Things that shame you. Not just being a woman but a citizen. A professional. A female clerk from the Bilaspur Railway Zone was given a show cause notice by Rahul Gautam, Divisonal Railway Manager (DRM). And for what? For refusing to sing a song with the general manager (GM) of the zone. It was actually the farewell get-together of GM, Satyendra Kumar on January 16 and he “expressed his desire to sing one particular song” to which the woman denied as she claimed that she was unprepared. Wow, that’s a great reason to reprimand a colleague? [Image Credit: Shutterstock]

Anjali Tiwari from Raipur was asked to sing an old hindi song with the general manager, a song she said she didn’t know entirely. And because she was “appointed under cultural quota” apparently that’s her job? The notice has been retracted now especially after all the public noise.

“Failed to obey the instructions of DRM, Raipur, in connection with preparation of a few duet songs to be sung with general manager during a get-together function” the next day. “… During the said program on 16.01.17, when General Manager/South East Central Railway (SECR) expressed his desire to sing one particular song, you flatly refused to sing the duet song saying (that you have) not come with preparation to sing the song,” said the notice.

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Gautam deemed this incident as ‘gross misconduct’ and failure “to maintain absolute devotion towards your duty.” The notice questioned the female employee, “Why disciplinary action should not be taken against you, please explain.”

The notice created uproar among the railways staff and they are planning to raise the issue with National Women’s Commission.

In conversation with HT, Gautam said about the notice, “Are you aware that the woman is an appointee under the cultural quota? Are you appreciating this? We have many quotas… there are people we recruit in sports quota; they are supposed to play for Railways. Hence, she is supposed to perform whenever there is a cultural programme. This was kind of an official thing (function)… officers and their families of Bilaspur zone were giving farewell to GM.”