What should be the deciding factor for opting civil services as a career choice? Anas Ahmad, a civil service aspirant himself, writes why more people aspire to join the elite bureaucracy club.
STATUTORY WARNING –Some very heavy references ahead.
It was the eighth month of 2015, I was at the end of my professional course in engineering and probably at my wits end too or perhaps that is how I remember it. Either way, I was this stereotypical student who would always at the most crucial stage of his career decide to go full Ethan Hunt and choose a mission that was decidedly impossible, at least for me , for I was no Ethan Hunt but more of a Mr. Bean. Movie references aside , I decided to be this stiff upper lipped uptight good boy opting for a time tested career rather than letting the winds dictate my course, for when does a student in Kashmir know when to act and when to let go?
We, Kashmiris, are from a very young age forced to adopt a certain thought from the day we realize that the world spins a certain way and that there is more to life than running around trying to catch that one elusive butterfly that hardly seems to register our existence. “10th main acche marks laao fir aesh hi aesh hain”, says both of our parents and so begins what turns out to be the “Sorry Mario, but the princess is in another castle” sort of loop. A loop that tightens its noose against our wishful lives and thus we are assured of “aesh hi aesh” after we annihilate and decimate all sorts of competition in 10th. Fast forward to 12th standard and the loop continues. After 12th, there is one more mission impossible that we are told to make possible before the “aesh hi aesh” high may kick in. This is where one is supposed to decide what profession one may want to profess to for the rest of his or her life. Enter the chronicles of the magical tuition centers of Baghat and Hyderpora that claim to hold that one magical pill that even Alice may not have known existed. Oh! And by the way, if you are wondering why I am only talking about tuition centers of Baghat and Hyderpora it is because there are only two professions that “intelligent, hardworking, high scoring” students may choose from , Commerce and Arts are for losers ,right? Right.
So here we are, rushing to join these muggle equivalents of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that promise to turn apples to oranges and oranges to one legged rabbits and by this time, you have already forgotten that you had a choice, that you were the drivers of your cars and that this blog cum article thingy was about the administrative services and how these services are the perfect antidote to the miserable lives that we would all lead if we were to actually follow our dreams. To be honest , this blog cum article thingy is not about administrative services and its virtues and certainly not about what Game of Thrones teaches us about economy (shout out to those poor souls who read that piece of crap that was so poorly written even Ser Davos would have hanged his fingerless knuckles in shame). This is also not about how KAS or IAS is related to depression. Sorry Lalchowk, this isn’t what you asked for. At best, this as a concomitant of childish rant and adult heresy and at worst, it is a piece of absolute horseshit written by someone with marbles for brains. What this actually is about is that administrative services for the sake of worldly pleasures is not a good career choice. There, I can be formally straightforward too, you know.
True, some people genuinely want to be devoted to civil services but let me tell you something you already know, everyone else isn’t. It’s the status and the money but more importantly the status that is the driving factor. Now at this point, some might stop reading this mockery of a blog cum article thingy, but hear me out. I am not the one who is going to give you “10 reasons why civil service is not the only powerful profession”. Even a “10 reasons why girls are from Venus and boys are from Mars” would seem more logical. I am saying that indeed, this profession is primarily the one that matters to the point where pursuing everything else seems like a waste of time and brain power. Why bother learn something and stimulate your brain when you can cram a whole lot of unnecessary stuff and become the Sauron of Middle Earth. I am only questioning, through my occasional formally straightforward self, why in the pursuit of life, we are taught to have a tunnel vision and look at life through a myopic glass of professionalism? Why is it that every time Elliot from Mr. Robot decides to think out of the box (or write in my case), there is always this E Corp that manages to yank him to practical realities of society by making him realize how futile his efforts at not following the herd are. Why is it that every time we set out to be do what we were meant to do , we are made to do what exactly we weren’t meant to do? These are genuine questions that have been asked like a million times by billions and billions and billions (okay, stop) writers. So how is mine different? Well it is not .I mean like a few months ago I finished giving my KAS mains exams, so how do you expect I would do anything differently? I wouldn’t dare and like me millions wont. But maybe it is time we started daring and looking for answers to such questions and doing what we were meant to do, or at the very least, try to. My only hope at this point in time is that people start realizing that there is more to life that IAS and KAS and Oh! While you are at it, please pray that I qualify my civil services exams. Cheers!