Editorial: Open Letter from Justice Shiv Kumar (High Court) and Reply

After the IAS result, Justice Shiv Kumar wrote an open letter to me through the editorial page of Rajasthan Patrika (popular hindi newspaper in Rajasthan). In the letter he cautioned me against the challenges which lie ahead. I then replied to it which was published in the editorial page of Rajasthan Patrika too.

Reproducing both in this blog.

Open Letter from Justice Shiv Kumar

Letter part 1

Letter part 2

My reply

My Reply

27 thoughts on “Editorial: Open Letter from Justice Shiv Kumar (High Court) and Reply”

  1. Well Gaurav Sir, the open letter from Justice Sharma seems to be a critical warning in comical undertones to not only you but also to the future aspirants like me and an advice to follow “Chanakya Niti”… however, as pointed out by Rajendra sir it gets too critical at time and assumes every IAS to be the same “compromised” person… your answer was perfect esp the ending.. thanks for uploading this post and your marks… all the best and god bless you

    1. Gaurav

      The open letter came as a shock to me, although Justice Kumar may have meant well and highlighted what ‘really’ goes on inside and the means to fit in, your concrete reply shows the strength of your character and the reveals the unfettering idealism of many aspirants like us, I had expected it even halfway through the open letter.

      All the best Gaurav, for tearing into these stereotypes and playing your part in the transformation of our great country.

  2. I believe that Honble judge wrote all this sarcastically to prepare you to face these bitter realities of our system. One can withstand against the flow only if he’s determined enough to do so. He seems willing for the change to happen but he chose to motivate you by advising the opposite thing. Aaj ki generation hi waisi hai, jo karne ko bologe usake ulta hi Karenge. 😃

  3. Excellent reply. I think u are the most accessible topper this exam has seen in recent past. Hope u continue to remain the same after u enter the service

  4. Justice Sharma letter show us ” the reality” while Gaurav Sir your letter give us ” the hope” . The hope with which each one of us is preparing for this exam.The hope for a better tomorrow not only for us but for the whole nation.If everyone of us is filled with this optimism then there wont be any space for pessimism.

  5. Sir, My father being an IAS , I know most of this, but Justice shiv kumar sahab told you only one part of the story.The critique and negetive tone cannot be justified until he walks you through the positive side of being an IAS also.Some of these positives have been highlighted in the letter from the IAS officer, but trust me there are many many more positive aspects of being an ethical and honest IAS officer.Just dive in the government machinery with a positive attitude and in no time you will see both sides of the coin yourself.Good luck.

  6. the last sentence where you wrote that after 30 years a new gaurav would not have to write this letter was the best part.

  7. I just realized I need to practice more Hindi if I am going to qualify this time.
    On another note, an excellent reply.

  8. Last part of your letter is awesome, it creates lot of motivation in future aspirants. After working in private company for around 5 years I realized being an IAS officer one can act morally, ethically then being an employee in a private company.

  9. Dear Gaurav , in one of your intrviews you’v mentioned that after your 2012 attempt you realised that the major problem area was answer writing and decided to focus on that. Can you please elaborate on the kind of answer writing UPSC demands.

  10. Hi
    Justice Shiv Kumar was trying to enumerate the intricacies and “ass licking” that is a part of the system. Being a son of a honest civil Servant I understand what he was trying to communicate to you.
    A Justice in the High Court or a judge in any court (as noticed through my internships), tend to affirm juniors in an authoritative tone. They might sound rude but their word must be given importance not their tone.
    Though in the letter, I read that he is trying to warn you about the difficulty of being an honest officer. Given the authority Justice Shiv Kumar holds he tried to be sarcastic. I feel that sarcasm tends to creep in with the authority (power) one holds. Justice should have stayed back from using sarcasm mixed with ego (if this is a right word to be used) in an editorial of a newspaper.
    A crisp and clear reply given by you. Hope you stick to your words.

    Regards
    Pushkar

  11. Hello Sir,,

    First of all I would congratulate you on not only clearing this prestigious exam but also becoming a topper.Besides you having the option of living a comfortable live, you chose to work for those underprivileged class and becoming a ‘ RAY OF HOPE’ for those who have almost lost their trust in administration.People say an administrator a ‘BABU’ in uniform,which is true to the extent that the person after getting into service behave as the king of ‘JANTA’ and forgetting the fact that they have entered here to SERVE the society and not to rule it.
    After reading the letter of Hon’ble justice we get to know the reality of our present day administration and again an aspirant like me is forced to think that will only being an optimist and determined to bring a change be enough?
    But I bow to you for your enthusiastic and hopeful reply which gave me the courage to be always hopeful and optimistic and try to bring a change. A quote of GANDHI JI suits you here
    ‘BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE’.

  12. bhai agar tum 1 crore ki naukari chorkar honest ban sakte ho to apun bhi promise karta hai ki once i will get into service i will also also try to work in my full capacity and with honesty , i agree with you time has changed and attitude towards money power will also change , time will come when officers like you will be appreciated for their calibre and anybody calling them fool will himself appears like one.. jai hind
    would like to meet you once, if i wll be able to crack it .

    good luck hope almighty helps and protects you in every possible manner

    thoda senti ho gaya par likha to tumne bhi gajab hai bhai.
    good luck … and njoy .

    1. Hi,

      Firstly congratulations on your brilliant achievement. This open letter by the judge and your reply to it would make an ideal case study for the ethics paper :) On a more serious note, the judge’s letter comes as an eye opener and although I would like to believe that it was a satirical take on the sycophancy and corruption plaguing our system, it seems more of a sobering account on the ground reality. Your response was inspiring especially when the judge claimed that as an IAS officer, you would have to factor in what pleases your boss, before giving your opinion, which in my opinion, is an act of an officer at his unethical best. Now is your chance to walk the talk and my best wishes for your future.

      Regards,
      Jaguar

  13. वाह……गौरव जी आपने जो जवाब दिया है उसके लिए मै प्रभु से प्रा र्थ ना करूंगा की आपको हमेशा शक्ति और सामर्थ्या दे ताकि अप सही रास्तो पर अग्र सर रहे

  14. Speechless! Sir, the way you have replied could not have been better than this! your earnest desire to serve the motherland n your straightforward n courageous attitude is commendable ! I am more than happy to see that India is blessed with officers like you who along with intellect possess qualities of selflessness,honesty n boldness! you are truly an inspiration to all of us. :) Hope you achieve sucess in all your future endeavours ! God bless.

  15. Speechless! Sir, the way you have replied could not have been better than this! your earnest desire to serve the motherland n your straightforward n courageous attitude is commendable ! I am more than happy to see that India is blessed with officers like you who along with intellect possess qualities of selflessness,honesty n boldness! you are truly an inspiration for all of us. :) Hope you achieve sucess in all your future endeavours ! God bless.

  16. bhai 1 carore se jyada kama lega ias me chinta mat kato , starting me sab issi tarah bat karte hai bad me sab wahi karte hain Jo unhe fayda pahuchaye . I hate ias officers , ias ban Jane ke bad sab ghus khor aur crupt ho jata hai . desh ko mere hishab se politicians se jyada ias balo be barbad kiya hai

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