I realize that the connotation behind the words Public Service is that it's an act of helping others without expecting anything in return. And that's probably why we use the term to describe what elected govt officials do. But I've always wondered, is it fair to expect govt officials to not have other sources of income, apart from their govt. salary? I know govt. posts come with a lot of perks, but what's wrong in wanting more, provided that it's not coming through bribes or other illegal means?
That's all they're obligated to do. As long as they do their jobs right, they can choose to do whatever they want to in their free time. They should be able to earn more, or go on a vacation, if they choose to. Just 'coz we elected them, and our tax money pays for their perks, we don't get to tell them how to lead their personal life. Imagine how we'd react if our bosses did that! As long as they don't look to profit from their post, I don't see what's wrong in moonlighting in some other trade.
While Gautam Gambhir may have chosen the wrong meeting to miss, I don't think he was entirely wrong in choosing to go to Indore. Neither do I think that it's wrong for Shashi Tharoor to do a standup set on Amazon Prime Video. Or for Rahul Gandhi to go AWOL once in a while. Or for Trump to have his kids manage his businesses when he's POTUS. But I agree that probably Sachin took it too far during his term as MP.
But, Gambhir missed a very critical meeting given the current circumstances.
Our politicians must be held accountable for everything that's happening in their constituencies, but they are entitled to have their sick-days and hobbies as well. Being in public office is no joking matter, and it should not be taken lightly. It's a noble profession like being a doctor, a teacher, or being in the military. But the point is that's all it is, a job/profession.
BTW, I'm no fan of Gautam Gambhir. Didn't like him as a player, don't like him as a politician.
It's a choice they have made when choose this profession.
There is a false equivalence when it is compared to private people doing two jobs as they have the freedom to prioritize which job to spend more time on while her they have the power to affect everyone under their jurisdiction unlike private.
Even if they had the freedom they would just use it to make their corruption more cleaner.