While people consider IAS officials as power centres, most of the officials fear their superior’s wrath when their names appear in newspapers. This makes the job of reporters difficult as even when these officials share a lot of information, their reluctance to be named in the articles hampers the quality of the news story.
Recently, this reporter approached an IAS official for news about an initiative that the official took on his official capacity through his department. Though the official explained everything in detail, he requested the reporter not to carry his name in the article. The story was a positive one and, if the official was named, it would have attracted publicity for both the officials and the department’s initiatives.
So, when this reporter asked the reason for the official’s request to remain anonymous, he said that his superiors dislike it when his name appears in newspapers, and may take him to task for it.
While the practice of junior officials being targeted by senior officials is nothing new in any workplace, bureaucrats worrying about their names appearing in newspapers is surprising when even commoners would pull out a few stops for the publicity.
— Yazhiniyan, Chennai