DailyPost 1772

The postings of the bureaucracy were to be routine matters with the presumption that everybody is equal and would get his due. The postings of the bureaucracy has now been successfully transitioned to ”the bureaucracy of postings.” A new terminology which precisely means its existence revolves around the axis of postings. Postings are clearly defined as good, average and bad. Might be beyond the pale of bad are the punishment postings. It would be next to impossible to talk to bureaucrats or friends and their family without talking of postings. It is a badge of honor which you carry with yourself.

While the effort on the face of it is to bring more and more fairness into the system, the harsh reality is we are moving in exactly the opposite direction. Having taken a ringside view of these very neatly calibrated musical chairs, the world certainly wonders or even misses a heart beat in amazement, when it sees the impact of the transfer of a Police Commissioner in the financial capital of India. The story is an unending saga of the same can of worms opening again and again and again. How does it happen this way and why does it happen this way? Is it the only way of defining one’s existence; the post he holds?

Most of the heartburns happen out of the chase for good posts or top positions. Life comes to a standstill, if you land up in a posting which is not of your choice. How your peers look at you depends on your posting or series of them?  A series of good ones takes you to an elevated category. Different positions carry different perks and privileges depending on its job description. The visibility factor also counts. When bureaucracy itself means power, the closer you are to the centers of power, more is your power also. The opportunity a post provides to move the levers of power to your own advantage and for others you want to, also speaks of the inherent power of that post.

The financial resources which one controls is one of the parameters of a good post. Administrative and financial independence to a considerable degree also tilts in favor of being a post highly prized. When such posts are few and there is race among many and given the straight jacketed thought process of the civil servants, it happens to be a fight to the finish. Once you get into the ”elite circle” of the favored ones, you can keep improving your area of influence in the circle it matters. As a matter of fact, all decisions on senior level postings are done by the political executive. Bureaucracy was meant to be impersonal, professional and always delivering. Being a part of the bureaucracy was a privilege in itself, seems to have become an old-fashioned thought. The bureaucracy of postings brings with it baggage which the country finds difficult to bear.


Sanjay Sahay

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