The political executive and the legislature generally take all the blame for India’s misery and the general public opinion is that most of the scams are committed by the politicians while the role of the permanent executive, the Sarkari Babus in the Indian context is often ignored or given negligible weight.
We therefore make an attempt to discover how a section of the Sarkari Babus within the offices of the Union and the State Ministries, Government Departments and PSUs have played a major role in India’s failures and how Modi Government by compelling the Sarkari Babus to justify Government privileges has worked in National Interest but created an adverse vote bloc for itself.
Legitimization of lethargic bureaucracy:
It is often believed that omnipotent socialist states usually have huge bureaucracies and red tapism or lethargy is a common ill in such States. This may or may not be true for other socialist states but it is obviously true for India. Over the past 6 decades we have become so habitual of a lethargic and unfriendly attitude of the bureaucracy that the bureaucrats have started acting in such a manner as a matter of right while the public has accepted it as an unchangeable dark reality.
Naïve Politicians reap benefits while Sarkari Babus misappropriate:
It would be wrong to believe that all the scams are committed by the politicians when most of them are naïve and uneducated. How would a Lalu, for instance, have been able to commit a multi crore scam given his credentials. It is for sure, that all the major scams are carried out in connivance between the politicians and the defunct Sarkari Babus. This is the sole reason why the secretarial staff gets either convicted or accused for serious offences with their political masters in almost all the major scams. While certain politicians are the masters of treachery and vote bank politics, a sizeable portion of the bureaucracy is capable of committing misappropriation and economic offences.
The tragedy with our country is that until now is that Governments and after Government have framed such policies which give immense discretionary powers like MNREGA to the Sarkari Babus allowing them to open up the floodgates of corruption. Lack of accountability and irrational policies have thus made sure that the funds which are supposedly sanctioned for ‘welfare’ politics end up in the pockets of bureaucrats’ pockets.
Modi Government’s strict policies:
If you ask 10 Government job aspirants that why they are looking for a Government job, 9 of them will reply that it is so because one does not have to work in a government job. As soon as Modi Government came to power one of the first things that it did was to install biometrics system in the Central Government offices. Gone are the days when a sarkari babu enjoyed the liberty of setting his/her own office timings. The Modi Government actually made a momentous achievement when it was able to confine the bureaucrats in their offices during the office hours. Now we no longer come across a situation when a Misraji is away for tea at 10 in the morning in a Government office, this is the case at least with the offices of the Central Government. As PM Modi himself said during the launch of Startup ‘Today is Saturday, the environment is one of holiday leave alone the question of working post 5 PM, if someone asks you what has changed. This has changed’. The most remarkable achievement of this Government is that it has put to use a set of bureaucrats who looked like the most inefficient of creatures a couple of years ago.
The Modi Government has also shown that it does have the knowhow of putting things in place. Many of the major PSUs which were accounting for losses during UPA’s regimes have started running in operational profits. The biggest revival stories being that of Air India and BSNL which had forgotten the art of making profits in business during the UPA’s regime.
Modi is definitely harboring an adverse vote bloc as for an average bureaucrat who spend his or her whole life learning the art of doing nothing but putting up on the taxpayers’ money, the reality that they have to work if Modi is in power is the greatest disaster.
The defunct and lethargic Babu is a community which cuts across sharply through caste and religious lines. If a Babu does not want to work because he thinks once he cleared a government job examination, he gets the right of sitting idle for the rest of his life, he would definitely portray Modi as a Hitler for making them work and end up voting against him irrespective of his religion or caste. Its also important that other political bigwigs do not have an agenda of inculcating professionalism among the Government Servants they are more involved in giving movie reviews and appeasing certain communities.
An unnoticed phenomenon thus maybe the rise of a new anti Modi Vote Bank the Sarkari Babus of our country.