DailyPost 2409

Democracies are created, operated, elevated and celebrated by men and women of steel, with a whole load of grey matter sitting on their head. They are hardened by knowledge, expertise, experience and time to deliver only what the country wants, deserves and should be legally delivered. Democratic systems are not created on the divine right of kings nor even on personal favours or nepotism but on merit and talent either through competitive exams, interviews et al or through fighting the elections proving your worth in the democratic scheme of things. It is neither a spoils system nor a largesse system.

While the whole framework has been created for a different nature of functioning, the practice seems to turning out that; ”you need to be servile to anyone who appoints you.” If all the immunity provided in law for every single act and every position you hold and the service you are in is not enough, then there cannot be possibly no better civil service mechanism. No system can create spirit, soul and conscience through legal immunity and checks and balances, a robust culture of that nature has to be created, in the interest of a worthwhile functioning of the nation. How much conversant are powers that be, with this mechanism to enable India into democratic development and growth trajectory.

Might be this whole malaise started the political spoils system for the positions in the political executive, and connected universe. Merit, talent and expertise were of no concern and they got such jobs or were thrown out of them, based only on loyalty, running errands; good or bad for someone who has put you into that position. The feeder line of the political party also worked on similar systems. The permanent bureaucracy was created was with a radically different concept and purpose. They were trained and groomed accordingly. They together have been called the steel fame and each one of them was supposed to carry his own spine, besides being objective and immensely professional; expertise and knowledge enabled was a given.

They were supposed to the masters of the ecosystem, could navigate in whichever way they wanted, in the interest of the citizens, department, government and the nation. But quite sometime now servility is taking a toll on them. The general perception and rightly so, proven by innumerable examples of action and inaction to prove it is well founded. Either they have made you into bystanders or collaborators in a game, which is legally offensive to play. It goes against the very basic tenets of their existence. Over the years constitutional positions becoming servile has become the norm. Of the running errands bureaucracy the less said the better. The lower bureaucracy and being objective are like talking about two different worlds. The descent has been steep because of multifarious vested interests, resurrection to the normal state, seems unlikely at this juncture.

Sanjay Sahay

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