ON THE RECORD…
On the record broadly means on legal records, that falls under legal ambit and you can be held accountable for it. You can be penalized or hauled up for it and can lead to various types of punishment. Contrary to on the record is off the record for which you are not accountable for, in at least the superficial understanding of things. More often than not it holds ground, and for this reason the prevalent mode of the country is off the record, for large part of our activities and its documentation.
Law, practice and enforcement has so not been able to align the real with on the record. Today on the record is right, wrong, true, false, evasive or partial information, no one knows. There seems to be a tacit understanding between the information taker (legal agency / process) for on record purposes, and the person who is providing it. There are barely any mechanisms or resources in place to cross check it with reality. Nor have our systems reached that level of finesse. The most intriguing part is that there is no intention either. Whatever action transpires today is because of discrepancy between two or more documents.
It is not because it is different from reality, that issue might arise only in case of serious investigation. Normal enquiries generally do not reveal anything worthwhile. Create documents and documentation the way it suits you. A speech delivered in legislature is a reality with all existing documentation to prove it, but in the official record it is mutilated and is accepted that way, talks of a mindset that legal documents should be created to suit you. On the other side of the spectrum we have been cases where date of birth is challenged by the person who has provided it, after decades for extending government service. The discrepancy between the real birth date and the official birth date has been a part of our folklore. Spare a thought for our all-pervasive affidavits too.
Kuccha and pucca documents are what this country is made of. The culture of on and off record speaks of a society, business and education which has no conscience. Creation and alignment of documents to meet a fixed narrative or a pre-fixed goal is being practiced left, right and centre. Finding document after document without any discrepancy, gaps and any reason to query, very clearly proves the clarity of its purpose. Degrees and education records hanging in mid-air has been our tradition. For us authentication and validation are not core values, on the face legal record is the what we need and that is the end of the story. Whether it is true or false is no one’s concern. Imagine of the ways integrity is legally validated, and what the reality is.
AS A COUNTRY WE SHOULD RESTORE THE SANCTITY OF ON THE RECORD LEGAL DOCUMENTS. OTHERWISE, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?