“Why do you want to be an IAS officer?”, I think it is the best time to answer as final result is coming in just a week and I will start lying if I get selected. I have heard this question atleast thousand times in last 4-5 years. And I answer by taking cue from famous english august, that is by telling whatever comes in my mind at that time. It may be as pathetic as “I want 25 crores in dowry” to as bizarre as “I want to be like dark knight – batman” to as high spirited as “I want to change the education system of India” to as funny as “I want to go to jail for being most corrupt officer in history” to as ambitious as “I want to be PM of India someday and this is the path I have chosen” to as mundane as “It is just a good job and I dont have anything else to do.” I hope you get the picture that I lie recklessly and answer depending on situation. But what is the real answer? What pushes a lazy engineer towards a life of constant trouble, I am going to explain it now.
For me, everything starts from the purpose of life. What is the purpose of life on this earth, is it something definitive or it is just to have fun, eat, marry and die. In my view answer is none of the above. The ultimate purpose of any life form on earth or anywhere else (who knows) is to continue the life. As simple as it sound, u can confirm it on animal planet tv channel, where you see hoards of different species of animals living the same cycle again and again, just to reproduce another generation. The human society has become so complex that core is obscured by plethora of theories and philosophies and this and that. Think about it logically and answer to every human motivation can be found in the survival of gene that we carry. “Why do you want to marry the hottest girl in world? – to have awesome sex – what hormone derives that? – whether you know it or not answer is to generate better next generation”. Similarly if you think closely core of all of our motivations – good job, higher status, better looks, helping poor, enjoying life, discovering new knowledge and many others lye in same mission of propagation the life.
So, One should be happy to live a natural, comfortable life as one of my friend says “aaraam ki jindgi”? Yes, one should, if one is an average human being. But the need of gene propagation is not only retention but to improve upon the existing lot. That is why the people who are considered great are those who improved upon our existing knowledge, physical capacity, creativity and skills. Now in my view, those who have ability to do something about it, have the obligation towards all life forms to act about it. Those who know about their special abilities but are wasting it by having “aaraam ki jindgi” are cheating. They owe it to the whole “life” on earth or on any other place. All of us posses some qualities, skills which we can contribute in this gigantic process. One must do what he can do best. I am good at understanding people, I am good at seeing a general picture out of some given instances and I love to talk. I believe my skills and personality can contribute best in civil service or in politics or as a lawyer. Out of these civil services suits me most and I like the job most, that is why I am trying to become a civil servant.
There are other small factors also. Whenever I pass-by a beggar in street, my heart goes out and I want to magically erase all his sorrow, but then a lone 10 rs note in pocket reminds me of days left in month before my father will send money for next month, then I make a load of gyaan to show that I am cool and how those beggars are disgrace to society. Clearly one needs resources and structure for helping others. IAS job can provide that.
When I go for any exam, I lean and pray in front of map of India in my room as others do in front of their respective Gods. Patriotism is also a strong motivator for me.
But what about other motivations like money, fame, power? Yes, I am motivated by them also. I want to have a lot of money – to show-off, to splurge, to secure the future of my kids. I want a lot of fame – to boost my ego, to feel important in crowd. I do want power – to help my near and dears, to crush my enemies. I am also motivated by fantasy of being like batman. Taking all the malice of society, facing all the blows as no one else can do it, even the disfame and anger of same people whom I am saving do not matter as I know more than them about what is best for them. This is the live example of saying “vanity is biggest sin”. Obviously, I am not the biggest sinner on earth, I am not a saint either. Fortunately these motivations are impulsive and do not last long.
In the end, It all comes down to the core, if you can – you should. Human society and more broadly life forms need their leaders, their fighters, their saviors to take on the responsibility of doing what is right. A long chain of great people have done so to keep good and evil on balance. We can play our own little part and we must. At all point in history, situation looked darker than before, problems unsolvable and option of passiveness looked easy to take. But some of us always stood, in our own ways, in our own fields, carrying the responsibility of whole human race.
I shall do the same. If I fail in this attempt, I must do the same again, if I fail again, I shall do the same in some other field in some other way. Because Atlas can not shrug, not now, not ever….