I would like to draw the attention of the Honorable Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Brig. (Dr) B.D Mishra (Retd.) to a rather uncomfortable situation which only he will be able to address.
I write with deep anguish and helplessness. Please kindly take note that the staff of Governor’s secretariat is unfortunately human and not a machine. They need proper rest like any other human beings. Expecting them to work throughout the week, assigning them to work even on Saturdays and Sundays is rather unpleasant and unacceptable for various reasons.
Firstly, it is a blatant exploitation of their labour and what Karl Marx termed as Surplus labour for which the workers never get remunerated. You don’t deem it fit that the staff be paid honorarium or overtime citing rules and regulations, but you have no qualms in making them slog for extra hours and on holidays.
Secondly, the staff is asked to be present in the office by 9 am but the out time is not fixed, most days office hours go on till 7 pm and sometimes even later. The same people after working for almost 10 hours are expected to be in the office by 9am the next day! How much more inconsiderate one can get? Is it humanely even possible to manage that kind of routine? In certain days, when the work load is more, it is understandable. If that’s so then the timings must also be kept flexible, but Irrespective of what time the staff works previous night, they are expected to be present the next day in the office by 9am. If it is not bad enough, they are even called on government holidays, Saturdays and Sundays. In cases of urgent work and affairs, it is understandable but when it becomes a routine that’s where the problem lies.
Thirdly, these erratic timings and pressure is causing immense psychological and physical harm to the staff. If your staff is not motivated and healthy, if they feel alienated in the work environment, how will the work be productive? This will eventually hamper the governance.
Fourthly, if you must know these people have families and a life outside your office. I haven’t had a proper lunch or dinner with my parent because they always seem to rush or are always late. They are not left with enough time to attend their family duties, spend time with their family members, attend social obligations and indulge in recreation. How do you expect them to give their best to a job where they are being exploited and harassed like this? This is very akin to what Karl Marx said of exploitative nature of Capitalism, where workers are treated in terms of mere economic produce, their existence is bereft of humanity.
Sir, to sit in the ivory tower of your comforts and give directions at your desires is an easy task but the ones slogging tirelessly day and night beyond the call of their official duties in your office are the Commoners of Arunachal Pradesh. The same commoners of Arunachal Pradesh you so considerately talk about in your speeches. You talk of thinking day and night regarding the upliftment of Arunachal Pradesh; claim to be a citizen of Arunachal Pradesh and also going to the extent of proclaiming yourself as tribal (which I don’t agree to. Tribal is not an appeasement term. Please). I would therefore request you to first think for the welfare of your own staff who is suffering daily due to the unreasonable and inconsiderate rules you have put in place. How do you expect to bring change and development when you are not considerate and kind to the people around you? When you are not able to see beyond the official tags and positions assigned to them? Have you ever bothered if your staff had their lunch on time, if they have slept well and taken rest? Have you ever tried to understand the work pressure you put them through and be more considerate? They are humans, please treat them as one. They are social beings who need rest and social recreation just as you and any of us need to recover and grow. You are the head of the state indeed; but you aren’t entitled to run the lives of the staff at your whims and fancies. Let them have their life back. I request you with folded hands. Lastly, it is in humility and consideration the true mark of any leader lies. I hope you will begin at being Considerate.
An aggrieved family member of a Raj Bhawan Employee