DailyPost 1825

The red tape and serpentine ways of government processes have all become a part of the people’s and country’s folklore. The digital mode of existence has certainly made some dents here and there, the overall impact on the ease of life, might still take some time. What cannot be done to enable systemic improvement overnight or even over a long period of time, is one part of the story, more critical to administration  are deliberate actions which create rigmaroles and in which the  administrative machinery gets embroiled, it spills to the courts and becomes an endless affair. Hundreds of these issues are happening regularly across the country. Does it even provide the chance to put the energies on the productive mode.

One activity which steals the show is the cabinet formation. There would never be a time when there is no state in the country going through cabinet birthing troubles, the current being Punjab. What deliberations and for what purpose? Can anybody give the connection between these deliberations, the candidates selected, their departments and finally the governance delivered. Recently, we had in Karnataka too and Gujarat witnessed peace time change, lock, stock and barrel. Most of the time, there is some circus going on for entry and exit to cabinet berths, either at the center or in the states. These are the heads of the departments and how much they impact the government, governance and the citizens, is left to your imagination.

If this were to be a one-off affair, of administrative rigmarole, somehow the system could have digested. Mumbai witnessed a super administratively hilarious investigation last year. It tied the focus to itself, both in the state and the center. Now we have the unfolding saga of an Ex. Police Commissioner and Ex. Home Minister playing out for months together. How do the government departments manage such self-inflicting wounds? In what pitiable state does it leave the administrative machinery? The complexity of governance is unimaginable, an expertise becoming rarer, in that backdrop where all these decisions leave us. In another appointment at a similar level, it is playing out in the court. The nuances of  court battles cannot be a remedy to the already lost administrative battles.

On a totally different footing we have the pothole story in the IT capital of the country for the last so many years. Governments have come and gone and endless judicial interventions have also happened. Deaths and media glare also does not help matters. It affects all – the government servants, politicians themselves besides the ever suffering citizens. What is so endemic in the system that no solution sees the light of the day. Again there is an administrative rigmarole which has perfected itself, which makes it happen in the first place and more importantly, makes it sustain in an even more robust manner, whatever come may. Right or wrong, either administrative  rigmarole wins or it is made to win. How to get over it, is the trillion dollar question of Indian governance.


Sanjay Sahay

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