pratibha Devi Singh Patil is someone who has to with the Tourism Industry, this sounds like some rich brat has been spending huge money. However, in this particular case, I am not at all confused when I say that Pratibha Devi Singh Patil has shown her real character, sarkari-babu‘s mentality – Extract what all you can extract while you are in service.
I have learnt from popular media channels that this lady was someone who came close to Indira Gandhi, and used to be a big-time chaaploos, who spent most of her time in the kitchen of Mrs Gandhi trying to please her with her culinary skills. And Congress Party, at some point of time wanted to reward her, and hence made her the President of this country. I am surprised that No News Channel ever depicted her career path or any of the major things she did in her life before reaching the President’s House. Why? I am in desparate need of this answer – What has been the career path of Pratibha Devi Singh Patil? Why did we Indians have to accept her as our President? I know this question has come a bit late, but I am thankful that such questions have come now. And they need to be answered now, at least by someone.
In all probability, Pratibha Devi Singh Patil was not worthy enough for President’s seat ever, or else we would have heard about her new initiatives, new ideas, and new implementations in those 5 years. But all that we know about her President’s regime was for her foreign trips, family vacations, chartered plane travels, and towards the end she even took away the property of President’s house while moving out!
So, as a common man of this country, I am interested in knowing a few things…….and I need your help in discovering those answers…..
#1. What is the logic of a family trip at the expense of Tax Payer’s money? (Is there any rule which looks after this? Is there is any check on the spending, etc)
#2. Is there a way to question such expenses? How to make them pay for their trips and expenses?
#3. What should a common man feel about all this? I certainly don’t want to pay taxes to send some useless people on vacation.
#4. In future, how can people of India pro-actively keep a check on such pleasure trips of government officials?