Bureaucratic Hypocrisy: Cases of Ashok Meena and Deba Dash

Subhransu Panda, Bhubaneswar, May 30, 2018:


  • Sources alleged, Dash was working as voice-over artist for BJP commercials
  • Unlike Ashok Meena, Dash didn’t get support from Officers’ Association
  • It’s alleged that IAS Officers don’t support OAS Officers in distress

Senior OAS officer Deba Prasad Dash, one of the few honest officers (yes, there are a few still exist), was suspended from service. The state government put him under suspension day before yesterday as a part of departmental disciplinary action. Government hasn’t clarified the exact cause behind this action. No media mentioned details about the alleged undisciplined steps taken by Mr Dash. (The suspension letter misspelled his surname as DAS.)

Dash, who was working as a joint secretary at the Department of Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD), has been directed by the General Administration (GA) department to stay in his headquarters, Cuttack, during suspension. He further advised not to leave the headquarters without permission of Central Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC, Central).

According to sources, Dash allegedly involved in the making of commercials for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during PM Narendra Modi’s meeting at Cuttack last week. And it’s alleged that for this reason he was victimised by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Government. Deba Prasad Dash also has participated in Odisha Parba 2017, a festival of Odias in Delhi allegedly promoted by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Deba Prasad Dash is a well known author. He is equally recognised as a voice-over artist too. He is occasionally seen emceeing private events and reading news in Door Darshan (DD), the state-owned channel.

Now it’s buzzing in intellectual arena that Dash was being targeted by the ruling party for his alleged commercial involvement with another party. It’s also discussed that government is targeting honest officers since past year. Honest officers (IAS) are leaving Odisha for alleged misconduct shown by a junior bureaucrat.

On the same day, on 28th May, when union minister Dharmendra Pradhan targeted IAS officer Ashok Meena in a meeting, it irked the IAS Officers’ Association as well as the OAS Officers’ Association. Yesterday both the Associations condemned such act by the Minister citing it as against the constitutional values.

A delegation of IAS Officers’ Association met the CM Naveen Patnaik and submitted a memorandum regarding the same. Months back, when house of CM’s private secretary V. Karthikeyan Pandian was attacked by alleged BJP members the Officer Association protested that too.

However nobody shows sympathy for Deba Prasad Dash. It is alleged that the protest in both the above cases are orchestrated to checkmate a particular party. But when state government takes any step, if even that’s awful, nobody reacts. In 2013, in UP when IAS officer Durga Nagpal was suspended their Officers’ associations revolted against the ruling government.

It’s alleged that the IAS Officers didn’t support OAS officers in distress in  many past instances. But here in Odisha neither the IAS Officers not OAS Officers possess that much of courage to go against the state government.


Subhransu Panda is an author and journalist. He can be reached at editor@odishastory.com and 9338655845.

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Odisha Story Bureau
A team of young journalists headed by Subhransu Panda, founder-editor of Odisha's leading news portal and magazine Odisha Story. Mail: editor@odishastory.com