As reported by D Surya in The Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad Edition on 01 June 2008:
The invisible crusaders
Hyderabad, May 31: There is something serious happening in the state administration, the bureaucracy in particular. Five young Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers of the state cadre have teamed up to fight corruption within the administration. For now, nobody knows their identity or their modus operandi. They work silently in their zeal to correct the system to the maximum possible extent. Their mentor: a senior bureaucrat known for his integrity. He advises them and provides all inputs.
Informally, the group call itself "The Invisible Crusaders." Explaining the action plan to this correspondent, a crusader said: "Each officer first identifies a sincere and honest employees under him and with their help identifies the corrupt ones. Thus begins the fight. Rather than taking disciplinary action straightaway, the officer will initiate steps that will clearly let the corrupt ones know they are under the scanner. At an opportune time, they will be hit. Then the corrupt employee will be doomed for life. Our action will be drastic, within the legal framework."
The idea of forging the group germinated when one of the officers got a taste of "red tapism." Said the young officer: "Before joining the service, I always wondered what ‘red tape’ was. Once in service, I slowly started understanding it. Would anyone believe that one department employee has to grease the hands of his counterpart in another department for getting an official file cleared? As an IAS officer, I am witness to such blatant corruption in the administrative ranks. I discussed this with some of my fellow bureaucrats and thus hit upon the idea of forming a group that fights corruption in the ranks."
Bureaucrats normally know the antecedents of their fellow "babus" and it is not difficult to identify the black sheep. The "Invisible Crusaders" aim at collecting evidence in order to nail the corrupt officers. "There are many officers with utmost integrity just as there are the notoriously corrupt ones in the IAS. These days, some officers take slush money even in the early years of their career, a highly worrying trend. Such elements are further degenerating the bureaucracy. To the extent possible, we shall fight such elements as well," a key member of the group said.
For now, the "Invisible Crusaders" will have just five members but more may be taken into the fold in the days to come. "Our wavelengths should match. Ideally, we want to restrict the maximum members to 10. Some upright senior officers will always be there to guide us from outside," the member added. This notebook will have more inputs on the "Invisible Crusaders." Watch out.
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