Monday, January 04, 2010

My Take: Bureaucrats must party hard but work harder

NOT all Indian bureaucrats by nature are party animals. As an IAS officer by and large begins his career in a small city or town and becomes a district magistrate handling the affairs of the entire district at a fairly young age, he becomes responsible and highly sensitive to social dos and don'ts. The same logic is applicable to an IPS officer too, as managing law and order of a district as a young superintendent of police (SP) is quite a challenging task forcing him to turn matured for the rest of his life. In fact, officers of other allied services too handle highly respectable assignments in the first five years of their career and that rich experience builds the foundation of how to manage, or at times how to beat the system, for the next three decades of their service in government.
Having said that, let's acknowledge the fact that not all Indian bureaucrats become super humans with spotless personal and professional credentials. Some of them overtly misuse their official power and position for pure personal gains, be it materialistic or egoistic in nature, and a few of them become utterly careless in day-to-day affairs, making themselves vulnerable to a potential expose' that may end their career abruptly.
If you have not so far figured out what makes babu blogger to write this editorial piece rather than spoting yet another news or trend on babudom this Monday morning, here it is. Mahatrashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan ordered on Saturday night the suspension of five Mumbai cops including deputy commissioner of police Vishwas Salve and assistant commissioner of police Prakash Wani after they were seen drinking and dancing in a party organised by men from the underworld.
Yes, if those cops were actually present in a party organised by an aide of an urderworld don as was shown in TV clippings, the law should take its own course and the hitherto law-enforcers should be punished. But the TV channels' repeated telecast of the cops dancing in that controversial Christmas party tends to influence the public opinion in favour of a more generalised perception that Indian "corrupt bureaucrats, mainly the police officers" usually drink and dance in parties and behave rudely with anyone and everyone.
Here is my bottomline: there is nothing wrong for a bureaucrat in partying in a club or dancing in a disco so long as some basic due dilligence is done. Yes, you can't afford to be with criminals whatsoever. But partying per se can't be an offense. Rather, there should be a conscious attempt on the part of some of the stuborn civil servants to change their image, for which regular partying among others could be a helpful tool. In this regard, vast majority of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officers coupled with those in armed forces score better than IAS, IPS and others in allied services. And if you are a party man, why can't you be candid rather than to be seen as a hypocrat? After all, you need to de-stress yourself if you seriously want to wok harder and emerge as Dhoni or Tendulkar of bureaucracy during the time of appraisal.
Yes, you must party hard, but work harder.
Also Read: Three things an Indian bureaucrat must not do (December 28, 2009)

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  1. Days are gone when IAS/IPS officers were really working hard and instrumental in developmental activities. Now these officers no longer work hard but they hardly work and just enjoy the power and prestige of being officers of elite service. Even in Central Government, the Secretaries are confined to their room even do not know who their subordinates are. Many of IAS officers have worked in their cadres for very short period and managed to continue in Central Government under central staffing scheme or by hook or by crook. There were days when IAS officers leaving there comfort use to move on foot to see the progress of developmental activities. It is shocking to see that these IAS officer if they talk to their fellow IAS officers, their P.A. will first ask for the batch and if if he happens to be junior he has to pick up the phone first and wait for his senior to come on line. Specially IAS officers and taught and trained not to mingle with their juniors and officers from other service officers. Question is "Is it the Indian Beaurocracy or Beaurocrazy".

  2. They are the steelframe of the administration...But are babus made of stainless steel ? Doubtful. There are stains here and there...We should also remember to err is human...