The way things are mandated to be, in a developing democratic country by way of leadership, permanence, sustainability, vision and near perfect multidisciplinary understanding of the issue / organization and enterprise and the way it should be, are two poles apart. Based on this understanding, the capability to create a blueprint and deliver, happens to be the challenge of a lifetime, which the democratic political executive and the permanent bureaucracy has perfected to evade. Finally, progress itself gets transferred in the rigmarole of musical chairs and goalposts changes at a breathtaking speed. Do we even have the ability to track progress, audit it and give a timeline in an ever evolving democratic trajectory.
What impact does non-permanence of any post mean to the enterprise? Though the democratic mandate is to keep shuffling people, are we ready to provide any level of permanence within the system; three years, four years or five years as the case may be. Does the CEO of the nation or the states or different ministries / departments or public sector and agencies get a feel that he has been selected for that job and that he is to decide on the fate of the organization for the stipulated time provided to him? Or is he permanently doing a balancing act? If he has the security of tenure for one individual, is there a musical chair of people under him or does he himself is the mastermind of the musical chair.
How many governments have appreciated the work of their predecessors and can the country deliver on piecemeal variety of governance? So many times, the five years term can generate two or three governments. Where is permanence? Even if one government is there, the ministers can keep changing. The real executive in all likelihood will keep changing. In the evolving game of bureaucratic transfers and postings, where does progress have a role to play? How can you then have a vision or own a project or a sector? Or even worse, can he take an independent decision at any level? How many times the decisions have been taken on considerations but for progress? For progress to happen; elections, political power and the career progression of a bureaucrat cannot take precedence.
Making progress happen in any area, institution, enterprise is a decades long affair. Either one person is at the helm of affairs proving his worth every single day or there is a charter which everybody in the organization is mandated to follow on predefined goals. Tough but doable under strict commitment from the top. What it takes to make what milk is today in this country, would not have happened without the permanence which Dr. Kurien created for himself in the dairy ecosystem in the country. Same goes for E Sreedharan of the Delhi Metro fame. Political executives and bureaucrats adorn such positions on a regular basis, only waiting to get transferred or changed as the case may be, and the story repeats itself. The hapless become more hapless. Who would be India’s Lee Kuan Yew?
PROGRESS CANNOT HAPPEN ON MOVING SANDS.