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Friday, August 24, 2012

desi bureaucrats

The role of government servants in a democratic setup should necessarily be confined to implementing the policies of the government in accordance with the basic laws of governance and in conformity with the rules and procedures framed for the purpose. The role has definitely not been designed to assume the role of the government or to block delivery under the garb of adherence to  rules and procedures. Unfortunate it is that rules and procedures framed primarily to facilitate deliverance have emerged higher in the pecking order to delivery itself, primarily at the behest of unconcerned bureaucrats.

Unfortunately the Indian bureaucrat lives in a world of illusion, right from the start. Aspiration to become a civil servant is not borne out of a desire to serve the nation but to be a part of the machinery that has the power and the perks. Power and perks is the draw, serving the nation is an undesirable headload and that is what I have widely witnessed in my over three decade of working for the government. With the exception of a few who could be counted on the fingertips with a couple of fingers to spare, the rest of the senior blokes merely occupied the chair, threw their weight around and merely fended for themselves most of the time. Ego issues, like who comes on the line first almost always commanded a much higher weight-age over the need to deliver. Merely pushing files out of the chamber emerged as a much bigger necessity than taking a decision that leads to delivery.

Remaining busy has been the motto and what better than the mundane to keep a top bloke occupied. In tune with this philosophy, routine operational issues of a petty nature have been occupying almost the entire working hours of the apex bureaucracy in the railways. Visioning and policy is out, jumping on symptoms is in. Even the agenda documents for apex level meetings resemble a hefty book and make hilarious reading.

And the race to impress the top guy is what the bureaucrat becomes adept at right in the beginning of his career. The race however is not for the national good, but for self perpetuation. An Indian bureaucrat also learns fairy early that what really matters to fulfill his earnest drive for self gratification are doles from those above and therefore those below almost always get the short shrift. The never ending cycle of licking above and kicking below continues ad-infinitum.

And the nation almost always lays the blame at the altar of the politician. A tragic irony indeed, as both have emerged from the same “devoid of value systems” society.


1 comment:

  1. the crux of the problem is the society & it's cultural carriage. we play politics while rearing kids. say what not expected to do indicate what expected to perform. knowledge gathered over centuries is injected. there is no effort in testing it's feasibility. the fear stops us to think.

    the indianness of india is spreads the virus. religion n culture play as catalyst. the sight is blocked, there is no ques. of expecting vision. expecting this human to be logical is illogocal. it's a copycat, stereotype, nothing unique inside.

    passing a exam doesn't mean in any way the same one will qualify all type n variants of challenges faced by the typical indian bureaucrat.

    the case with typical govt. officials here in this part of world is something like preparing a delicious curry with rotten veg. n to show finally as if it's the most superior. in case it doesn't work out blame those subordinates.

    the system of class & caste classification is the thought, which all are reared with, influencing the whole process.

    we need the change, but think of this only if we have the courage to overcome fear.
    expecting miracle cure by replacing system n people will never help till objectives are clear. we don't allow ourselves to experiment thoughts n i fear if we can.