Bengaluru: The Karnataka Legislature Secretariat clearly did not expect to see a circular asking women staffers not to "unnecessarily" loiter around, and employees not to speak loudly on their mobile phones, dubbed "sexist."
But that's exactly what has happened. Come lunchtime, a swarm of employees, most of them women, can be seen, hanging around the corridors, calling out to each other and speaking loudly on their mobile phones. And the men are not far behind. This is common even when the Assembly is in session. It's the bane of the Secretariat, the Vidhana Soudha and the Vikas Soudha.
The circular, a repeat of a similar circular issued in 2011, states:
“Some officials and employees of this Secretariat are still found gathering in groups, talking loudly on the mobile phone, and women employees unnecessarily walk in the corridors during office hours. This type of behaviour will not only disturb official functioning but also reflects indiscipline.”
The female staff are livid, saying that walking from one end of the Secretariat to the other was part of their job, that loitering implied they were aimlessly walking around and wasting time.
Sources told this newspaper that the man behind the circular was Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa, an old school politician who frowned on frivolity in the corridors of power and demanded that the support staff who worked on the premises - men and women alike - treat the House with the respect that it deserves....