Corruption finding its roots in Bureaucracy
In these times when the government has become more dependent on the bureaucracy because the politicians in our country aren’t well-read, most of the politicians who are on the good portfolios in the central government lack decision-making power, and all their decisions about anything related to administration are being worked out by the bureaucrats and most of the powers related to decision making, governing, are being spearheaded by the bureaucrats, and this gives the bureaucracy an undue advantage over the populace, although they aren’t being chosen by the people of this country still, they are being involved by the government in many ways. Now if one talks about corruption in this country bureaucracy comes first in our mind, because the roots of corruption emerge from the bureaucracy because they are the ones who control everything that is taking place in this country. Now with this undue advantage and all these powers that reside with them creates a clear path for them to use the state machinery, system for their benefit, they loot and plunder the state funds, the assets, and nobody can dare to question them.
In many states like Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, bureaucracy has turned into cancer and this cancer is spreading rapidly, rather it has taken over everything that a particular state owns, I know personally, a KAS officer who was posted as a director in one of the departments in the J&K, this gentleman didn't even left the carpets behind that used to adorned the beauty of his office, he just plundered each and everything from famous Kashmiri carpets woven by our expert professional weavers to computers built by one of the giant companies like Microsoft, and Apple. A prime example of the sorry state of affairs, such people after their retirement join politics and upheld the corruption in the system brazenly. In few autonomous bodies in J&K like the so-called bank of poor J&K Bank, Kashmir University, Rural Development, PWD and Fire and Emergency Services Department are the best examples of the corruption, almost all the appointees working in these departments found their ways through the backdoor entry sufficed by the officers who are holding major posts in such departments. Corruption is both anti-national and anti-poor because the resources meant for the development get siphoned off by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. Successors of the ‘heaven born’ colonial Indian Civil Service, or ICS, and the analogous Indian Police or IP, newly independent India’s civil services was not too different. They equitably managed the turbulent times of Partition, rife with bloodshed, refugees’ influx, and the division of assets between the two newly created nations.
Red lights flash continually outside their office doors to further indicate high office and importance. These worthies, ironically known as public servants, are largely inaccessible to common people who obsequiously line up outside their offices for redressal of their grievances, sometimes waiting the entire day without getting to see the ‘sahib’. In colonial times, those in authority were commonly known as ‘mai baap’ (my father); in independent India, they have a shorter, adaptive Anglo-Indian appellation – sir Ji. These sir JI's calls are screened by his army of staffers who invariably mouth the patent questions: ‘AAP Kahan se bol rahe hain’, ‘kya kaam hai’, or a helpful ‘dekhta hun sahib kamre mein hai ke nahin’. But this is mere tokenism as most callers are summarily informed that ‘sahib’ is either out or busy in a meeting. This generally means only one thing – the personal staff does not consider the caller important enough to bother the boss. Similarly, visitors are disdainfully discouraged either by making them wait, or advised to meet some other lower-level official in connection with their grievances. The German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) had famously defined bureaucracy as a highly structured organisation predicated on specialisation and technical competence, a formal set of rules and regulations, a well-defined hierarchy, and impersonality in the application of rules. A century later Weber would be hard-pressed, to put it mildly, to define Indian bureaucracy even remotely in this overarching framework.
Metaphorically, India’s bureaucratic hierarchy – divided into four groups – mirrors the toxic chaturvarna vyavastha, or the caste system, to which admission is determined by one’s performance in the annual civil service and other entrance examinations. And much like the accident of birth that determines one’s station in the chaturvarna vyavastha, entry into one of these aforesaid categories determines the future course of one’s career, circumscribing mobility across the broad four civil service groupings.
Someone has rightly said bureaucracy was used as a tool by the Britishers in India to keep the highly educated people engaged in the system to garner support from the local population, and the same is being done by the Indian government in disputed territories like J&K, where many youngsters are aspiring to become a part of the bureaucracy and many had made their ways inside bureaucratic setup of India, but most of the times they join the bureaucracy only to enjoy the power they gain in this system, where one falls short of checks and balances within the system. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Those who fail to crack this exam or have shown no interest in it, are made to suffer by the corruption and the present system is deficient in protecting the rights of the citizens and at the same time, corruption is being propagated and shelved by these Babus and the politician nexus. Being a developing country or a third world country, where the present generation is being alienated by a corrupted system, and nobody is bothered to listen and no one will ever listen, all these voices are garnering no support from the corners of the society, many columnists have expressed their views in more ardent and voracious ways but nothing changed, rather the graph is going higher and higher. A social movement is the only way to streamline the present corrupt system, we need more laws to keep a check on these bureaucrats, who have been using this system like a brothel, only then we can manage to change this system so that we can safeguard the rights of the upcoming generation.