Bureaucracy in India is an important arm to carry out the political mandate of an elected government. When the programmes and policies are clearly defined in the bureaucratic set-up, there is no confusion. Bureaucracy, the pivotal arm for programme implementation, is happy when political masters own and direct the programmes by signing the documents for implementation. The conflict between the two emerges when political bosses instruct the bureaucracy orally to implement their personal agenda. In that sense, the political bosses desire that their misdoing be owned and justified by the bureaucracy. Some officers, who are more loyal than the king, then start pursuing their masters’ wishes. They force their colleagues to follow suit.
Most of the time, officers cooperate. But sometimes it is not possible due to the gravity of the task. This makes political bosses furious. The situation has become so complex today that secretaries of ministries stop performing a year before their retirement because they don’t want to be called back by the CAG, CBI, CVC, Courts or face an RTI inquiry after retirement. The 2G and Coalgate scams have shattered the confidence of the bureaucracy. The ‘4Cs and 1R’ thus has become one of the major causes of policy paralysis besetting the government. Will the NarendraModi Government be able to come out of this policy paralysis and restore the confidence of the bureaucracy? Prabhat Kumar, MG Devasahayam and Neeraj Mahajan try to find out.
Vol. 8, issue 3 | June 2014