By: Rakesh Kumar Sharma
It has become a common parlance these days to criticise the entire political, bureaucratic and social system. Right from the farmers in villages, the ‘coffee-house middle class’ and even the so-called elites – everyone indirectly praises himself/herself by criticizing others. We perhaps see fault everywhere except in our own domain, hence making our analysis highly biased. If we take the courage to include ourselves in this faulty system, the blame can be put to the entire democratic setup, of which we are an integral part.
Too much diversity in society due to socio-cultural, economic and religious factors could not bring forth the good leadership. Over the last sixty years, democratic practice has evolved in such a manner where understanding the type of people entering the politics is very clear. It is perhaps the easiest way to progress and accumulate wealth. In the name of decentralization, we created more hands to eat into public coffers. Such behaviour is a typical feature of a developing country with an uncertain future and negligible social security. It is even more acute in a country like India where personal identity and opportunity is seen missing in the large crowd.
When we compare ourselves with other parts of country, a sense of contentment may appear due to better environment and less income disparities. But for the better progress in level of living and quality of governance, we should aim high and strive for achieving the development level of developed countries of the same size and population.
But this objective seems very difficult in Himachal Pradesh under present conditions, where we are engulfing deeper and deeper into the bureaucratic setup marked with objections, delays and power concentrations. This is a very serious problem in a state where the role of government sector is still too much. This has also altered the social system in accordance with the “nuisance power”. Identity of an individual is seen with his position to influence public decisions. For the preferential treatments, each segment of the society cannot see itself in isolation. Even the so-called influential people know that their kins cannot survive in such a system without any influence. The job for which people are paid from the public money is seen as a matter of right and the duty as a prerogative.
The babudom is not confined to any class of employees now but includes most sections of the bureaucracy, who keeps a negative mindset resting on objections, formalities and delays. Unless the objectives rise above expensive cars, red light, flag, bungalow, servants, etc. expectations for responsible, timely and efficient public services will be a distant dream. Such aberrations in the public services are leading to overall degeneration of all segments of the society, which is also discouraging the private sector and the honest tax payers. It is very sad that we have gone insensitive to all these issues. That is why we forget issues like absenteeism in offices and misuse of official vehicles, within hours after sting operation revelations.
To continue………… (Examples, repercussions, options etc.)