It's been hard to open the newspapers during the months of May and June. That started when I was in high school. Tuition centers published the list of their 'çonquests'- toppers in various competitive exams. They printed it in the front page and will go on doing so for days together. Added to that the television will chase down the topers to get the 'secret' behind the success
The secret would invariably be the same- 12 hours of study, parents mothers, teachers, goal, doctor, engineer.
Then starts Dad's lecture on how I wasted my talents
The funny thing is I'm almost 30 and the cycle hasn't stopped' Now it's the three letter golden word in capital letters - IAS
IAS has become a rage these days down here in Kerala as well. A few years ago we let the Biharis fight out among themselves while Malayalis preferred software jobs with hefty pay and US visa or even better- the Gulf jobs. But soon the global melt down changed all that. Pay rise stagnated, Jobs were lost and Obama no longer let any Indians into his country. Thus came ' job security' along with glamour, power and pay which are essential criteria for a 'good' job. IAS perfectly fit the bill
To tell ou the truth, years ago I did nurse the dreams of being a 'çollector'. Only the elite got into the fray then. They were the school leaders, or first prize winners in elocution. I never fell in any of those category, but still wanted to be the dark horse until a solemn looking guy said I won't be good at it.
Sad, unshaven and forlorn looking Raju Narayana Swamy was the epitome of honest officers when the rest were considered to be gluttonous and corrupt, glorified peons to Ministers.
Surprisingly today the media and cinema is filled with young, handsome and sauve officers raiding, storming and catching the bad guys. After they put them in jail our young IAS officer imparts wisdom to the poor villager. They fly around the world to learn stuff, travel in beacon vehicles and stay in palatial bunglow.
Apart from all the rosy stories, the people I encountered were very far from the cliched images. I have seen men being forced to drive senseless government policies. There were officials who had to spend nights to correct the fault of their predecessors. Then there was this pure arrogance, thanks to loads of power.
During my active stalking days in twitter, I had come across this amazingly brilliant girl from Kerala. She got into some MBBS course in a prestigious institute. But she wants to quit medicine and get into IAS. I asked her why and the reply is - I can't stand people. And she got into IAS.
There was another classmate of mine who quit her medicine and has been trying for IAS for years
I don't understand how they substantiate their wasting of tax payers money by studying in government aided college and then get into another career which is supposed to serve the taxpayer
There was this another geek school friend of mine who declared proudly that he never even watch news channels. He too got into IAS
But a firebrand friend of mine lost it at the interviews because he spoke for 'student politics'
Another danger is even when our system reserves seats based on caste , the selection confines in upper middle class of the population who have seen the glorified poor only on TV. How can a self absorbed generation serve the poor
Overall I feel the selection is simply for geeks and insecure people who would serve the system well. Hope I am proved wrong