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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sick bureaucracy!

That the main issue with the railways is its archaic and feudal bureaucracy is a thought that has got firmly ingrained in my mind with passage of time. This though is in direct conflict with the theory that attributes blame to politicians for the mess that the railways finds itself in today.

Yes, the bureaucracy is sick and needs surgery, a major surgery for how does one explain its total disregard of its human resource and also other major issues plaguing the railway system and remaining engrossed in trivialities.

The mess is total and absolute and that perhaps is the only credit we can take, that of a job performed in totality.

A bureaucracy that treats its subordinates with total disdain and kowtows to its superiors. A bureaucracy that displays a total ignorance of rules and procedures when it concerns them personally and an outstanding grasp when others are concerned. A bureaucracy that utilizes with impunity, railway staff at home but does not even bat an eyelid in punishing railway staff for minor indiscretions. A bureaucracy that has brought railways to this pass, almost bankrupt, derives sadistic pleasure in imposing major punishments for minor lapses. A bureaucracy that licks the backsides of its superiors and boots its subordinates.

A bureaucracy, the higher levels of which still believe that the best form of management is ridiculing and blaming its men for all the ills of the system. Levels that conveniently forget that the railways is not their fiefdom and in the process behave as the masters of the universe.

A bureaucracy that encourages only the spineless to rise and then deifies them till they retire and pass into oblivion.

A bureaucracy that neither looks inwards, nor outwards, but only at itself throughout the service period.

A bureaucracy that reminds one of the famous story of the Indian crabs.

How can the railways even dream of improving services and have world class aspirations, when it has an overbloated bureaucracy that constantly has on display the worst in men. And therefore while the world is moving on, we stay where we are, even sliding backwards at times.



  1. Railway is not the sole example of sick bureaucracy. The story is same in all central and state government departments. Corruption has gone into the genes of this country. Some has appetite for money, some for flesh, but most have for both. But who is to be blamed- leader (politicians), bureaucrats or we, the common person who greases the palm of bureaucrats and politicians and surrender infront of them? Somebody had said that a country whose leaders are corrupt, the people will be forced to be corrupt. Lethargic bureaucracy has emerged out of this corruption.

    But is it enough to curse this darkness? Who will light the candle and lead the march against these people. I remember the movie- “Wednesday”. In a dialogue, Naseeruddin Shah said that we need just one person, who is not afraid of losing anything, to change, to shake this system. Remember-JUST ONE, the one like ‘Singham’, who will say-“Maajhi satkeli”.

  2. sir,
    railways need a major restructuring. As u said, its very much bloated. With 9 different services, it is bound to have serious infighting that is costing the nation. I have read a few reports that talk about merging of a few services and creating IRAS, Indian Railways Administrative Services. I think, this would be a definite step towards nutralising the tempers and constant bickerings.