gfiles magazine

April 9, 2012

His Master’s Voice

His Master’s Voice
The politico-bureaucratic nexus seems to have grown to alarming proportions and the number of public servants who have kept away is diminishing fast
India is a democracy where the upper echelons of the executive consist of political entities. Thus, at the top of the huge executive structure we find the political masters holding the real reign of power. Under this political leadership, exists a very large bureaucracy consisting of public servants of all ranks and file. Thus, at the Center we have the IAS officers at the top of the career bureaucrats followed by all kinds of generalists and specialists. In the States, we find the IAS officers closely followed by the IPS officers. The State Civil and Police Service officers form a separate class in importance, which head a huge plethora of government officials of different ranks. This structure is well-known to most of us.
The entire purpose of having these two kinds of executive functionaries — political masters at the top followed, aided and assisted by career bureaucrats — was to keep a fine balance between change and stability. We all know that progress and development, in tune with the fast changing times, is a sine qua non for any progressive society that wants to keep itself alive. But at the same time, some form of ruggedness and stability too is needed so that the entire structure does not wither away without a new one being created. The entire bureaucracy has been framed for this purpose – to have people for whom the only thing that matters is a set of definite rules and regulations as formulated and presented to them, either through the legislature or through the higher executive.
Thus, the way it was initially envisaged by the Constitution makers, public servants were to remain immune to the political developments around them and had to concern themselves only with what the statute books, rules and regulations said. Thus, though the political masters and the government servants would be working together to achieve the goals of governance, they would still be forming separate classes. This would also mean that the change of guard at the higher echelons of governance would not much affect the government servants, either in their fortune or their outlook because their prime concern, focus and loyalty was to be with the statute books and not with the political masters. ......READMORE :

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