Governance is not rocket science; all it requires is right intent, says Dr Ashok Khemka
Moneylife Digital Team 01 February 2014

Speaking at Moneylife Foundation’s 4th anniversary, Dr Ashok Khemka, while reiterating that he would not join politics, said, good governance is not a rocket science and all it requires is right intent

Dr Ashok Khemka, an amazing Whistle-blower and Secretary to Government of Haryana delivered a short but powerful speech about good governance, justice and equality, to a packed hall at Moneylife Foundation's 4th Anniversary in Mumbai.


Addressing a crowd of over 500 prominent citizens, activists and whistle-blowers, Dr Khemka said, "Governance is not a rocket science. All it requires is a good neeyat or right intent. For good governance, justice and equality, one has to be effectively good and honest."


Talking about being called a ‘whistle-blower, Dr Khemka said, "I am not a whistle-blower as whatever I did and am doing is part of my duty and responsibilities. I will continue to do my duty. This is not about whistle-blowing, it is about doing your duty effectively."


Since several bureaucrats are entering into politics, people everywhere were wondering, when Dr Khemka will join the race. He however, ruled out joining politics. "I am not a quitter. I am part of this system and will stay in it. I am proud of it."


In October 2012, Dr Khemka became a household name, when heading the land consolidation department, he simply cancelled a sweetheart land deal between DLF, the real estate giant and Skylight Hospitality owned by Robert Vadra, Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law. Dr Khemka had been in this job for less than three months. Vadra had got this land transferred to him in February 2008 for Rs7.5 crore and within a few months flipped it to DLF for Rs58 crore, for a 700% windfall gain in a few months.


The government chargesheeted him saying that he is guilty of administrative misconduct and that he violated the rules by discussing the controversy in the media and criticising government policy. Just a few weeks ago, the state government charged him for showing favours to a particular party when he was the managing director of Haryana State Warehousing Corporation when all decisions were as per norms and taken by the board of directors. 


Dr Khemka is anticipating more chargesheets and private complaints but his disarming question is what should he have done when he saw a scam or a sham deal?  "Should I have just ignored Mr Vadra's land deal? Is it only that poor people will be probed?"


Interestingly, the land deal for which we all got to know of him involved Vadra and so we all tend to assume it was the Congress govt, which went after him. Here is a dose of reality. The same Dr Khemka was the blue-eyed boy of the Congress when the party was in the opposition and he had strongly opposed the acquisition of land worth crores in Gurgaon district for a private builder for a paltry sum.


Congress was very happy with him too when as the director secondary education, Dr Khemka stopped the mid-session transfer of hundreds of teachers even though the CM Chautala had personally issued transfer notes. He was promptly shunted out to an inconsequential post without an official vehicle and office. He started walking down to his office. The Congress, then in opposition, clapped from the sidelines.

Dr Khemka has worked with four chief ministers - Bhajan Lal, Bansi Lal, Om Prakash Chautala and Bhupinder Singh Hooda - and has had run-ins with all of them over his stand on various issues. As long as he does his job, Dr Khemka will be a target of politicians, no matter which party is in power. And this why people like him need the support of citizens.


It is matter of some consolation that he has been recognised for his outstanding work. Apart from the nationwide recognition he has received, Dr Khemka has been recognized Crusader against Corruption chosen for the SR Jindal Prize in 2011 along with Sanjiv Chaturvedi, another upright officer of Haryana. He also received the Manjunath Shanmugam Trust Commendation on Public Works in 2009.

nagesh kini
9 years ago
Khemka and Kejrival both studied at IITs.
Both sincerely began with wishing to reform the system.
Khemka is at it doing it single handedly from with in. But Kejrival's in his vision of being a messiah via "agit-prop politics" een to be creating a sense of political vacuum without articulating any concrete ideology, more particularly on the economic front heralding the systemic change - their 'agit-prop' roadside antics of so-called vigilantism are signs of utterly reactionary poltics they have chosen to follow spelling their doom.
Shivangni Sharma
9 years ago
He may be right governance is not a rocket science, but the same was said by the CM of Delhi and see how terrible his governance is.
I salute Mr Khemka, who knows that we can fight from within the system, just like Ms Kiran Bedi did many years ago, unlike Mr CM of Delhi who has been flying from one place to another claiming high moral ground without completing any task.

Thus as a corollary we can say the intentions of Delhi CM are not right or he would have had a smooth sailing governing this simple city state
Dayananda Kamath k
9 years ago
by his humble statement that he has done his duty. he has slapped everyone who are not doing their duty. it is high time people of india stood by such people and do thier duty of eradicating the currupt and guilty from the system.hope he will remain committed to his words and do not become another kejriwal. may be anna did not wanted to join political system for this reason only. which kejriwal failed to understand.
Simple Indian
9 years ago
Perhaps governance is not rocket science, but it's not child's play either, as AAP govt in Delhi is discovering, having surprised itself (and everyone) with a spectacular showing in Delhi polls in December. Right intent is necessary to accomplish ANY task at hand, not just governance. But, besides the right intent, one should also focus on substance over style to deliver on their promises. AAP will gradually lose its support base, as its histrionics seems targeted at getting some of their key leaders a higher political stature, particularly with LS polls around the corner.
MG Warrier
9 years ago
Congratulations, Moneylife, for giving opportunity to public to listen to sane voices which uphold the values that sustain good governance. It will take some more time and effort to convince the common man that it is not ‘politics’ which is bad but a small minority of people who claim to be politicians but are really practising something else. On one point I differ with Khemka. That is about entry into and exit from politics. Every Indian need to participate in politics, not just by voting during elections. In a broader sense, even doing one’s duty with honesty and sincerety helps improve the quality of life of fellow beings. If we give up pedestrian apathy and express our protest when we notice deviations from accepted norms and values, we are participating in politics.Those who are interested, please read my article on 'School of Politics' in February, 2014 issue of The Global ANALYST. Some points covered in the article were part of an article on political education which was published here long back.
M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram
nagesh kini
9 years ago
Mr. Khemka has rightly pointed out in his enlightening talk that he is no whitsle blower but performing his duties rightly. So many babus have come and gone before him and many will follow, but none with the courage of conviction to do what he has done - simply implement and enforce the provisions of law - be it a poor farmer or a son-in-law.
If AAP forms a govt. in Haryana will they make him the Chief Secretary?
Or will they find him too hot to handle?
Even otherwise he needs all our support and may his tribe increase!
9 years ago
Delhi voters are learning the hard way that Governance is more than a Rocket-Science and requires a lot more than "right intent"

Replied to PATTABHI comment 9 years ago
When someone has guts to question established criminal gangs supported by congresslike parties they get Offence in reply. That does not mean we have to go on supporting such parties who have done nothing for the common man. Should we call such a system as democracy?
9 years ago
Delhi voters are learning the hard way that Governance is more than a Rocket-Science and requires a lot more than "right intent"

9 years ago
Delhi voters are learning the hard way that Governance is more than a Rocket-Science and requires a lot more than "right intent"

9 years ago
I salute his courage and 'niyat'.
People like Ashok Khemka, Arvind Kejriwal, Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi, etc., have given back the 'josh' to Indians who were reeling under the moral and ethical downward spiral. Instead of 'Quit India' let us support them and make our country a better place.
9 years ago
All this sounds good but is of no avail in a Nation that has been turned into a dung heap by 66 years of Quota-Corruption Raj. This reminds me of H.G.Wells' novellette :"The Country of the Blind". In a Nation that since 1947 has dismantled primary and secondary education along with the "rule of law", with its grotesque constitution, laws and courts, and turned itself into a Majoritarian Sociometric Kleptocracy, good intentions have as much likelihood of survival as a snow ball's chances in a bon fire. Khemka's case is illustrative. Is it not? I say unto the few surviving Indians who have both competence and integrity, take Gandhi's advice. Quit India.
Vinay Joshi
9 years ago
Why IAS lobby not behind respected Dr.Ashok Khemka?

Why the highly placed bureaucrats in Delhi 'SHUN THEIR VOICE'?

Apart from his IIT, he is TIFR doctorate! The Haryana politicians may not even know about TIFR! What it stands for? Forget governance!

He stands by his principles.

In fact if he is further hounded, he should put up a petition in SC for a forensic audit of his claims.

IAS lobby also chooses. It was behind Durga Devi for political reasons & being a woman!

C'mon all, another controversial Central Govt. aspect i'm putting up in respect of Robert Vadra, the 'jamai' of the first family!

Before boarding the plane, apart from designated VVIPS, [constitutional heads it means] can't be frisked.

There is Warden of Precedence to follow the protocol.

Even if the Army Chief is flying out, he has to declare that he is not carrying a 'gun' - 'on board the plane'!



How come in the 'warden of precedence' he finds a mention?

As a matter of fact there are many 'Khemka's around', such many people will be more informative to tackle the corruption onslaught.


Free Helpline
Legal Credit