DailyPost 1766

What really makes a marked difference in the lives of the people and of the nation is having persons with a very elevated, demonstrated Governance Stature. Governance Stature means the capability for a political executive / bureaucrat / technocrat to deliver projects or services of the right quality, at the right costing and without time overrun. The projects should be impact making and should have no considerations of vested interest from any angle. He has to keep doing it consistently for decades with barely any slippages, to earn this epithet. Do we even talk on these lines or we are just happy with somebody adorning the post.

Governance is an intangible way of delivering the most tangible results at scale for a large part of the population. People who grow up in stature while practicing the art of governance have  a clear cut demonstration capability. Demonstrated capability means quality delivery on the ground and not just making tall claims while being a  part of the government. Lee Kuan Yew is one such person, whose governance stature grew, maybe with each passing year of his regime. T.N. Seshan redefined election management in India. There are some exceptional bureaucrats and technocrats who have grown up in governance stature in their career or tenure and are remembered long after they have left the scene. Some leave behind hard legacies which can never be forgotten.

People who govern the most are known the least for their governance stature. In a country like India it is never up for consideration. Governance stature for them is not even a subset of the Political Stature, which is flaunted over and over again. The disconnect between the two has left the country bleeding, the crevices can be seen and felt all across the country. One recent example can be the health infrastructure of the nation. How many times you have represented a constituency and what has been the victory margin and at times whom you have defeated, gives you the right of passage to a position where only governance stature matters. Not that it cannot be learnt, but it can be learned and then delivered only the hard way and it takes a long time. Who has the patience?

Political executive and governance are intertwined. This can only be delivered through the bridge of governance stature. The direct connection between political stature and the highest seats of power is too entrenched to be even thought to be touched. A political heavyweight being disregarded for the want of governance stature is not a part of the political DNA. The running principle is that government post should be commensurate with the political stature. This political principle has never delivered, but that happens to have become the de facto law of the land. The masses will have to wait till the time Governance Stature becomes the guiding principle of  governments. Not everything can be prescribed by the constitution.


Sanjay Sahay

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