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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gyani Seniors

Is "gyan", competency or dedication to service a function of the seniority of an officer in the cadre?

The truthful answer is "NO", but the sarkari system in general thinks otherwise. The higher one climbs in the bureaucratic hierarchy, the more prone he is to believe in himself as the reincarnation of the almighty and those below in the ladder as mere mortals who commit mistakes all the time.

And therefore a difference of opinion is treated as a voice of dissent, and an individualistic expression, an act of defiance.

This false pretense as the know all and the finest of the human race in his cadre, generates distances from the truth and the ground realities. Totally oblivious of the ground realities, the make believe world comes crashing down as the D-Day approaches, D-Day the date of retirement eliminates the great distances that once separated the senior from the junior, the almighty know all from the novice and the mere mortal.

Why cant we be just human and put in our best without creating barriers that inhibit the acceptance of realities as they are?

I am foxed!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What really adorns?

This is a question for the bureaucrats.Do we adorn the chairs that we lay our backsides on or the chair adorns our backsides?

The answer is simple. The Chair adorns the majority of the bureaucrats and that precisely is the reason why all of us (of the sarkari variety) are keen to rise in the (chair) scheme of things. And therefore we have Secretaries and equivalent to the Govt of India and other senior officials whose only aim in life had been to put their backsides on the chairs that they occupy. The aim, right from day one was never to do anything for the organization or the nation, always in the focus were the Chairs in the top rungs of the administration with attendant personal benefits, power and attention. Such bureaucrats, once they retire, pass away in oblivion rather soon, as they never leave behind any reason for which they may be remembered by posterity. Such bureaucrats, post retirement, also have ample advice for the improvement of organization and the nation, despite never having acted on the same during their period in the chair.

The bureaucrats of the rarest kind are the ones who bring glory to every seat that they occupy, by sheer dint of their hardwork, commitment, merit and adherence to basic human values. It is unfortunate that this fast depleting tribe is generally given the short shrift by the system, but times have to change if the country has to prosper.

The present bull run of mediocrity has to come to an end someday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ten beliefs for Managerial Success

Cases of sustained success in official and personal life alike are extremely rare. That it requires a strong character backed by a combination of firm beliefs and convictions that one believes in from the core of his existence and for which one should be prepared to pay any price to uphold them, needs appreciation. Most of us remain under a false impression that we can pay any price for upholding our ideals, but when the crunch comes we succumb either to temptations or to fear and the ideals go for a six. It is better to have few beliefs or convictions than to make a pretense of lofty ideals and then succumbing at the earliest opportunity.

We normally see our colleagues, subordinates and superiors in office in a perpetual state of drift. Devoid of convictions, they very often end up following a path that is at variance with what they have been advocating and with the avowed goals and objectives of the organization they are working for. Such a situation arises mainly because of a lack of conviction in whatever one is doing. Conviction arises out of a thought process based on commitment and commitment arises out of love for what one is doing. Conviction and beliefs get strengthened over a period of time, through sustained efforts. Convictions, logical and on the side of truth, get ingrained and confirmed. Parents can play a major role in the process as childhood is a very delicate stage for forming firm and lifelong impressions. Constant logical analysis of situations and regular introspection also lead to formation of firm and good, beliefs and convictions.

Some beliefs for being a good manager are :

a) Truth always prevails in the end – Despite whatever may happen or whatever one may say about the present state of affairs, truth ultimately emerges victorious. Most of us give up wars after losing one battle, but that is not the right way of looking at things. One bad jolt and we tend to give up and sermonize that this is what happens when one does good deeds. Remaining on the right side of truth firms up convictions, cleanses the mind and generates respect in the hearts of others. Irrespective of different faiths, all religious documents lay great emphasis on the value of and the need to follow the path of truth as that alone leads to true satisfaction in the end. During the journey of life, one is tempted often to deviate from the path of truth for short-term materialistic gains, but the real test lies in not succumbing despite temptations.

b) Deliverance is the critical issue – Every thing else is secondary. For nations like ours, that are still on the road to development the foremost priority has to be deliverance. Systems, procedures and rules are meant to facilitate deliverance and if they cannot do so, they deserve to be abdicated. However in the system that we live in, deliverance is guided by whether rules or procedures permit it or not. The time frame for carrying out an activity is decided by the time required for sorting out the paperwork and other similar mundane activities. Deliverance invariably takes a backseat while we are busy satisfying the file. This is a situation that is detrimental for all of us and requires to be changed.

c) First be a good human being – It is essential to be a good human being first. Normally most of us lay stress on being a good officer, a good manager, a good doctor or a good engineer, or even a good father, brother or a spouse, but if one is not a good human being, then being good in any other singular role is not of any long term consequence. Personal honesty, consideration for human values, treating human beings with dignity, having a nice behavior, working hard, loving all human beings, being away from deceit etc are traits that, in the overall scheme of things, are far more essential than just being efficient in office work.

d) Attitude makes the difference – Earlier management theories considered knowledge uppermost followed by skills and attitude invariably took a backseat. It is now an accepted theory that knowledge, skills and attitude with a previous weightage of 90:9:1 have been replaced by attitude, skills and knowledge in exactly reverse weightage of 90:9:1 and believing in the revised ratio and practicing it in life is a sure shot recipe for success. A person with a positive attitude shall never remain unhappy, for a positive attitude is the solution to all ills of life, whether official or personal.

e) Charity begins at home – We have unfortunately emerged as a nation of complaining individuals, all having a variety of grouses about everyone or everything under the sun except our own selves or our own acts. It is rather strange to the extent of being absurd when a sarkari babu complains about the high cost of living, while he is delaying matters in the office, playing around with files, going late or leaving early from office or spending time in plain gossip. He fails to realize or even appreciate that the cost of living in India is high only because of the abysmally low national productivity because of an abundance of unproductive individuals like him. Let us just do whatever we have to do with intensity and commitment. Let us not sermonize unless and until we have set our own house in order and are practicing ourselves what we generally wish to preach to others.

f) We require leaders – The main issue is that of leadership. At all levels in various organizations, we require persons with leadership qualities. In fact at executive positions where one commands a large number of men, leadership quality and a sound common sense are the most essential requirements. It has been proved in varied circumstances and situations that persons who can command men and also their unflinching loyalty prove to be the best agents of delivery.

g) Realize your own potential – Quite often, there occur situations that reveal the true potential of an individual. For a man to discover his true potential is however possible, not in a job or situation which is considered normal but in a scenario where the challenge looks un-surmountable and all the dice are cast against you. It is only very challenging situations that bring the best out of individuals. So if you are keen to rise to your full potential, be on the lookout for challenging opportunities, the more challenging the better, and they should be grabbed without worrying about the consequences.

h) The Bull should be held by the horns – The entire scenario pervading the nation has deteriorated to such an extent that every single act of deliverance poses many major as well as minor problems. There are problems, problems and problems everywhere, but at the same time all of us strive to live in a make believe world of no problems. The existence of problems is vehemently denied to such an extent that anyone who accepts the existence of a problem is considered the creator of the same. We prefer to live in a make believe world of either no problems, or where problems go away of their own without realizing that the only way of handling problems is the most direct way – head on.

i) Be passionate about everything you do - If you are passionate about your work and also personal life, it is definite that life shall be nothing else but fun. This attitude can be developed by being intensely involved in everything one does and at the same time striving for and enjoying every small success that comes in the way. Passion for official work will however spring only when one truly loves his nation, the organization he works for and the men he works with. Such passion alone brings out the best in men and never leads one to grief. It brings the zest in life. It makes the everyday task of going to the office very much more exciting and something to look forward to. Every day acts as the harbinger of a host of successes as one starts aspiring for success in everything one does, be it a small or a major task. And success results in a rare glow on one’s face.

j) Men are generally good – Talk to any sarkari babu and if you take him seriously, you will end up believing that majority of staff working under him are incompetent, lazy, indisciplined and also corrupt. This criticism is generally borne, not out of an objective evaluation, but based on personal prejudices. One would observe that such a behavior invariably emanates from the mediocre kind or from one who is generally regarded as a failure, both types being found aplenty on this earth. On the other hand an achiever or a successful person will generally not be found belittling others. What a shame, that we rarely come across many people of this kind.

k) Believe in Information Technology – In the last three decades, Information Technology has revolutionized the way work is getting done across the globe. The use of Information Technology for Management Information Systems, Process Control and Communications has now almost reached a pinnacle. Information Technology shall remain one major tool that shall make a difference it can make in the way work gets done and the way people live. It is therefore essential for everyone to be computer literate and use computers as a handy tool for improving the efficiency of official communications as well as to efficiently organize one’s official work. But it also needs to be appreciated that Information Technology by itself cannot do anything. It has to be supplemented by committed individuals who have an intense desire to achieve something and use this very powerful tool to harness results.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Asli Nasha

Excellence in performance intoxicates, in fact it intoxicates far more than the strongest of intoxicants on planet earth. Deliverance also intoxicates and "Excellence in Deliverance" is an intoxicant, that if tasted once is almost impossible to give up.

And this is what I am witness to at present!

My belief in the capability of my team has got further reinforced with the deliverance of a world class control room, close on the heels of the tremendous work that has been done in record time at the flagship railway station at New Delhi. Yes, my team is on the move, tasting success in the process and perhaps sensing their true potential for the first time. My work at the division would stand completed, once this "move" converts to "self inspired sprints" that I am absolutely sure will happen with amazing regularity, in the foreseeable future.

There is absolutely no doubt that railway officers are generally brilliant. While the turf to exhibit brilliance exists, what generally deters is the presence of various blockades in the form of a plethora of policies, rules, procedures and systems. Such a man made "web" that exists in almost all sectors of governance in the nation is the biggest stumbling block to the emergence of India as a "developed nation". In one of my earlier blogs, a reference was made to "contained brilliance". Remove the barricades and let brilliance soar in the skies.

Soaring brilliance shall lead to a soaring railways and a soaring nation.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Forever developing!

India, it appears is destined to forever remain in the list of developing nations. And developing nations have their own peculiar symptoms.

A bloated, inefficient and thoroughly corrupt, yet extremely powerful bureaucracy is its most visible symbol. An immature population that expects "others" to set right the ills plaguing the nation with the result that everyone becomes the complainant and there is none to act is the next visible realization. Gross chaos and huge infrastructural gap almost everywhere is the next and total apathy to a clean environment is not the last.

The sad part lies in our rank inability to identify the root cause of the problem and remaining forever rooted to and cursing the symptom.

Our rank inability to properly govern our own nation is perhaps borne out of the fact that we as a society are nowhere near the maturity levels seen in the developed nations. Paying proper attention, not mere lip service to the basic educational system in the country may be the answer.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Acrobatics of Statistics

The general feeling that statistics need to be maintained at acceptable levels, despite the ground realities at times saying otherwise has now almost swamped the sarkari systems cutting across sectors and levels. This feeling is an offshoot of the need of sarkari mulazims to focus only on maintaining their personal comfort and environment levels despite being paid to primarily serve the nation, not self.

And so we have continually improving statistics for that is what keeps the masters happy in a state of bllissful unawareness. Trouble starts only when the statistics start revealing the true picture of ground realities.

The advantage of doctored statistics is that sarkari mulazims then need not work, they only need to doctor the figures. The disadvantage is that in the absence of a true ground level picture, corrective actions, most of which are tough and unpleasant almost never get taken.

The nation ultimately gets what it truly deserves.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Railway fever

The multiplicity of cadres in the railways never ceases to amuse me. If the entire country can be governed by a single three letter service, why cant the railways be run by a single "Indian Railway Service"? Why do we need nine central services to (mis)handle a single organization? This has resulted in a scenario where the railways does not have a single railway officer, what it has are only departmental officers with myopic vision. The departmental officers are therefore unable to grow into a true railway officer, ie one who has an overall vision. And therefore we continue to have decisions with departmental bias, that unfortunately are, with few exceptions of-course, detrimental to the overall well being of the railway system.

Another question that has haunted me ever since I joined this great organization is whether we are a pure sarkari department or a commercial organization. The lack of clarity on this subject is perhaps as damaging to the system as is the multiplicity of the services. Either way, we should have been doing much better.

There is absolutely no doubt that the railways is today, perhaps the most visible symbol of dynamic delivery in a nation where almost all other sarkari organizations have failed to deliver to expectations. It is still a great organization, the economic lifeline of the nation and on a relative basis, is doing fairly well. But looking at the overall scenario in absolute terms makes me lament at our gross inability to capitalize on the tremendous potential for growth and development that this great organization possesses.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hierarchial preserves

It is foolish to believe that the higher the rank, the greater is the knowledge and/or wisdom. In real life however, knowledge or wisdom is not a hierarchial preserve but an individual trait. The higher one climbs on a tree, the farther can one look or in other words, greater is the vision. Similarly in bureaucratic environments, the higher the rank, the better should be the vision, though this is not always the case and often one finds absence of vision generally in the upper crust of the bureaucracy.

And this widespread lack of vision and undue belief in the knowledge and wisdom of self in the upper crust of those who govern is a major reason why our nation continues to be almost at the bottom of the list of nations.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The looking glass

Look in before you look out.

It is sad that the sarkari sector in general fails to look in before it looks out. Our attempts at changing the external scenario generally come to a naught because we do not, as a first step attempt to set right our own internal environment. The situation is ridiculous to the extent of trying to win a car race using a car that has a worn out engine, low tyre pressure and a bad suspension. The obvious solution lies in first setting right the car before taking on the world.

But we miserably fail at setting right the internal scenario before handling the external one. And the tragedy is that we fail not because of halfhearted or inefficient steps, but because we do not take any steps whatsoever.

How can worn out decision making processes, archaic rules and procedures and a dilapidated human resources structure take an organization anywhere, except down the hill? Is it not a pity that the majority of the Indian bureaucrats, especially the ones occupying the high chairs fail to appreciate even this basic ground reality and waste their as well as that of everyone else in their attempts to flog the system to achieve marginal results.

When shall we wake up and set our own internal machinery right before attempting to change the world?

Deliverance matters

The Bihar election results have taken the nation by storm, despite being along predictable lines. They have however also taken the nation by surprise, due to the sheer number of seats that the ruling dispensation has won, primarily because it delivered what the people wanted. A mandate for deliverance is what it is all about.

Such results generate hope even amongst hardcore skeptics that all is not lost yet. That the countrymen can appreciate and recognize deliverance, even in the state of Bihar where caste equations have so far played a major role in propelling people to power is a major cause of satisfaction for all those who have a burning desire to deliver. The results have further reinforced my belief in the theory that it is always one individual who leads an organization, a state or even a nation to glory, a group of people can only create chaos.

It would make sense for the nation to view these results as a desperate cry of the countrymen in general for a better quality of life that only improvements in the fields of infrastructure, law and order and economic development can give. It would be a pity if these results are viewed on narrow party lines, as it is immaterial which party occupies the chair as long as the country moves forward.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lurking Fear

Generally fear lurks perpetually in the minds of sarkari officers, irrespective of their caste (service), creed (rank) or religion (place). The fear stems from their inability to truly serve, as was expected from them and as also accepted by them at the time of joining the service. The place of posting as well as advancement in rank was not meant to be guaranteed, yet an officer forever lives, works and manipulates in the expectation of a place of posting of his choice and unhindered advancement in ranks till he reaches what is generally understood as the pinnacle of his career. The higher one goes, the more fearful he is. Lick the boots of those above and boot out those below continues to be the motto of such cowards.

And so he compromises, yet always maintains a justification for all his acts of omission and commission to the extent that even blatant acts of dishonesty are justified by him and attributed to his “genuine” need of a desired place of posting and/or regular promotions.

Such officers, whatever may be the justification that they give, are serving only themselves and not the organization or the nation that unfortunately they would cheat at the drop of their hat, for personal gratification and yet profess to be honest. Such turncoat tribe of sarkari mulazims, I would say are more damaging for the system than the ones who are blatantly dishonest and have no pretensions of honesty whatsoever.

Whether one wants to lead a life of a tiger or a jackal is a call that one has to consciously make, with full knowledge of the established fact that there are no free lunches whatsoever in life and a price would have to be paid either way.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Misplaced loyalties

It is not only the scams in general and professional corruption at large that is irritating to the citizen, it is the petty corruption of the pettiest kind indulged into by the well-off category of bureaucrats that is difficult to really appreciate. Why should joint secretary level officers expect free rations, toiletries, gas supplies and even a free truck ride for their belongings whenever they shift on transfer. And these are not stray cases but almost a regular phenomenon.

Such incidences that I learn about almost on a regular basis lead me to three basic thoughts. The first is that greed of a person is not directly proportional to his poverty. In fact the opposite is more likely to be true and a person way below on the economic front is generally less greedy that the well-off kind. The second is that sarkari officers in general are loath to spend money on things that in their opinion they can fleece from the system. And the third and the most pertinent is the loyalty angle. Sarkari mulazims who permit or even turn a blind eye to such loot, are proving to be more loyal to individuals, not to the organization that pays them salary for their daily bread. And this brings us to the fundamental question - to whom a Sarkari mulazim is supposed to be loyal to? To a superior in the hierarchy who can favor the mulazim for petty personal gains, or to the organization and the nation. Despite what the majority feels or does, it has to be the organization and the nation. This is a call that all bureaucrats have to take, though I am convinced that hardly anyone shall. After all, loyalty to the organization and systemic loot cannot co-exist.

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Adarsh" conduct

The fact that corruption has permeated the entire fabric of the society cannot be denied even by the extremely corrupt elements amongst us. But considering the fact that there is some honor even amongst thieves, the adarsh society scam has set new benchmarks in how deep our bureaucrats, politicians and even men in uniform can dive. Manipulating sea facing flats built in the name of Kargil heroes is perhaps the ultimate in the moral degradation of the society.

CWG 2010 was unique in that it set new benchmarks in the levels of corruption in our society. The “Adarsh” scam is unique in that it has shown how unethical and manipulative are even those who are supposed to guard the bureaucratic systems and also our frontiers. The “Adarsh” scam has overshadowed the CWG scam and has even pushed it out of media. Another recent scam has nudged the “Adarsh” from the media and soon something else will take over the media space.

Public memory being short and the new scams surfacing with almost amazing regularity, the perpetrators are likely to be soon forgotten and also get out of the net only to enjoy their “billions” in peace.

Long live the nation.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Anonymously secure!

In anonymity lies security and therefore we have anonymous complaints and anonymous expressions of opinions in various offices and forums. Such complaints and expressions of opinions by people who do not even have the courage to stand-by their own view point says much about the prevalent rot in the society. Cowards who want others to set the nation right, while they want to retain their anonymity and thereby enjoy a false sense of security. Cowards who do not even want to risk taking the responsibility for their own expressions! How shall they ever take responsibility for their own actions is a point to be pondered upon! Even in my own office where I am surrounded by people who are secure and comfortable in their guaranteed sarkari jobs, the presence of such cowards can not be entirely ruled out.

Can a society of cowards take the nation forward? I am afraid not, cowards can only multiply their own race by generally voicing their fear of the unknown at various forums, and that too with amazing regularity.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Contained brilliance!

I am surprised at the brilliance of my team. Frankly this realization has belied my expectations. A set of outstanding officers, each brilliant in his own way, yet the collective organization failing to correspondingly reflect the brilliance of its constituents. I am foxed!

This situation has led me to coin a new term "contained brilliance". It could also have been "suppressed brilliance". Does the organization suppress brilliance and in the process encourage mediocrity? Possibly true, perhaps because there does not seem to be any other apparent reasoning for the staid state of affairs.

We have to let brilliance "free". Let brilliance soar in the sky and achieve wonders that it easily can. For our developing country, not to remain forever in the developing mode, it is essential that brilliance and not mediocrity is allowed to freely soar in the skies.

Is it not unfortunate that every bharatvasi, including the self seeking bureaucrats, is able to perform exceedingly well in any country other than his own? Is it not equally unfortunate that in the first sixty years of existence as a free nation, brilliance, especially in the sarkari sector has always been looked down upon with disdain? And is it not unfortunate that mediocrity, the hallmark of which is indulging in the mundane and treading down the oft beaten path, has beaten brilliance in the traditional attainment of success?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Protocol even in death!

A very senior railway officer suddenly passed away recently due to an unexpected cardiac arrest. A very fine officer and an equally fine human being, he left many of us who knew him well, teary eyed for days.

What really disturbed me, more than the death itself, was that the top echelons of the organization (with an exception of course) remained totally unmoved even by the death of a senior officer and did not care to pay even a fleeting visit to the residence of the diseased.

Should not an organization, represented by the very top management, just be there when a soldier and that too a senior one dies? Is it asking for too much to expect the presence of the top management at the death of an officer or are there other things that are more important. If so it would be interesting to know what can be more important than the death of your own men!

I find it demeaning when I find senior officers kowtowing before the powers that be. The birthdays of men in power are occasions to witness the presence of almost all the top officials marking their attendance with amazing ease and in high spirits. Yet the absence of top officials at the death of a senior officer of their own ilk! Is it not a disgusting and demoralizing state of affairs?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The war within

Remaining forever busy in the war within has always enabled us to lose the external war.

The "Output does not matter" style of functioning of the country’s bureaucrats keeps them perpetually busy in the mundane pushing of files and proposals, while at the same time giving them a false feeling of having delivered. The system exists for its own sake and its effect on the nation is minimal and generally damaging in nature. The bureaucrats are forever busy in pushing their own petty interests and that invariably includes post retirement sinecures.

This is the essence of the Indian bureaucracy. A system that exists for its own sake and keeps its every component busy without actually delivering. A “corrupt to the core”system that is meant only to be milched by its constituents, serving the populace can go to hell.

How the hell would we ever win the external war against poverty, illiteracy and the infrastructural gap, when the system keeps us totally occupied in mundane stuff.

Monday, October 4, 2010

National Pride!

The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games made my heart swell with pride, even if momentarily. In fact that is what these transient extravaganzas are at best capable of. A fleeting moment of national pride. In fact my elder daughter reminded me today morning of the tremendous capability our country always had in creating "tamashas".

The fact however remains that the ceremony was extremely good, in fact perhaps the best ever that the country would have witnessed on its soils. But the ceremony alone should not and can not be a cause of joy. That the game makers indulged in a totally different kind of games ever since the time the games were slated for Delhi is a sordid aspect of the games that can not and should not be forgotten.

That this transient extravaganza has emerged as the reason for the sudden fervor of national pride amongst the citizens of this country is a cause of serious concern. That our population is reduced to seeking pride in what at best is an outstanding "tamasha" is definitely not something to be happy about.

I would really feel proud, when India emerges from the shadows of poverty and deprivation and takes its place in the list of developed nations. I would indeed be proud when we have been able to create infrastructure of internationally acceptable standards across the length and breadth of the nation and not just confined to the capital city of Delhi. I would have been proud if the massive amount of expenditure that has been been attributed to the games had been fully utilized for the purpose and not been siphoned off to a very large extent mainly to grease the already bloated pockets of the corrupt people in charge of organizing the games, an event that our "developing" nation may have been better off without.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Building Nations!

By peeping under the carpet; appreciating the accumulated muck of almost six decades of mal-governance and then striving to clean it up.

Easier said than done, and that precisely is the reason why no one follows the above advice. Least of all the bureaucrats and politicos of our country.

The muck under the carpet is massive, yet invisible to almost all of us, the nincompoop bureaucrats of India.

Rampant corruption, corruption that pervades almost the entire sarkari sector of the country is the first glimpse beneath the carpet.

Characterless, spineless and idle sarkari mulazims is the next realization.

A system that thrives on sycophancy is the next view and a system designed for non deliverance is not the last.

The view under the carpet is not at all pleasent. It is the true view of our beloved country.

Why not do something about it for that is the true calling of all those who have joined the sarkari system for serving the sarkar, not behaving as the last mughals of the country.

Let us for once start on the path of nation building, by sacrificing the self. Let us for once stop bothering about our postings, promotions, foreign trips and post retirement sinecures. Let us for once justify our fat salaries by indulging in the sheer act of deliverance, improving systems of delivery and focussing on developing the musch needed national infrastructure.

Can we, the sarkari mulazims of an immature democracy do it, or it is asking for the moon.

Do I have the right to lose hope? I think not!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Common Wealth makes a difference ?

All the countries including ours that were once slaves of the mighty british empire are getting together to celebrate their common lineage during the common wealth games at New Delhi. Are the games therefore a symbol of british dominance or our common subject like mentality? The group definitely is made up of former subjects of the british empire, but the games are not, they are pure sports and I see nothing wrong in it! The british superiority is something that a nation should strive to be able to emulate.

The games have caused quite a furore in the country. Allegations of corruption in high places that rather appear to be true, sordid saga of shoddy construction work at stadias and the Connaught Place that looks like a bombed out zone, not a place where almost a thousand crores of our hard earned money has been (mis)invested. Yes a lot of interesting but sad news has been manufactured.

The fact however remains that there has been a massive input of infrastructure to the capital city of Delhi. This input would otherwise have taken decades and that is what we Delhi-ites have to be thankful for. It is another matter that over eighty percent of the allocation appears to have been siphoned off. Yet we should be thankful for the twenty percent that hit the ground and has made Delhi a slightly more pleasant place than it was earlier.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Work all seven days!

India should work all seven days. The economic and social condition of India demands that the sarkar should work and deliver all seven days. The rationale for the two day weekend that all sarkari mulazims get is beyond my understanding.

Germany as a nation was totally devastated in the 2nd world war and look where it is now. Indians placed in an identical scenario would still have been waiting for foreign aid to arrive, and in the meanwhile would also have been idling around for want of money and men who can toil.

Nations are not built by words, promises or files alone. They are built by the toil of its citizens, by the commitment, hard work and integrity of its bureaucrats and by the leadership provided by the political class. Unfortunately India does not possess the required traits in all the three categories.

Here surprisingly, everyone wants the nation to improve, but at the same time he wants others to do it. Almost everyone has ideas about how the other guy should be doing his job.

China also became independent at around the same time as India. It is now a superpower and India is still developing, forever developing sounds better. China has been built by the combined toil of all its citizens, bureaucracy and the political leadership. Yes, the discipline imposed by the communist regime definitely helped, but who prevents us from becoming a disciplined society?

Given the totally inefficient way the sarkari sector works in India, it would be premature to say that working all seven days would radically improve matters. But it would definitely give a message that the sarkar means business and that the nation cannot afford the idling of the sarkari machine at all.

Once India enters the developed league, its babu's can have as long a weekend as they desire.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Make things simple to happen and they will happen

I often wonder, where did we go wrong in the last sixty three years. Why despite a stable democratic system inherited after centuries of foreign rule and oppression, Bharatvarsh did not really take off? Why, on the economic front we are still at the bottom of the list of nations. Why even basic infrastructure like decent roads and highways were non-existent till now, and it required a major resolve to start building them at a pace unimaginable, only a couple of years earlier. How is it that every Bharatvasi who leaves our shores becomes a success story, despite being an abysmal failure in his own motherland? Why, Why, Why, Why and Why. These Why’s, I think will haunt me to my grave.

Yes we all have to start questioning and start asking why? Isn’t it ridiculous that in the system we live in, a procedure or a rule or a policy is easily and almost always allowed to take overriding priority over deliverance? Isn’t it equally ridiculous that the same system lays such a strong premium on non-deliverance that at times the achievers stand the risk of being victimized. And in the process, deliverance suffers and has suffered in the first fifty years of the existence of a free Bharatvarsh.

My first discourse on deliverance was after my visit to Germany in 1991 where I thought, I unraveled the secret of deliverance and then shared the experiences with my wife and all who came in contact with me. During visits to German locomotive builders whose productivity was fifty times ours, I understood why the purchasing power of an average German was as many times that of a Bharatvasi. And this ratio of fifty was not due to just technology. The major factor was an enthused human being who delivered for the eight hours he worked as opposed to remaining or appearing busy for eight hours. The crux is delivery, not deliberation and the sooner we understand this as an individual, as a society and as a nation and relate it to our capacity to purchase even household items of everyday necessity, the better.

Over three decades of being wedded to sarkar has left me thoroughly confused. In the hallowed sector, one is generally assessed by how busy he remains, how rule and procedure oriented he is and how subservient he is. How productive one is, generally remains immaterial unless it is to be twisted and used against him. Procedure orientation is welcome but output orientation is considered an unacceptable trait, and delivery, if at all it happens is always looked at with suspicion. Cutting across official buildings spread all over the country, one comes across a sea of babus, who appear busy but have no interest whatsoever in delivery and are therefore not delivering. And if deliverance happens, it is more by chance, less by choice. And so we have become a rashtra of non-achievers. A rashtra where anything happening is considered an achievement and so one has all the foundation and inaugural stone ceremonies galore for things, which should have been there as a matter of course.

“Make things simple to happen” and then things will happen. Things will happen at the hands of even the so-called average and mediocre and then the country would have no option other than taking off for the big league. Unfortunately the primitive feudal mindset still continues. During the British rule we were slaves, and the system was accordingly designed to make untrustworthy slaves work. Why we are still carrying on with the same system is what I am unable to fathom. The same old system, which required a hundred thumb impressions for a job as trivial as even buying a spoon, continues. The same old system where everyone is considered unworthy of trust and you have to have a countersignature over the signature of every responsible person continues. Somehow we have ended up believing in and therefore practicing “Make things impossible to happen” as the solution to all ills including the all-pervasive corruption. I quite often wonder why we don’t make it easy to do things. Why even simple matters spin out of control requiring phenomenal effort to execute? Why things happen so easily in the developed and even the developing countries and never happen in our motherland? Why our motherland even after fifty years of independence is still grappling with primary issues like water, electricity and housing? Why we can make one rocket and one atom bomb beautifully and fail in mass quality production of even petty items? Why projects initiated with great fanfare are found rotting only after a couple of months? All this, I feel is because we have made doing anything impossible. I really dream that the country would one day adopt the philosophy of “Make things simple to happen”.

If even buying a spoon is a project, how will factories and powerhouses get built? And therefore as a first step let us de-complicate the over complex decision making process. And I am not talking only about the big decisions. Even petty decisions at the field level also require being de-complicated. Let us reduce the number of thumb impressions per decision. Let us if possible eliminate or drastically reduce files. This will radically improve productivity, fix accountability and in the process eliminate corruption. Everyone will then be fully accountable for his or her acts of omission or commission and will either pay the price for non-deliverance or enjoy the fruits of achievement besides standing the risk of immediate exposure for acts of impropriety. Another step is to de-complicate the complex mechanism of contracting. Our contractual procedures are so harrowing that ultimately one ends up purchasing poor quality products and services at unreasonably high and sometimes unworkable prices, and also in the process creating ample opportunities for loot. Let us for once accept that our decision-making processes and the contractual mechanisms have failed the country and therefore deserve to be overhauled.

The remarkable book “Maverick” by Ricardo Semmler tells us about a multi billion dollar organization, which has no policies, no rulebooks and believes in absolute delegation. The employees decide their own wage, decide their timings of work, take decisions about production and create their own working environment. And instead of bringing about a chaos, which we Bhartvasis believe such a system shall, the organization is growing at an annual rate of more than 70%, besides being rated as a model organization in Brazil. If structured and complicated decision making systems, strong procedure oriented budgeting systems, elaborate vigilance setups and an over bearing bureaucracy has brought the country to the present situation, we would be better off without them.

Let us make things simple to happen and then they will happen.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cleanliness is Godliness

I often wonder how Corporate headquarters, especially in the sarkari sector, most of which have abandoned any semblence of cleanliness or orderliness try to make their subordinate offices neat and efficient. Such claims or efforts, in my opinion are not even worth the paper which they are written on or issued. Only exceptions, so far in my career, have been experiences with the Rail Bhawan and then, the Vallabh Bhawan in Bhopal. These two office buildings present quite a non-sarkari appearance and an equally appropriate working environment. They definitely smack of efficiency, whether they are or not is besides the point. A visit to the Rail Bhawan surprises even the hardcore Delhiite. The corridors, toilets and public areas are definetely a cut above the rest of the Bhawans. And even the archives are a class. One can locate a file or a noting made almost fifty years ago. But, a dekko of most of the sectional offices and officers chambers leaves one dazed, mainly because of the glaring contrast between the public and the private areas. Well anyway, the mandarins of the Rail Bhawan definitely deserve a pat on their back for their efforts in keeping the building clean and smart. I also clearly remember my visits to the Paryaran Bhawan which houses the union ministry of environment. Well now matters seem to have improved but earlier I used to wonder how a ministry which cant maintain its own environment can do justice to the “environment” of the country?

Talking of environment, that is perhaps the most important aspect, but which most of us, almost the majority of us experience, but fail to appreciate. My first brush with environment was during those heady days of probationary period at Calcutta, almost thirty years ago, when while descending the stairs of the metro station at Calcutta, I suddenly came alive to the impact environment has on us mere mortals. It was an experience that shall remain ingrained in my mind. The same Calcuttan who treated littering and spitting in public places as an accepted trait of the society, changed colors within a space of only a hundred odd steps. One does not dare litter or even spit inside the metro stations at Calcutta, merely because of the pride, which the wonderful environment inside metro stations instills in the Calcuttans. Similar experiences at various other places in our Bharatvarsh, especially now the Delhi metro has reinforced this belief and I am now convinced that one does not litter a clean place. Also having experienced the effect which cleanliness and orderliness had on me in almost all the offices I have inhabited so far, leaves me convinced that a neat, clean and organized environment generates positive vibes which have a multiplier effect on efficiency with consequent growth in deliverance.

And so my first task in joining any new organization is to try to effect a change in the working environment. It has happened in all my offices, in railways, the ministry of tourism, the India Tourism Development Corporation, the State Tourism Corporation and now the Divisional Railway Managers office in Delhi. Cleaning up the seat of power and that too literally is the task for the first day, to be followed by beautifying the working environment, both hardware and the software. I find it strange how we sarkari babus manage not to throw even paper, which is useless, out of date, irrelevant or even dirty enough to soil our hands and the table it is put upon. And so we have piles and piles of files, piled up in almirahs, inside and on top of them in typical government offices, and absolute indifference on part of all of us to do anything about it. And it is not just files, but old cardboard boxes, file covers, old pieces of dusting cloth and if one looks hard enough, even old slippers tucked under the almirahs. Broken furniture is omnipresent.

But before passing any value judgement, let us try to analyze why someone who maintains his home absolutely spic and span fails to carry his zeal to the work place. Is it because of lethargy, aversion to cleanliness, too much work or just indifference. I feel it is the last, indifference it is, but why? The answer lies in our not being able to correlate our activities with deliverance and that leads to indifference towards whatever we do at work and also the surrounding environment. Official work has become a drudgery that has to be endured. Nothing matters whatever we do has become the prevalent belief even amongst the elite in the ruling class – the bureaucrat. And this is something that has to change, if we are to change for the better. Amen.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Outperforming oneself

That the rapid improvements that me and my Delhi division team dreams of, would come only with perfect teamwork is something that all of us have now started appreciating. The rapidly changing scenario, here in Delhi makes me vividly recollect the unconventional start of 2008 when my entire MPT team watched “Goal”.

It was the third movie that we, the MPT team, watched in the office and during office hours on the first day of 2008. The intention like in all previous shows was not just entertainment, but to instill in the staff, ranging from peons to the top management, a strong sense of desire to achieve something for the state of Madhya Pradesh. This show, like the previous ones was attended by the entire staff together, without caring a fig for the official hierarchial system that prevents a managing director from breaking bread with his peon. For a true cine experience, popcorns and coffee were also served during the show. Well changing thought processes is a long drawn out affair but a beginning would have been made, if my men just start talking and dreaming about doing something for the state, deliverance will automatically follow.

Lagaan, Chak De and Goal mark the beginning of a new era in Indian cinema, an era where movies have starting working as a management tool to inspire the populace into achieving something extraordinary in their ordinary lives. “Lagaan” was the story of a ragtag team of rustic Indians coming together to beat a team of britishers at the very british game of cricket. “Chak De” is the story of how a much ridiculed and maligned Indian women’s hockey team puts its act together to win the world cup and the latest in the series “Goal” is the story of how a football club in Southall, London, pulls up its socks to achieve the impossible task of wining the league championship and in the process saving the club from extinction.

The common thread in all the three stories has been the presence of one single individual in the role of captain or coach, who inspires the team members to achieve very high performance levels, levels that were originally considered impossible by the players as well as the general public. The single individual, around whom the story rotates, be it Amir Khan in Lagaan, Shahrukh Khan in Chak De or Boman Irani in Goal had an extremely high power catalytic effect on the performance of the team. All leadership qualities, about which we read in management books were amply visible in these three individual roles.

How true it is. The hindi phrase “Akela Chana Bhad Nahi Fod Sakta” is now not true. It is always one single individual who makes a difference. A group of rudderless people, howsoever brilliant they may be on an individual basis can not and shall never be able to bring about turnarounds. Be it the Delhi Metro, the Reliance empire, the Microsoft or public sectors like the ONGC or NBCC, all have been led to success by individuals who have outperformed even the most optimistic of expectations. People who have defied the word “impossible” and inspired their men to outperform themselves, not for a materialistic gain but for achieving self actualization are the ones who actually change the world. India needs more of such men in pivotal roles cutting across sectors and territories and this is the true message of “Lagaan”, “Chak De” and “Goal”.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Amazing Railways!

Indian Railways never ceases to amaze me. The most visible symbol of dynamic delivery in the nation is perhaps facing one of its most severe financial crunch in recent times. A commercial organization that is in monoply, is in the sellers market and whose produce is something for which the common masses and commercial bodies are forever queing up, finding itself in financial distress is something that one is unable to digest.

And therefore expenditure control has become the buzzword, without realizing that revenue maximization, not expenditure control is the open secret of success of all forward looking commercial organizations. Expenditure control implies a clampdown on all aspects of expenditure with the exception of the bloated salaries that the federal government servants have undeservingly become accustomed to.

That all expenditure is not wasteful and thus cannot and should not be controlled is a realization that is conspicuous by its sheer absence. Such a measure that does not differentiate between investment and wasteful expenditure is bound to lead the railways into a downward uncontrollable spiral. The sad part is the total absence of an appreciation of the ground realities and the basic understanding of running an commercial empire. If only our focus was on revenue maximization and not expenditure control, things would have been very much different and easy.

Yes, empire we still are, but an empire lost in a time warp. Unfortunately we are slowly emerging as the most visible symbol of how not to run a commercial organization. It is equally unfortunate that the fundamental constraint in running a commercial organization, with constant selling prices and upwardly spiraling input costs, is not handled the way it should be - head on.

It is not that everything is wrong with the railways. We can still boast of one of the finest workforces and highly responsible trade unions in the nation. We still have reason to be proud of the non stop criss-crossing of thousands of trains across the subcontinent continuously, non stop despite all sorts of imaginable constraints.
One is equally proud of the fleet of outstandingly capable officers who are brilliant individuals but find themselves as a helpless cog in the system.

Yes, we somehow run trains, but we are equally capable of running the system with ease and then spend the spare energy in high quality physical growth of the system, something that is the call of the nation, the India of the twenty first century. If only we thought and also peeped out of the box!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The wake up call

Connaught Place today is the most visible symbol of all that is wrong with "Bharat". I call it the visible mess of the nation. The state of affairs at the Connaught Place is symptomatic, symptomatic of a much deeper malaise within the sarkari tantra of the nation.

That Bharat is not what it was, is already widely known and appreciated. What most of us perceive as our nation is not what "Bharat" is all about. The intelligentia and the upper crust from which most of us from the ruling classes hail, does not have even the foggiest idea of what "Bharat" is all about. A land of abject poverty and deprivation, a land of mind boggling gaps in infrastructure and a land of glaring contrasts. The real "Bharat" lives in its villages, most of which are underdeveloped beyond imagination.

What one also fails to appreciate at first glance is the deep rooted mess that we actually are in. Realization dawns upon us only during mega events like the ensuing CWG when the mess that we are in, severely hampers our ability to deliver even "passable" quality on a large canvas. This realization is perhaps the best gift that CWG has given us, the finest wake up call that we have received in over sixty three years of existence as a free nation.

But will we ever wake up, is the question that continued to haunt me even before the arrival of the latest wake up call. Do we, the bureaucrats of "Bharat" ever want to wake up? Do we, the bureaucrats of "Bharat" have any stake in taking the wake up call? Are we not comfortable in the corrupt mess that we find ourselves in, and yet aspire to climb onto the top of the garbage heap?

The wake up call is neither for the politicians, nor for the masses. It is for US, the bureaucrats of "Bharat" whom one British playwriter aptly described as a bunch of bumbling nincompoops.

We better wake up now!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Whose recognition are we seeking anyway?

It is rather unfortunate that almost all of us seek recognition for the work that we are required to do in the normal course as employees of an organization or as members of the society. This malaise unfortunately has infected the topmost echelons of the society, the politicos, who have their names engraved on stone plates, placed almost everywhere, with perhaps the exception of taps, washbasins and commodes.

It is equally unfortunate that almost none of us seeks self recognition or does his job in the name of God. I find it rather demeaning to do anything and then seek recognition from mere mortals, whose claim to fame is not that they have achieved anything great in this life, but that they have been able to, by hook or by crook, occupy a temporary slot(all jobs are temporary slots) on planet earth.

Why is it so? Why have all of us stopped valuing whatever we are doing until some other mere mortal does so. Why we have lost all faith in the almighty and have started regarding people sitting on high chairs as Gods. The worship that I am witness to, by the bureaucrats, of blokes sitting in high slots can at best be called shameful. And the same bloke who while occupying the high slot treated others with disdain is shown the dust by the very people who earlier worshipped him, with personal motives of-course.

Perhaps things may be better elsewhere, but the Indian bureaucratic system of which I am also a cog, is the perfect setting for the above scenario.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sixty third birthday!

The nation shall be sixty three tomorrow. But where are we? Have we as a nation arrived on the international scene? Are we an economic power? Have we been able to provide the basic necessities of "Roti", "Kapda" and "Makan" to all our citizens? Have we achieved a respectable rank on the human development index? and finally are Indians, really happy?

The answers are a big NO. No, No, No, No and NO.

We are a nation, in the capital of which one witnesses abject poverty, where electricity and water are in short supply almost everywhere including the capital city of New Delhi. A nation where beggers are aplenty and people live on the streets in substantial numbers. But we are also a nation that is an atomic power, that launches rockets and is also home to the wealthiest man on the planet.

A nation of stark contrasting realities. That is what we are at sixty three!

While we are not a failed state like many of the banana republics, but we are also not a state that has passed with distinction. There are shortages and there is chaos, but an abundance of corruption that touches every aspect of the lives of almost all its citizens, excepting those who are either super rich or really powerful like our politicians and the bureaucrats.

Yes, it is true but unfortunate that India has emerged as a nation that is suitable only for these two classes, who either wield power or who are rich.

That is where we are at sixty three.

When we had our tryst with destiny sixty three years ago, we were like a five year old who has been let free. An immature child who has been ordained to take all decisions pertaining to his life. The child certainly will mess up his life and so have we as a nation. The mockery that we have managed to make of ourselves during this brilliant opportunity of commonwealth games is indicative of our sheer immaturity and inability to govern ourselves. While the mature converts a problem into an opportunity, the foolish and the immature convert opportunities into insurmountable problems and embarrassments.

What a shame. Yet I have hopes that at-least in its seventies, the nation would become and also behave like a respected adult of that age.

Friday, August 13, 2010


The turnaround of Hotel Palash in Bhopal can be called spectacular even by the most conservative estimates. The hotel that did a turnover of only Rs seventy five lakhs in 2002-3 touched almost Rs seven crores in 2009-10, a jump of almost ten times in seven years. This turnaround brought back memories of Hotel Ashok in New Delhi that despite posting its lowest ever turnover of thirty six crores in 2002-3 turned around and posted a fifty eight crores turnover in the subsequent year, despite 9/11 being a party stopper for almost everyone in the tourism sector.

The same was true of the corporation, the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation rose from the ashes to become the leader of the tourism sector in the country. A loss making entity, first wiped all its losses and then emerged to become a successful business enterprise. The state, beautiful though it always had been, also emerged from behind the shadows and came to be regarded in the same league as the established states of Rajasthan and Kerala in so far as tourism is concerned.

The Madhya Pradesh stint reinforced in me the belief that nothing is impossible to achieve. That India can, with a lot of effort of-course, discard the "developing" stamp and enter the "developed" league is a thought that engages the mind every now and then. That the question is not of shortage of funds, but inadequate application of traits like will power, commitment and integrity is also a thought that cannot be discarded.

People often criticize the public sector on grounds of non-performance and cite sarkari ownership as the root cause. Being witness to many public sector turnarounds and my actual participation in two, has led me to believe that the shades of ownership are not relevant, what is relevant though is the CEO of the enterprise. He can take it forward or sink it, irrespective of the share holding pattern of the company.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Romancing Railways

The romance is back.

The ongoing resurrection of the Rewari Heritage Steam Shed has brought back the romance of the black beauties in my life. Cupid struck me on the platforms of the Cawnpore (now Kanpur) Railway Station platform in the early sixties and the romance that then started and ultimately blossomed with the resurrection of the Fairy Queen in the late nineties had shown a marginal decline during my stints away from the trains.

Rewari now marks the rebirth of my romantic association with the black beauties that once romped across the continent in all their glory. In all ten beauties are expected to be ready for the ramp before the games start in October. The beauties are black because they were always so, but perhaps they have inspired the games also to take a black hue.

Fairy Queen was a dream, a dream that I dared to live despite being a bureaucrat in a developing country. The queen gave me and also the railways its first Guinness world record. That one incident inspired a lot of steam lovers to come together to form the Indian Steam Railway Society, the first and only society of its kind in the country.

The rejuvenation of steam locomotives shed at Rewari will once again kindle the romance of the black beauties in many hearts. Rewari ultimately, god willing, is bound to emerge as the mecca of steam locomotives in the world, an international tourist destination that would find its place in the itineraries of all those lovers who cris-cross the globe in an attempt to have a glimpse of the sight that they love the most - a majestic steam locomotive spewing away steam and smoke, totally uncaring of its surroundings.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Digging into the common wealth

And why not? It is common wealth and so all those who are a part of the CWG, directly or indirectly consider it to be their right to partake of it freely and merrily.

I am not surprised at the fact that there is corruption in the organizing of the CWG. I am however amazed at the sheer extent of it. India has set new records in the sport of corruption, whether it is able to set any new records in the games or not is a different matter. I am now firmly convinced that our prowess to indulge in corruption is much greater than that for genuine sporting events.

I recently had the occasion to attend one of the CWG dinners, ostensibly in the honor of visiting security personnel. Disgusted is a mild word to express what I really felt during the party. It was shameful to witness senior politicians attired in white kurta pajama dancing with scotch glasses in hand. If such is the character of the powers to be, the loot that is happening in the name of CWG is perfectly understandable.

CWG was meant to be an event of national pride. Rather it is emerging as an event of national shame. Till now only natural calamities were regarded as a bonanza for local officials and politicians. Now it appears that sporting events have overtaken natural calamities as they provide a much bigger canvas for extensive loot. How the hell can the nation and its citizens accept and condone the blatant loot of national wealth in the garb of CWG. And why should we? After all it is the taxpayers money, not the personal wealth of a couple of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.

From newspapers reports it appears that the national govt has put its foot down in the matter of hosting the Asian Games. I hope it does the same for Olympics also, which if organized in India would enable a much grander loot of the national wealth by the corrupt. Their future dreams now lie shattered.

Till very recently I could not understand why a nation that has miserably failed in providing even basic necessities of life like water, electricity, sanitation and housing to its citizens, even in its own capital, should indulge in such transient extravaganzas. The recent reports in the media has perhaps provided all the answers.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Common(WG) Dilemma

Almost everyone in the country is now worried whether our infrastructure would be ready before the games. The state of affairs at Rajiv Chowk, that are visible to almost all are mainly responsible for this persistent nagging doubt in the minds of all patriotic indians. Recent reports on the disastrous state of affairs at some of our stadiums add to the dilemma. Why the work could'nt have been completed earlier, instead of extending it to the last moment is the question everyone is asking.

Well the answer to this question lies in our way of working. Way of working of the sarkari sector in our nation is the answer to this genuine question. Our way of working that is aptly designed for non-deliverance is responsible for this mess, placing a finger on any individual would not be right.

Ultimately it all boils down to our inept decision making and contractual processes that were designed for a feudal era and are utter failures in the present "fast & furious" era.

My take is that if rains do not lash Delhi area during this monsoons, the civic and sports infrastructure being built will get completed and shall also hold, but if Indra Bhagwan is generous with the monsoon, things may become difficult.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Financial Blues

It is rather unfortunate that most of us mortals, especially those from the hindustani sarkari sector are not able to distinguish rate from revenue. That reduction in rate may lead to rise in revenues is something that many of us are not able to appreciate. This realization dawned on me during my first stint at the (in)famous ITDC and got reinforced during my subsequent stints in the beautiful state of Madhya Pradesh.

Another realization that also got reinforced over time during my service in the sarkari sectors is that finance is not expenditure control, but it is rather unfortunate that it is viewed to be so even by the worthiest and mightiest of the sarkari lot. Well expenditure control is easy as one knows what heads of expenditure to clamp down upon, even if it screws up the operation in the long run. Revenue generation on the other hand is a tough job as one is not able to generally fathom, from which well the revenue stream is likely to come. And so the mediocres, that most of us are, choose the easy path and the casualty is the returns, short term as well as the long term variety.

And therefore one rarely comes across infrastructure projects of the kind that are desperately needed for the growth and development of the country. Tinkering and that too with a lot of fanfare easily passes of as development, that the average citizen is unable to comprehend.

How long shall this nonsense continue in my motherland, is a question that I shall forever be unable to answer. Nonsense for me definitely, way of life for most of the other sarkari mortals with exceptions of course.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Of Think Tanks......

Why the country is fond of "expert committees" and "think tanks" is what I am unable to comprehend. That the fundamental issues are blatantly visible to one and all and they just require a common sense approach for their solution is also widely appreciated. Yes, our zeal to assign even mundane matters to expert committees and think tanks is deplorable, yet it serves a purpose. The purpose is to delay taking any decision and continue with the status quo.

All the various national committees constituted by all and sundry are actually forums for networking and continuously dwelling on mundane issues. They also serve ideally for keeping issues on the back-burner while its members can wine and dine in five star surroundings in the garb of finding solutions. The farcical nature of such committees forced me to resign from one of them recently, in disgust of course.

This non appreciation of highly visible issues has to end. All of us from the sarkari sector, especially those in charge of affairs within their domain have to step forward and handle issues head on, in complete disregard of the price that they may have to pay even for doing developmental works in right earnest. After all we are paid to do a job, a specific job that the nation seeks of us and that job can never be to deal in the mundane stuff.

How I wish that the Prime Minister places a complete ban on creating committees of any kind in the sarkari sector. Let the sarkari mulazims handle issues based on their understanding of the same without seeking advice, support and guidance of all and sundry even for mundane issues.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Of decibels and environment

That output is not a function of decibels or a tense environment is still the belief of some senior railway officers, is a cause of satisfaction. The fact that absolutely honest and good human beings can still rise to the top in the railways, is a silver lining in the otherwise bleak environment that the country has to offer. That a senior officer can remain calm while handling tense and contentious issues is what gives hope in an otherwise hopeless scenario.

Yes, all is not lost yet. Goodness is still revered and good human beings are still liked by the masses in general. A bad human being may attract a lot of sycophants while he is in the seat of power, but these sycophants shall vanish the day the seat is gone. A good human being shall always have support of people, though it is a different matter that such a person is hardly bothered whether he has anyone around him or not.

Presently working with a genuine and a good human being, I consider myself to be fortunate.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Great Railways

Despite all its shortcomings, railways can still boast of a an extremely committed and hardworking staff and also many officers who can be classified in the "super fine" category. Even in my division there are many officers whose capability, commitment, integrity and ability to work hard is something that makes me proud. The railway staff is also generally far superior to their counterparts in other central and state govt departments. The commitment and hard working ability of railwaymen in general is unmatched.

With still a long way to go, the potential for improvements in the railways is massive, but it can still easily be achieved if the brilliant set of its officers (almost all are with exceptions) is trusted, empowered and let free. This is the path that all great organizations and nations have followed in their quest for achieving greatness.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dancing Symptoms

Dancing to symptoms. A malaise common to almost all bureaucrats, indian of course. Unfortunately the railway bureaucrats are more smitten by the dancing symptoms disease than their colleagues in other parts of the sarkari tantra.

Easy it is, to react to symptoms and therefore the dance emerges as a natural corollary. Difficult it is to identify the disease behind the symptom and almost impossible it is to put in place the treatment required to eliminate the disease, and the bureaucrats are known to take the easy path.

And so the disease remains intact and the symptoms keep on resurfacing one after the other, with variations ofcourse as the diseases that are many in number and still growing are never treated and therefore likely to manifest in many different ways.

And so today the dance may be inspired by symptom A, tomorrow it may be because of symptom B and so on and so forth. The bureaucrats are busy dancing to symptoms and their superiors expect that this dance shall rid the organization of the disease. Well they remain busy of course.

Foolish appears to be a mild word for this bureaucratic behavior. The situation is ridiculous to the extent of being hilarious!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

An ode to Madhya Pradesh

We saw "Rajneeti" yesterday. The reason being its locale, Bhopal and its surroundings and throughout the movie we were busy identifying ourselves with the various places where the movie was shot. The movie made both me and my wife nostalgic, even though it has been only three months since we left the state on a transfer to the heartless city of Delhi.

Madhya Pradesh, the heart of incredible India shall forever live in my and my wife's heart. It is the state that gave us a lot of peace, self satisfaction and most importantly "self actualization".

A wonderful state with a wonderful Chief Minister. Till I interacted with the gentleman, I could never have imagined that they still make Chief Ministers like him, a persona par excellence that is an ideal blend of integrity, simplicity, hard work and commitment. May he rise further, for the sake of the nation.

There is something about the state that gets on you. It is difficult to exactly pinpoint whether it is the climate, the simple populace, the beautiful landscape, beautiful tourist spots or the serenity about the place, the fact remains that one is smitten by the MP bug.

Bhopal the capital takes the cake. I often wonder why, it has not yet emerged as the best place for leisure tourism in the country, but am confident that in due course of time it shall. While en-route to Bhopal recently, my wife exclaimed that she is feeling as if she is visiting her "maika". Despite hailing from Uttarakhand, and having never been associated with the state except for the recent deputation, I also had a feeling of home coming.

Perhaps it has something to do with our past lives, when both of us had a lot of involvement with the state and its capital city Bhopal, yet left it with an unfinished agenda.

Advice not Support

I wonder why people are hell bent on giving advices? Perhaps it is the easiest thing to do, besides conferring on the advisor a mistaken sense of superiority.

And that is why the bureaucratic world to which I belong, is smitten by the advise bug. Unsolicited advice, normally bordering on the "I told you so" syndrome is generally freely available, especially from the quarters from which one tends to expect support, least of all advice.

Giving support is generally difficult, for one has to stick his neck out while dispensing it. And neck is the most precious thing for bureaucrats like me. And so our subordinates who come to us looking for support are generally turned away with an advice, that generally tends to convey that the subordinate has not been doing his job well. The subordinate who with passage of time becomes the superior continues the tradition forward.

We bureaucrats, especially those who belong to services have to start respecting the clan to which they belong, not just themselves. After all it is only the D.O.B that differentiates us and just being born a couple of years earlier should not give one any credit.

Railways especially is the flag-bearer of this tradition of "giving advices". The higher the person is in the hierarchy, the more smitten he is by the "advice bug". In an earlier blog I had written about the reign of the mediocrity. Perhaps therein lies the answer. Answer Yes, Solution No.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why America is Great?

The Clinton episode shook America, but subsequently the candid confession of the President once again proved the greatness of America as a nation. How many of us, politicians or otherwise would candidly accept their guilt, that too in front of everyone? Our sincere attempts to cover up our shortcomings, ultimately boomerang making the situation messier.

America is also great because of the dignity of labor. Men there are generally not assessed or ranked in the social circles because of their job profile. The dignity provided to each and every single member of the society is also a reason why America is great.

"Satyamev Jayate" is our slogan, but we rarely believe in it and hardly ever practice it. The indian society survives on falsehood. But on the other hand, the American society lays tremendous premium on truthfulness in all matters, official and personal.

A smile on every face is what one finds while walking in America. On the other hand, walking on streets in Indian cities one would come across people with a frown on their generally morose faces as if they are handling onerous responsibilities of the nation. Official meetings are also drab and dull with each trying to impress the other with his work or a false notion of responsibilities that generally do not exist.

Here we are busy and remaining busy, whether there is any output or not, is considered creditable. There they are delivering, remaining busy is just not important.

And most importantly, we shall forever continue to have potential because we are preserving it carefully. On the other hand America is fiercely consuming its potential. Yet we seek credit for having potential. How immature!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mediocrity Rules

Unfortunate but true. Bide your time doing nothing and if one also has the age on his side, the sarkari tantra is all yours to rule. The highly complicated art of not making decisions and the simpler mechanism of maintaining a disconnect from the ground reality is all that has to be mastered for an elevation to the top slot(s).

And so one has a battalion of men, over twenty million of them in the country biding their time and at the same time maintaining the nation in a sort of suspended animation. Led by the officers from the All India, Allied, Central and Other services the men quickly learn the art of survival and extracting the maximum juice from the system for personal gains - petty and not so petty.

If the aim in life is to occupy a slot, after the slot is occupied, the aim shifts to maintaining the occupation and later before the tenure ends, the aim shifts to finding another slot, occupying which shall continue taking care of the petty and not so petty needs of the person. And this precisely is what babudom is all about - the business of slots.

The babu's march forward in carefully crafted steps and the nation stays where it is, even at times sliding backwards.

It stinks!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The learned man on the street!

Ask the man on the street, what ails the country, and he would know. Having been wedded to the tourism sector for a long time, almost everyone, I knew or met had a word of advice for me. How tourism can be made to prosper in the beautiful state of Madhya Pradesh, or in "Incredible India", everyone knew the answers. And now on the hot seat of DRM/Delhi, I am again swamped with intelligent people, people who know what is wrong and how to set it right, except that they do not have even the foggiest idea of what putting your backside on the hot seat entails.

The tragedy is that the credibility of the sarkari tantra in our motherland is abysmally low. And therefore the entire populace, who also have contributed to the chaos in no small measure, chose to bash the tantra at the slightest provocation.

What however really hurts is the feigned ignorance, not of the man on the street, but of the men who matter, with exceptions of course. It is really sad that we often confuse symptom with the disease, and the attempts therefore of trying to cure the symptom, not the disease are bound to fail resulting in repeated cycles of inventing the wheel ad infinitum.

There is no doubt that the sarkari tantra, across the country is a classic example of how tantra's should not be. Procedure orientation, knee jerk responses to symptoms, rampant corruption and sycophancy are its hallmarks. But for a change it was a nice feeling to witness the Government support to the chief executive of Air India in recent moments of crisis and when the gentleman who is trying to do his best needed the support. But such occasions are rare. Rather than supporting the chief executives, they are often made a scapegoat for pleasing the man on the street, who is amused no doubt, but rarely pleased.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Expecting Perfection from an Imperfect system

Expecting perfection from an imperfect system. It is akin to aspiring to win a car rally while at the wheels of a dilapidated old "FIAT". Loosing yet complaining that there is no time to change or overhaul the car.

How true for the sarkari systems of Bharatvarsh. Truer still for the "great" Indian Railways. We expect perfection from an imperfect system. It appears to be a vicious circle. We dont want to stop just to set things right and because we dont stop, things go further downhill. Why is it so that a set of bright individuals who can change the world are throttled by the system into submission into mediocrity. And why is it that the complainants, who ofcourse are many, dont ever realize that it is the poor system, the extremely inefficient machinery that is to be faulted, not the individuals per se. And the bright youngsters keep on taking the blame, without fighting back, without shouting out hard that the rotten way of "non-deliverance" is to be blamed.

The "complained against" subsequently rise to become the complainants and the story gets repeated ad-infinitum.

What is the answer. We have to realize and accept that a bunch of individuals can never bring about massive changes, quantitative or qualitative. It is just one individual who can change an organization, a state or a nation, by ofcourse providing leadership. We all have to wait for that individual who will emerge out of rank chaos and mediocrity to take us forward. People like Gujral or Ravindra maybe ........

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hot seat-cold media

My seat proved to be too hot on the 15th of May 2010, when 2 people died and 8 got injured in the commotion at the New Delhi Railway station. The incident emerged as the national story for the day and the day after. The headlines were sensational as the entire blame for the incident was passed on by the media on the railways, even though the truth was otherwise. The incident, as was evident from the litter at the site and also the version of the bystanders at the platform, was triggered by a commotion on the staircase, possibly due to someone or his luggage falling over. But it caused a commotion in the large crowd and a bit of a stampede resulting in the deaths and injuries. The change of platform issue was immaterial as the "island" was the same and any sane person would appreciate the difference between switching trains on the same island and on different islands. But sanity on such occasions is a rare commodity. A lesson for me.

I somehow, against the counsel of my friends and well wishers always had a very good image of the media in general, possibly due to the outstanding support I got from a large section of them during my tense moments in crucial postings. But this experience was different. Somehow it appeared that the mandate of the media was to sensationalize triviality, and not focus on the truth. The mandate was also to bash the sarkari tantra, that is clumsy of course, but not capable enough to be faulted for everything under the sun. And perhaps the triviality and the bare truth would not be appealing to the common man who bored by his ordinary life, looks for sensationalism in the papers and the TV and also films.The common man was being served what he wanted to see, not the truth or a fair analysis and that is what hurts.

A real learning experience for me, yet I would not like to live it again.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The real India is different

How wrong we generally are! Sitting in 5 star hotels, over a glass of scotch, the glitterati discuss the problems of the country and offer solutions, solutions that are far removed from reality. The world we live in, the world inhabited by the upper class and the upper middle class is far removed from the reality of the real India, the India that lives in the small towns and the villages. The India that is devoid of electricity, drinking water, sewer lines and seethes with rampant poverty and corruption is the true India. One rocket, an atom bomb, cars. air conditioners, refrigerators and five star hotels are not representative of the true India.

It is indeed sad that the one percent of the population who do not even know the country sit in judgement over the direction the country should take and take decisions on behalf of the rest of the ninety nine percent.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Leadership blues!

I stand in awe of the British. Could we Indians ever have conceived Vijay Chowk an expanse of over 1000 ft, or the north and south blocks or even the GT road or the bulwark of the Indian Railways. The answer is a big No. Look at all cities built by the Indian Maharajahs or the Nawabs and compare them with cities built by the British. Congested lanes, houses packed like sardines, inadequate civic infrastructure and a mess is what generally symbolizes our own creation.

I shudder to think what would have been the state of affairs had the British not entered India. Yes, it is a fact that they also drained our country of precious resources and wealth, but left to us we would also have plundered and wasted the same, of that I am sure.

A glance at the everyday's newspaper tells everything. There are negative reports encompassing every single sphere of our activities. There are serious shortcomings in every single sector of our nation, especially those where the sarkari tantra is in the leading situation.

If everything is bad, does'nt the answer lie elsewhere. Perhaps it lies in our inability to govern ourselves well. This is the disease and everything else is a symptom. But unfortunately, like a wayside quack, we keep ourselves forever busy trying to treat the symptom, without having even the foggiest idea of the root cause.

I am convinced that when we got independence, we were like a five year old who has been let free by the parents. The child would definitely run amok and ruin his or her life. Same has been our story as a nation. An immature and uneducated society was permitted to govern itself, and look where we are.

Is there no salvation? Is there no hope? The answer is a big NO. There is hope provided we are able to throw up the right kind of leadership that is able to lead the five year old (that we still are) through the ups and downs of life to mature into a human being that one can be proud of.

Will the nation ever get such a leadership? Only time will tell.

Friday, April 30, 2010

We shall make it

I have a hunch that India shall present a spectacular show during the forthcoming commonwealth games. Things now seem to be moving fast and am sure that the speed would continuously accelerate in the coming months.

Connaught Place seems set to revive its old glory. The stadiums and other facilities are fast attaining completion and even the railways is now fast putting its act togethor to present the stations and services in a remarkably improved shape.

A system that is not very conducive for deliverance can also deliver provided the will is there and this time certainly, the will does not seem lacking.

The show will be spectacular, and if India also manages a decent haul of medals, it would be the icing on the cake, a cake that would be savored by the entire population.

I am now keenly awaiting the games, with pride of course.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why react on everything

I fail to appreciate why most of us react on whatever happens around them and wonder whether it is necessary to do so. Perhaps life becomes easy if one does so because then one does not have to think. The environment does the thinking for him and he just becomes a tool in the hands of the environment.

Missing "proactiveness" is the cause of worry. A missing conviction amongst most of us that even chaos has a beautiful way of settling down if left untouched is also a cause of worry. But it is easier said than done. Our inherent trait to poke our nose into every affair and to pass value judgements on everything under the sun, primarily to look intelligent in the eyes of others is a cause of worry.

When shall we Indians, especially the species of the sarkari variety start appreciating that their job is not only to react on all occasions but also to be proactive and have a personal developmental and growth agenda. Organizations decay in the absence of proactivity.

Cleanliness is Godliness

I often wonder how Corporate headquarters, especially in the sarkari sector, most of which have abandoned any semblence of cleanliness or orderliness try to make their subordinate offices neat and efficient. Such claims or efforts, in my opinion are not even worth the paper which they are written on or issued. Only exceptions, so far in my career, have been experiences with the Rail Bhawan and now, the Vallabh Bhawan. These two office buildings present quite a non-sarkari appearance and an equally appropriate working environment. They definitely smack of efficiency, whether they are or not is besides the point. A visit to the Rail Bhawan surprises even the hardcore Delhiite. The corridors, toilets and public areas are definetely a cut above the rest of the Bhawans. And even the archives are a class. One can locate a file or a noting made almost fifty years ago. But, a dekko of most of the sectional offices and officers chambers leaves one dazed, mainly because of the glaring contrast between the public and the private areas. Well anyway, the mandarins of the Rail Bhawan definitely deserve a pat on their back for their efforts in keeping the building clean and smart. I also clearly remember my visits to the Paryaran Bhawan which houses the union ministry of environment. Well now matters seem to have improved but earlier I used to wonder how a ministry which cant maintain its own environment can do justice to the “environment” of the country? Talking of environment, that is perhaps the most important aspect, but which most of us, almost the majority of us experience, but fail to appreciate. My first brush with environment was during those heady days of probationary period at Calcutta, almost a quarter century back when while descending the stairs of the metro station at Calcutta, I suddenly came alive to the impact environment has on us mere mortals. It was an experience which I fail to forget. The same Calcuttan who treated littering and spitting in public places as an accepted trait of the society, changed colors within a space of only a hundred odd steps. One does not dare litter or even spit inside the metro stations at Calcutta merely because of the pride, which the wonderful environment inside metro stations instills in the Calcuttans. The story of the Delhi Metro is almost similar. Similar experiences at various other places in our Bharatvarsh has reinforced this belief and I am now convinced that one does not litter a clean place. Also having experienced the effect which cleanliness and orderliness had on me in almost all the offices I have inhabited so far in my career of twenty four years, I am fully convinced that a neat, clean and organized environment generates positive vibes which have a multiplier effect on efficiency with consequent growth in deliverance. And so my first task in joining any new organization is to try to effect a change in the working environment. It has happened in all my offices, in railways, the ministry of tourism, the India Tourism Development Corporation and now the State Tourism Corporation. Cleaning up the seat of power and that too literally is the task for the first day, to be followed by beautifying the working environment, both hardware and the software. I find it strange how we sarkari babus manage not to throw even paper, which is useless, out of date, irrelevant or even dirty enough to soil our hands and the table it is put upon. And so we have piles and piles of files, piled up in almirahs, inside and on top of them in typical government offices, and absolute indifference on part of all of us to do anything about it. And it is not just files, but old cardboard boxes, file covers, old pieces of dusting cloth and if one looks hard enough, even old slippers tucked under the almirahs. Broken furniture is omnipresent. But before passing any value judgement, let us try to analyze why someone who maintains his home absolutely spic and span fails to carry his zeal to the work place. Is it because of lethargy, aversion to cleanliness, too much work or just indifference. I feel it is the last, indifference it is, but why? The answer lies in our not being able to correlate our activities with deliverance and that leads to indifference towards whatever we do at work and also the surrounding environment. Official work has become a drudgery that has to be endured. Nothing matters whatever we do has become the prevalent belief even amongst the elite in the ruling class – the bureaucrat. And this is something that has to change, if we are to change for the better. Amen.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

who will do it

The recent Delhi tourism conclave concluded on the note that the recommendations of the conference should monitored by the body for implementation. The conference as usual saw generation of a lot of ideas by experts of various shades and hues. I was feeling pity for the organizer, the MD of the DTTDC who was the only one in the large gathering who had the responsibility for implementation. Rest all were free to generate ideas, rapidly.
That precisely is the problem of Hindustan, the country that has almost everyone full of ideas and suggestions, but has very few people who have the capability to convert an idea into a reality through the maze of a variety of rules and procedures. The situation is so complex that it almost borders on the hilarious.
Why is it so? Why have we made deliverance impossible in a country that almost begs its inhabitants for deliverance. For we have everything, a rich culture, a glorious past, unmatched legacy, brilliant people, but we do not have deliverance on the scale it should be witnessed.
And we accept the nonsense. We accept that the present way of doing things is sacrosanct and that deliverance is not. And so we have a complicated bureaucracy, almost the mother of all bureaucracies that is hell bent on complicating matters, by the day and gloating in its remaining maddeningly busy without even producing a lemon.
We have to accept that there is a problem in the way our country handles its problems, its deliverance. Our refusal to accept the same is the source of the problem. For if we dont even accept the existance of the problem, we shall never move even an inch in the direction of resolving it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dreaming of Utopia

For govt officers, especially those who can be classified as bureaucrats, I often wonder, is it necessary to be rough, unconcerned with humanity, selfish and to treat those under him with total disdain and to suck up to those whom he reports to?

Yes most of us behave in the fashion we should not be behaving in. And the tragedy is that all those who behave in this fashion think that they are right and that this is the only way organizations should be run or handled, except that when it comes to them, they expect their superiors to behave in a different fashion.

Do we really believe from the core of our hearts that human beings perform only when they are mistrusted and shouted at? Is deliverance therefore a function of our vocal chords and not of managerial skills and leadership qualities?

I find it rather strange that a "human being" centric organization like the railways has mistrust of everyone as its USP. Yes there are exceptions, but exceptions do not make the rule. Personally my belief is that the best of humans can only be achieved by total trust and absolute respect. After all, all religions teach us about the oneness of human beings and God, and therefore why there should not be total trust and absolute respect for each other and as a corollary why people shall not put in their best effort in whatever they do.

Call a man a dog, and he behaves like one. Call a man a thief and he behaves like one.

These sub human qualities are what differentiate a developing economy like ours with a developed economy like that of the western world. And these are qualities, traits to be more exact that would forever keep us in the developing league.

I wish things could be changed. I long for an ideal world, a world where everyone is given, by the system the basic dignity and respect that every one of us deserves and has a right to.

Sound like Utopia, is'nt it. And this utopia is to be made a reality by all of us, no lord is going to descend from the heavens to do it for us.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Merit in the new India

How does one define merit in the new and vibrant democracy that India is now. The opening up of the economy in the early 1990's has now positioned the country on the verge of an entry in the real big league. Merit will or should now attract attention for it is the only thing that would facilitate deliverance, something that the country really needs.
But for all of us from the sarkari sector, merit carries a different definition. Merit in the true sense fails to carry any meaning in the sarkari sector of the country. Connections, pliability, adjustability, an absence of a value system, sycophancy, feudal traits are what really characterise meritocracy in this artificial world inhabited by the sarkari kind of people.
And railways really takes the cake in this field. 30 years of service has failed in ingrain in me meritocracy of the artificial kind practised in this sector. And so I continue to feel out of place in this setup. But it hardly matters. We have emerged into an organization that is inhabited by people who only look up, neither sideways or below. And so HR suffers, badly. I can see it and also feel it almost always.
The only saving grace is that true meritocracy is thriving in the private sector of the country and that should save the day for India.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Love not Pride

Being an Indian, I love India but do not take pride in it.
Being a railwayman, I love Indian Railways but do not take pride in it.
How can I take pride in my country, that is interlaced with poverty and rampant corruption. A country that even after 60 years of independance has failed to provide even the most basic necessities to its citizens. A country that ranks high on the corruption index but very low on the human development index. A country that is almost at the bottom of the list of nations and perhaps ranks marginally above its even more lowly placed neighbors.
How can I take pride in my railways that has sacrificed deliverance for rules and procedures. Rules and procedures that do not facilitate, but obstruct deliverance. A railway that is least concerned with HR, a system that makes any development a monumental task, a set of officers who have and apply only negative powers, whose focus is only self gratification, not welfare of the men at large.
Love yes but pride no. Love is there for anything that is close to the heart. Pride can only be for excellence, not for rot, howsoever close to the heart it may be.