UP officials shed staid image and inhibitions on social networks

Lucknow, May 11 (IANS) Gone are the days of the ‘iron curtain’ in the state bureaucracy, when from work to personal life, everything was secretive and out of bounds for the world. Bureaucrats in Uttar Pradesh are now turning a new leaf as they cut loose on social networking sites.

There are few exceptions. Junior and senior, old and young everyone seems to have adopted up to the world around them. So it is no surprise that senior IAS officer Mahesh Gupta is okay posting his picture, wearing party masks.

“It is normal these days, kids want us to live their ‘bindaas’ way of living,” Gupta told IANS amid guffaws.

A party with grown up children, with drinks in hand, or for that matter even a picture of a couple hugging tightly is now okay, a senior official, not wishing to be named, told IANS.

Rohit Nandan, former chairman and managing director of flag carrier Air India and currently serving as a secretary at the centre, admits that the fraternity has lost most of its unnecessary inhibitions.

“It is an open world and most of us now behave normally,” he said with a chuckle when asked to react to the opening up of the bureaucracy through social networking. His face smeared with colour on Holi is a most liked picture on his Facebook account.

Amrit Abhijaat, a senior IAS officer currently on deputation with the central government, whose pictures with wife during his London stay wowed his friends and followers alike, was equally forthcoming.

“Most of today’s officials are well-read, IT-savvy and are open to the idea of being normal humans and have very little pretentions of being some power-holding men and women,” he said.

Young IPS officer Yashasvi Yadav seemingly enjoys posting his pictures on Facebook every other day. Sometimes he wears a leather outfit with a matching hat and on another, he shows off his pumped-up biceps.

Sanjay Prasad, another jovial and out-of-the-box thinking official, seemingly enjoys his excursions and sports and loves to share them on social networking sites. As the district magistrate of Allahabad, posting his photos on a sports bike had many heads turning in pleasant surprise.

An acclaimed writer and currently serving as secretary to the chief minister, Partha Sarthy Sen Sharma, uses his posts and pictures for promoting his love of travel and writing. Recently, he even cajoled his old father into taking the plunge on Facebook.

“Today, the social media is an important tool to keep a tab on public opinion but one has to be careful to understand that the virtual world may not always be the real world,” Sharma told IANS.

“It is so heartening to see many of these officials behave normally and come out, through such activities as one among us,” Gaurav Tripathi, a young banker, told IANS.

No one could disagree with that.

(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at mohit.d@ians.in)



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