Monday, December 26, 2011

Anna's contribution to the collapse of governance

Anna Hazare, the itinerant crusader against corruption has made one fundamental mistake. He has failed to define corruption. It is this borderline which the blackmailers and persons with vested interests have always used to browbeat honest officials to do their bidding.
How does the govt. system work. it follows a set of laws, rules and regulations to deliver services and regulate the system. There are ways of doiing this. You follow the rules to the letter and you are accused of red tapism. You tweak the rules to speed up work and you could end up on the wrong side of superiors. When I joined service, an irregularity was treated as a minor infraction and it could easily be regularised depending on how your bona fides were viewed. With the proliferation of vigilance agencies (to which we will add Lok Pal soon) and the probing eyes of burgeoning news channels, every minor infraction is getting translated into culpability. This is only strengthening the technically correct adherence to rules,i.e. the infamous Red Tape and making it virtually impossible for anyone to bend the rule to speed up work. With an overzealous CBI chargesheeting people at will and media breathing down their neck, we are going to introduce a great disservice to our citizen, i.e. the extinction of the public-spirited bureaucrat.

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