Tamil Nadu IAS officer upholds his right to preach


C Umashankar, an IAS officer of Tamil Nadu will not be bogged down by Government directives and threats from groups asking him not to preach.

The 1990 batch Indian Adminsitrative Service officer from Tamil Nadu cadre, told Hindustan Times: “It is my right to preach whatever religion I chose and nobody can take it away. It is a right guaranteed by the Constitution, which is over above the service rules,”

The 50 year old officer is at present posted as commissioner, disciplinary proceedings, which he says is a position way too junior for him (hinting at state Govt’s attitude towards him)

The Constitution’s Article 25 says public servants are entitled to profess, practice or propagate any religion freely in their private lives. But the government says officers should conduct themselves in a manner without causing any impression or feeling that they may act in a prejudicial way.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy too has sought action against the IAS official, to which Umashankar said “Subramanian Swamy is not an authority”.

This is not Umashankar’s first run-in with the state government. In 2010, he was suspended after doubts were raised about the genuineness of his Dalit certificate. The suspension was revoked later.

He also unearthed several scams in Tamil Nadu, including the cremation shed scam case in the 1991-96 AIADMK government that resulted in the conviction of then minister C Selvaganapathy. (With inputs from agencies)

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