I will continue to write, says IAS officer Nidhi Chaudhari
In a heartfelt poem posted on social media, Chaudhari says her 'critics' hearts too will change one day'
Young bureaucrat Nidhi Chaudhari has refused to be cowed into submission following her unceremonious transfer on the charges of tweeting anti-Mahatma Gandhi statements and flouting service rules. A day after she was shunted out from the Mumbai civic body where she worked as joint commissioner till Monday, she took to social media to express her anguish and a steely resolve to express her views in future as well.
Chaudhari's long poem (in Hindi) on her Facebook page states that she wouldn't let her self-respect be assaulted for holding on to a coveted position (in the Indian Administrative Service). She said if Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) was alive today, he too would have cried with her.
Chaudhari was trolled for tweeting on May 17 a 'thank you' note to Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse, and commenting that the Mahatma's statues and images on currency notes should be removed. Chaudhari said the tweet was 'sarcastic' in nature but was misinterpreted by readers. She had asked netizens to verify her love for Gandhi by reading her entire twitter timeline.
NCP president Sharad Pawar, his junior in the party, Jitendra Awhad, and state Congress president Ashok Chavan demanded strict action against her. Pawar wrote to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, following which the state government on Monday sought an explanation from the IAS officer of the 2012 batch, and transferred her to the water supply and sanitation department as deputy secretary.
Pain in poetry
In the poem hash-tagged 'write-before-you-get-written-off', she said, "People will attack me or understand me, but I will continue to write as long as people don't understand me, because writing is my right; because the darkness can't scare me; because the nation is my home; because only a dark night can see the morning coming."
Considering the on-going government inquiry into her social media behaviour, Chaudhari showed her rebellious side further when she said her views were deeply and purely personal. "Not written in an official capacity. Don't jump to conclusions without reading every word of the poem," she said, in a disclaimer, clearly sending out a message to her political detractors and administrative bosses, who have asked her for an explanation for her alleged misconduct.
The officer, now posted as deputy secretary in the water supply and sanitation department, reiterated through poetry that her comment was a vyanga (satire). "You should have made a call to me before calling a media conference," she told political leaders. "At least you should have read it yet again or asked some people to interpret it."
She said her character has been assassinated and her pain in her rooh (soul) was unbearable. "You have killed my soul, but the Gandhian values have eased my pain. Remember my critics that the truth is hurt but not defeated. One day my critics' hearts, too, will change."
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