Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked bureaucrats to stand up against wrongdoings of political masters, saying civil servants must continue their work in the interest of the country and the welfare of people. Sounds very logical, but the ground realities are not what we prophesise. Showing the rule book to political masters Babu sitting in a office knows very well where the nail would hit. The bureaucracy has been imbibed by the principle of non-accountability; lethargy with passing the buck is what we have inherited from the British who ruled India over three hundred years and left the legacy in the form of Babugiri which has not changed an inch from the original. With dull drab office environment, Babu submerged in the stack of files, which have been accumulating dust, finds himself very comfortable with outdated rules and practices. Government may have introduced many reforms from time to time but they have failed to show the wanted results where people find themselves caught between the intricacies of governance. Yes minister has been the dictum of survival for a Babu and any deviation from the same has faced the wrath of the master. Home Minister must have faced the ‘benevolence’ of the bureaucracy some time or the other. It reminds one of the yesteryear’s ‘Yes Minister’ a satirical British sitcom written by Sir Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn that was first transmitted by BBC Television between 1980 and 1984, split over three seven-episode series. The writers were inspired by a variety of sources, including sources inside government, published material and contemporary news stories. The serial was the archetypal of what one sees in government offices. These Babus were never part of the solution but were the problem who followed the rule book to save their skin. Exceptions may be there but generally the environment has not changed much. Decision-making has been the victim as nobody wanted to attract the ire of the ‘Master’. What is needed is to de-politicise the bureaucracy which is must for maintaining the continuity of the progress which nation is looking at. Let there be more freedom in decision-making and decision-taking machinery.
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