Today an impression has gained ground in Indian that politics is the last resort of rogue and therefore every politician is dishonest to a lesser or greater degree. We often hear people around us saying, “Politics is a dirty game, ” Every sort of person except a politician can be reformed,” and so on and so forth, Such is the popular apathy towards the field of politics that its rating as a profession is very low.
However, unlike the popular impression all politicians are not of the tarnished bandwagon. The negative opinion is basically prejudiced. There may be unwanted politicians with shades of grey, dominating the scene, but good people with true social service motto, are not completely wanting.
As Shakespeare has said “There is noting good or bad but thinking makes it so”. Merely talking of corruption and dirtiness prevailing in politics cannot get rid of evil. Even Gandhi had an evasive attitude towards politics. He key way from it, owning to its corrupt and dirty particles. But simply keeping a distance cannot convert the profession into a respectable one. Except for a few people, nobody has made it a top choice. The reputation of politics cannot be improved if no truthful, courteous and considerate man of principle enters this field. Life a coin, politics also has two faces. One side are the persons who are elected and the other who are not elected. As in a coin, both these faces are equal and no one is preferred to the other if the basic function and duty of a politician is taken into consideration. But today, a successful politician is considered as that person who wins the election. It no doubt shows people’s confidence in him but it also encourages short term politics and programmers with a view to win the election.
One of the major problems facing our country is the preservation of unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country, which is natural and languages. But it is the duty of a politician to act as a thread to bind all pearls into a single chain. One of the reason for people to be misled by politicians and political parties is the prevailing illiteracy and people’ ignorance about various laws and their rights. It serves the purpose of politicians and people can be easily fooled and cheated. Thus, political illiteracy is dangerous as it kills the basic meaning of democracy.
In today’s scenario, Bureaucrats are often as the receiving ends of politics. If the present day pressure on bureaucrats are not eased, we might soon witness the situation prevailing in counties like Mexico, where the administrators virtually live in fear. Politics is a process of governance through public offer. A person who is in politics is involved in influencing public decision making. On the other hand, Bureaucrats are civil or public servants who comprise the administration of the Government. They not only implement the policies of the Government but also help to shape them . In any democracy, the Bureaucrats has to be strong enough to withstand changes in the political hierarchy in order to make the institution survives. Politicians, at the helm of affairs, come and go with alarming regularity. It is only the bureaucrats that holds the nation together by formulating the long-term policies and implementing them. Regrettably, no political party in the country is prepared to concede even a modicum of independence to its civil servants, called the pillars of administration.
The essential function of a bureaucrats are counseling the political bosses in their need for making the right decision for the general good and common welfare. It comprises laying down the the policy guidelines and then implementation them without fear or favor. Bureaucrats have to be objective, fair and dispassionate in the discharge of their duties. A bureaucrats who is imbued with zeal and enthusiasm, however, soon finds that all his sincere efforts to being useful to the society come to enough on account of political interference in his to-day working. As a result, enthusiasm wanes and either he works in tandem with his ever changing political bosses or treats his job as a routine one. In both cases it is the people who suffer.
Another major challenge, a bureaucrats faces today is in the context of fast expanding role of Government in the economic, social and scientific spheres. Since he works under anonymity, the people do not know most of his problem. His code of conduct also prohibits from airing his feelings, disappointments and the resultant frustration. The system, as it exists today, fails to tap the full potential of the bureaucrats . Then there is the issue of excessive centralization. Ministers sit tight on vital policy matters making its implementation slow and tardy. Autonomy of bureaucrats, as it prevails in the United Kingdom, from where Indian has inherited the bureaucratic system, is conspicuous by it’s absence in India. Coalition Government have come to stay. Therefore, every, issue needs protracted discussions with various parties before being resolved. This has compelled political parties to get committed bureaucrats to do the various jobs. The bureaucrats know how the system works, but they may not be fully aware of the difficulties at grass roots level.
The advantage with bureaucrats is that they are educated and well-informed. Since they have achieved and testified their role during their role during their career, they have the ability to lead the country in a right manner. The most widely cited reason by bureaucrats when they join politics is that they wish to “Serve the People” . They feel that they can make successful politicians since their former career makes them greatly knowledgeable about governance, the administrative machinery and persistent problems confronting the masses. Some former bureaucrats who have entered politics are Ajot Jogi, Yashwant Sinha, Jagmohan and very recently Shashi Tharoor.
A bureaucrats , without exception has to resign before joining politics. That is a tough call as politics is unpredictable. If one does not make a grade in it after quitting bureaucrats, he will forfeit even the monthly salary which he would be drawing as a public servant. Hence, it would be a tough decision for them to enter politics. There are also theories about why bureaucrats do not make successful politicians. It is said that politics does not suit bureaucrats as they have a habit to postpone everything. Another reason is that they do not have the money-power or money-backing, one of the major requirement to win an election. Also, some say, they have done public service for decades together as bureaucrats , and hence choose not to join politics after retirement. Moreover, professional politicians do not encourage the entry of bureaucrats into their fields, saying they should rather concentrate in social work in their respective native place as elected representatives.
But, if IAS and IPS officers enter politics by quitting their jobs, the people of the country can expect a certain amount of rational behavior from them, Since they are aware of the lacunae in policy implementation, they would do well as policy-makers. Hence, bureaucrats with proven track record should be encourage to enter politics. They can bring in a good mix of creativity and experience and contribute towards nation building. However, their attitude should be of a zealous reformer who wants to brings about positive changes, rather than merely trying luck in politics. The country stands to again a lot from the experience and expertise of public servants who join politics.
- A bureaucrat, without exception has to resign before joining politics. That is a tough call as politics is unpredictable. If one does not make a grade in it after quitting bureaucrats , he will forfeited even the monthly salary which he would be drawing as a public servant. Hence, it would be a tough decision for them to enter politics.
- The advantage with bureaucrats is that they are educated an well-informed. Since they have achieved and testified their role during there career, they have the ability to lead the country in a right manner.
- Bureaucrats with proved track record should be encouraged to enter politics. They can bring in a good mix of creativity and experience and contribute towards nation building.
By Manish Hazarika
(Graduate from Tinsukia College, Assam.)