gfiles magazine

May 10, 2012

Heroes or villains?

psychology prabhat kumar
Heroes or villains?
The civil servant is afraid of annoying his political masters; afraid to do something that does not have a precedence and is always fearful of being victimised.
The civil service in India has lost much of its credibility because of its own undoing. Despite possessing unmatched intellectual calibre, its members have relegated themselves to playing the role of passive advisors and order takers. They have not assumed the ownership of policies aimed at improving the welfare of the people. Instead of talking about innovative strategies for poverty alleviation and social justice, they have ceded the initiative of voicing the aspirations of the masses to other actors. In fact, politicians, civil society and the media have rendered the civil service into being a caricature of stupidity. Now its incompatibility with governance is a syndrome that is being passed down from senior members to new entrants.
It is said that every dog has his day; except the Indian civil servant. For the last 60 years after Sardar Patel, rarely has a civil servant been credited with anything. While he is regarded as a character in the drama of governance, one is not too sure about the role he plays. Is it that of a villain or of a comedian? Or is he merely a sidekick of the villain?

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