Monday, October 21, 2013

Prez Gives Tips: How bureaucrats should be patient, tactful in withstanding political pressure

IT WAS sometime in 1970s. “Mr Minister, when I receive instructions from you, I do not look at your face. I look beyond your face, at the vast multitude of people of this country who have chosen you to be here.” This was what a senior Government of India secretary replied to then young minister, now President of India, Pranab Mukherjee when he asked the bureaucrat whether he felt “embarrassed” taking…
instructions from a young minister like him. Mukherjee was narrating the incident while addressing officers belonging to IAS, IPS, IFS and Royal Bhutan Civil Service at a function held at Mussoorie’s Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) on Friday.
In this age of growing political pressure on bureaucrats, many officers wanted to know Mukherjee’s prescription for dealing with such a situation. Mukherjee who had worked as a minister for many years during the last four decades before moving to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, said civil servants facing political pressure needed to be patient and tactful in handling issues within the prescribed legal framework. At the same time civil servants should understand the compulsion of political leaders who are answerable to their constituents, in wake of the growing development aspirations, Mukherjee added. He advised civil servants to have a vision of their own.
President attended the valedictory function of 7th MCTP Phase-V 2013. The course team comprises LBSNAA director Padamvir Singh, joint directors Sanjeev Chopra and Ranjana Chopra, and deputy director Prem Singh. The other dignitaries present on the occasion included Governor of Uttarakhand Aziz Qureshi, Union minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions V Narayanasamy and DoPT secretary SK Sarkar.


  1. Tips in favour of netas, it seems. Liked the point of being "tactful in handling issues within the prescribed legal framework". That's a good point.

  2. "The compulsion of political leaders who are answerable to their constituents, in wake of the growing development aspirations"-A perfect statement, on realizing this now politicians working on them in order to retain their power

  3. There has always been a friction b/w politicians and bureaucrats, and this should also be seen as mandatory as politicians are public representatives who are directly in touch with the public and finds new issues of the common people and society, while bureaucrats works as a machinery in the background afterall for the people too, so interference of public representatives is the interference of the "public itself" for their ownself.

    Note:some politicians use this as trick to offence some public servants for their personal benefit.