work culture

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 27 Dec 2018 11:40:08

THERE is much substance in Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s assertion that the ‘chalta hai’ attitude or dilly-dallying culture was deeply embedded in the country’s work culture and that hampered the nation’s rapid progress. As a result the country was unable to explore and exploit its full potential as a global economic power. Consequently even after 70 years of independence , the country is still rated among newly developing countries, while China, which launched its economic development simultaneously with India’s, has gone miles ahead of India in terms of economic progress and defence preparedness.

All this is because neither the political community, which ruled the country for long years, nor the bureaucracy, which had concentrated all the administrative powers, was willing to discard the red tape that the British Raj had used to keep a stranglehold over the administration and deny justice to the populace. 

While the populace suffered immensely at the hands of the administration, the political community, on its part, failed to take up the job of planning and executing development projects at the speed at which the nation needed. The common man had the worst experience of the bureaucratic stonewalling of everything, including getting as simple a thing as a birth certificate or the record of his land holding. Days, months and even years would roll on but files would not to move from one table to another. This bred corruption.

In fact the large scale corruption in Government is the product of this dilly-dallying in Government offices. If one were to get one’s work done in a Government office with urgency, the surest way was to grease the palm of the babu at the particular desk. This culture was all pervasive and well nursed and proved back-breaking for the common man.

The Prime Minister has referred to the inordinate delay in the completion of the much important road and rail bridge over the Brahmaputra in Assam. The country’s longest rail-road bridge was conceived in 1997 when Mr. H. D. Deve Gowda was the Prime Minister but the work commenced five years later in 2002 under the then Prime Minister Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee’s stewardship. Though the UPA Government declared it as a national project hardly anything moved.

The consequence of all this delaying was the cost escalation by a whopping 85 pc. Apart from that the importance of the bridge from the security point of view and defence preparedness was also lost sight of. This is a glaring example of how bureaucratic red tape and lack of foresight among political rulers become impediments in the nation’s much needed progress.

But this is only one example how the country has suffered due to the dilly-dallying culture in the Government. There are several such examples all over the country where projects have languished for decades, thereby depriving the nation of their benefits, apart from the cost escalation. A plethora of reasons are pedaled to cite delays in the execution of projects like paucity of funds, Governmental clearances from various departments, land acquisition, environmental concerns and what not.

But all these can be things of the past if the political leadership has the desire, the drive and the vision to get things going, besides making the bureaucracy to respond in a positive manner. Prime Minister Mr. Modi, while inaugurating the Brahmaputra bridge in Assam the other day, has asserted that his Government has changed this culture and said that projects are no longer confined to papers but have become a truth in reality. And the plethora of mega infrastructure projects that are taking shape all over the country in the last four years bear testimony to this claim. Indeed a new and welcome work culture is visible and working well for the speedy development of the country.