Today corruption and nepotism are wide-spread in Indian national life. It is said that Government officers are corrupt, dishonest and insincere. They do not have the qualities of head and heart which an ideal officer should have. Let us first try to determine the qualities of an ideal officer, and then find out what are the causes which have resulted in a fall from the ideal.
An ideal officer, should, at least, have the following qualities. He must have a commanding personality and qualities of leadership. He must be firm and efficient. He must deal with the public sympathetically. He must develop a sense of confidence among people who come in contact with him. He must be tactful and he should also be morally strong. He must be intelligent and laborious. He must not yield to pressure of influence. Justice to all and partiality to none should be the ruling motto of his life. Sometimes officers ‘have to take decision on the spot’. So an ideal officer must be mentally alert. He must have presence of mind. He must be quick-witted.
An ideal officer should not be unsympathetic to his subordinates or to the general public. He should be alert and prompt. He should have considerable patience. He must not lose temper at trifles. He must not be short-tempered. He should behave without fear or favor. He should rise above the spirit of cartelism or communalism. He should work according to his own conscience. If necessary, he must not hesitate to consult his colleagues, even the junior ones. He should not regard such consultations below his dignity. One of the most important qualities of an ideal officer is that he should not belong to any political party.
Unfortunately, in the prevailing atmosphere of corruption in India, an ideal officer is difficult to find. No one can show his abilities and inborn qualities. Virtue is not suitable rewarded. Legislators, Ministers, politically influential people, a corrupt police, desperate criminals and several other evils are more than sufficient to paralyze even the best officer. Every officer is dependent on these external factors. He cannot use his own abilities and intelligence in solving the problems. He is merely a puppet.
As bribery and corruption are important tools of success every sphere of life, no officer can work honestly and impartially. All this has been recently demonstrated by the case of Mrs. Kiran Bedi, one of the Police Commissioners of Delhi. She is an officer of well-established honesty and integrity and efficiency. In very was she has been an ideal officer. But once she was in trouble simply because she handcuffed and advocate who was caught stealing from a lady’s purse in the common room of one of the women’s college of Delhi, and who gave a false name and tried to conceal his identity as an Advocate.
In short if today Indian officers are corrupt and dishonest, the fault lies not with them but with the atmosphere in which they work. Every possible effort should be made to ensure that they are able to work freely without any outside interference or threat on the part of interested politicians or other influential persons.