An unconditional apology by an officer would always be seen as an admission of guilt.
Hence, some excuse or justification must always be added to it.
An unconditional statement on a subordinate’s action would be construed as censure by the superiors or the Service Association.
Hence reprimand the one in the dock, but also endorse his conditional apology. Never forget to hail the regulation or law in defence of which the subordinate is forced to commit transgression. Such a statement should never let go of the opportunity to sound stern, and remind the public of their duties in maintaining peace and harmony in the interest of everyone.
The Indian administration cannot afford any display of sentimental weakness. The Steel Frame cannot be seen as human or fallible. If a bar or an angle has come loose, either the weather must be at fault, or there must be some sabotage at play.
A member of the heaven-born service must be in possession of divine touch and thoughts. Not once in the viral video is the officer seen asking the age, yet gut-feeling told the minor deity that the beneficiary of his slap could not have been a minor. If he had been one, the officer would have lovingly offered chocolates and instructed the minor about lockdown rules. But the officer knew by instinct that this loiterer was an adult, a loafer, out on the prowl, and hence nothing less than an exemplary instructive slap, and few lathi blows would do. (It is this instinct, this knack to smell the truth from a distance which separates grain from chaff, the real deal from pretenders, the selected ones from also-rans!)
The officer has himself suffered from China Virus. His family members are still sick. He understands the fear, trouble and pain associated with this goddamned disease. Empathy is the best guide in conducting administration- it engenders sternness like a father, concern like a mother in the bosom of any officer. The slap was paternal, although despotic, and must have shaken the young adult out of his deep slumber. There he was walking towards his doom! Who would have displayed the guts and good sense to show him the right path? Obviously his family had failed. It was at this critical juncture that the concerned officer stepped in. Future generations of this young man would consider themselves indebted to this demigod. The past generation might feel ashamed of themselves and grateful to the officer.
Then there is the small matter of the broken mobile. We do not yet know the make and price of the mobile phone which the demigod slammed on the ground. Did it really break beyond redemption? Objects broken or people slain by divinities have a tendency to get miraculously auto-repaired, self-healed or come back from the dead. There is nothing to suggest that the woken target, the strayed youth, has demanded a replacement, because
Firstly, the phone might have auto-repaired itself, and does not need to be replaced,
Secondly, the slapped youth might be considering quitting the use of phones altogether after this incident, and
Thirdly, he might have considered this as just fine for breaking regulations, and a fair compensation –lieu of being touched by the God himself.
Lastly we should take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all the gods and demigods that surround us. By their very presence on this miserable earth and through their selfless, ceaseless services rendered as government officers, they make our lives tolerable and livable. They set high standards of courage and duty before us, work relentlessly for paltry salaries and emoluments and keep us safe and disciplined- mostly from ours and ourselves. A slap and a broken phone are minor collateral damages which we as society should cheerfully bear.
Enough, including this blog, has been said, done, discussed and shared about this incident. We are in the middle of a pandemic wave. No further time needs to be wasted over this twitter drama. I also appeal citizens to follow covid appropriate behaviour and stay safe unless urgent work requires travel.
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