Thursday, July 28, 2011

For Honest Bureaucrats,

For Honest Bureaucrats,
Today all aspects of social fabric including governance is hit by corruption, no one appears to know how to curb the omnipresent menace. If at all, a ray of hope comes from the direction in which, as per people's perception, there sits an honest officer working in his small or big post. And if this honest officer is at a higher level then the ray seems a little brighter.
Is that ray of hope sufficient only to keep the perception of light alive or does it have the strength to destroy the darkness and disappointment completely? That is the main question.
Today, if a common person is asked to choose between an honest officer, who does not deliver and a corrupt officer who may deliver at cost -- but may also ruin the case if the cost is not paid – whom should the common person choose? – For common man, both the choices mean suffering only. On the other hand, if an Officer wants to claim that she/he is honest, then there could be embarrassment because today the honesty of a bureaucrat has become synonymous with inaction – whatever be the cause.
To a simple question – what is the cure for corruption?" there is a simple answer -- “honesty”. But as soon as this question touches then governmental frame work, neither the question nor its answer remains simple. They both acquire a much bigger dimension – but not in the same manner. The corruption within Government cannot be tackled by honesty alone. That corruption has a solid support of authority and arrogance which is not always available to the honest officer. It is in this presumption of support, where most of the senior, honest bureaucrats make mistake, and suffer for it.
The honest bureaucrats must understand that authority of their position is not as much a strong – enough foundation, as it is for the corrupt. Hence the honest bureaucrats will have to look beyond their own honesty and the authority given by position. They will have to nurture five more aspect within administration. Fortunately, their authority can be a useful tool for such nurturing.
These aspects are motivation, team-spirit, monitoring, training and coordination. Call it the Panchsheela of governance if you like. They are totally lacking in today's system of governance. Hence the system does not yield good results of the work done by honest officers.
Take for example, the issue of team work. It is said that in Govt. the right hand does not know what the left hand does. Hence no possibility of coordination or of team work. The recent terrorist attacks on Mumbai and the heavy casualties suffered is an example of lack of team work.
Once I was heading an Industrial Development Corporation and we undertook a program of economic rehabilitation of devdasi women through vocational and entrepreneurial training. We were quizzed and hindered by both the departments. The department of Industries kept advising that devadasis should be left for department of women to tackle. The department of women kept resenting the idea that officer of another department was suggesting anything for devdasis which was 'their' domain!. They had a program of encouraging the devdasis to get married – whereupon under one of their schemes, they would give a grant of Rs. ten thousand for buying Mangalsutra.

That, according to the department of Women was sufficient and they did not need advice or interference from anyone in department of Industries. In the existing schemes of both the departments, there was no thinking of economic rehabilitation, or entrepreneural development or capacity building for devadasis. For the same reason, both of them would also not grant any budget to our corporation to carry out those programs.
In government we have a system of something called Rules of business, under which jobs are assigned to various ministries whereupon, they and they alone are authorized to carry out those jobs. This system pre-supposes a Total absence of any need of team-work, it does not understand the need of Integrated Approach. Every senior Officer is completely endoctrined in this system and assiduously guards her/his Turf.
That doctrine then results in such examples which can be seen in all activities of government. More recently when there was terrorist attack on Mumbai on 26/11, there was a similar lack of co-ordination between the administration, the police, the military, the media, the hospitals etc. which resulted in delay in ending the crisis and also the loss of precious lives of our committed police and army officials, apart from the loss of lives of many citizen.
Along with such complete lack of team spirit there is also lack of recognition that some training is needed to build up Team Spirit. The proof of its lack is that only rarely a senior officer is ready to take up responsibility. They undoubtedly categorize themselves as responsible, but this responsibility begins only with the files coming to their desk and ends with they writing their comments and sending the file out. The responsibility remains as long as they are in the office room – once outside, it seems to end. In any case, their responsibility does not include completion of task. And, if the staff under them is lacking any training, then identifying such lack is also not felt as their responsibility by Senior Officers. I have heard many senior bureaucrats to say that if staff is lacking any training it is the headache of the staff and "we are not there to train the staff."
All the middle and lower level staff in Govt. lacks both training and motivation. The monitoring of on-going Govt. Schemes, and to rectify the errors during implementation is the prime job of the middle level officers. In old days, when there were no computers, monitoring was rather difficult. Even then, during the post-independence era, during the decades of sixties and seventies, many committed enthusiastic officers, very painstakingly designed good monitoring systems. As the number of files as well as schemes increased, those systems have become bulky, voluminous and difficult to handle manually. The computer can take care of these aspects very effectively provided it is told in its own language, what we want to monitor. Those senior officers who have, with little efforts, learnt the spread-sheet type soft-wares such as excel or lotus, know well that monitoring through such programs is very easy. They effectively use such techniques for their personal data management such as monitoring of salary, loan – repayment, bank-balance. Yet, rarely I have seen them initiating their middle level officers to internalize such techniques and design a good data-base or monitoring system for the schemes of their Department. They neither create awareness of such possibility, nor demand it, nor feel responsible for it.
There is yet another example of lack of coordination. Once while working in petroleum Ministry, one of my mandates was to create mass awareness for petroleum conservation. I was told not to include the topics of water conservation or electricity conservation or environmental and ecology aspects but to concentrate only on Petrolium conservation. Don't we spend diesel while pumping out underground water? Won't we save it if we conserved water? -- Such questions are not to be raised for fear of merging the turf–boundaries which are considered more sacrosanct when compared to promotion of coordination or team work. Another Officer said – we can't direct a program towards children or teenagers because they do not consume any petrol diesel or LPG.
The examples galore.
For years, I have closely seen all these attitudes of the honest and dishonest officers – I have been a part of the same system – a part of their fraternity. From my side I have tried some small and big experiments to introduce these five aspects. What kept up my enthusiasm throughout was one constant question – "A system which has given me my job, my professional career, some perks, some success, some respect and some chance to work for the people – how much do I owe to the system towards its improvement?” The same question applies to all the honest officers. They owe it not only to the system but also to the country to work for these Panchsheela. Without those, the corruption can neither be fought, nor controlled.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

राजा की बली चढी अंबानी को बचा लिया, देशकी संपत्ती FDI वालोंको दे डाली।

राजा की बली चढी अंबानी को बचा लिया। देशकी संपत्ती FDI वालोंको दे डाली।
अर्थात क्यूँ नही सरकार रद्द करती 2G Specrtum के गैरकानूनी व्यवहार

देशका सामान्य-जन ये सोचता है कि 2G Specrtum घोटालेमें जो हूआ वह तो सरकारी -- बल्कि देशकी संपत्तीकी चोरी है। महीनों पहले CAG को पन्ने-दर-पन्ने पता चला देशकी संपत्तीकी चोरी हो रही है। फिर क्यों नही उतने महीने पहले चोरी की और देशद्रोह की, देश को लूटने की योजना की कोई रपट लिखी गई ? ओर क्या आज लिखी गई है ? और जिसने चोरी का माल पाया, और उससे पैसा बनाया, उनका क्या? क्या वह नहीं समझ रहे थे कि उन्हें चोरी का माल बेचा जा रहा है? बिलकुल समझ रहे थे, और उस चोरी को पचा लेने का दावा रखते थे। इसीलिए तो वे कार्पोरेट जगत के बेताज बादशाह थे।

तो अब देश की जनता क्या करे? इसका उत्तर मैं दे सकती हूं -- यह उसी इंडियन कांट्रक्ट ऍक्ट में मिलेगा, जिसके आधार पर खरीदारी, लेन-देन और कार्पोरेट जगत का व्यापार चलता है।

लेकिन इससे पहले हम एक नजर अपने लोकतंत्र और उसके बुनियादी सिध्दांतों की ओर डालें। हम भारतीय लोकतंत्र के लोग --भले ही हम सामान्य-जन हों, हमही इस प्रणाली के शासक हैं- अपनी देश की संपत्ति के मालिक भी और रखवालदारभी । चुनाव में जो प्रतिनिधि जीतकर आते हैं, उनके सारे भाषण याद करिए- वो अपने आपको जनता का सेवक बताते हैं, न कि जनता का मालिक। और इस एक मामले में वे पूरे सत्यवादी हैं- क्योंकि वे वाकई जनता के सेवक हैं -नौकर हैं और यदि आप उन्हें थोड़ा ऊंचा रूतबा देना चाहते हैं तो कह सकते हैं कि वे जनता के प्रतिनिधि हैं- अर्थात एजेण्ट!

तो अब कॉण्ट्रॅक्ट ऍक्ट कहता है कि यदि किसी मालिक के लिए काम करने वाला एजेण्ट या नौकर फ्रॉड करता है, गबन करता है, चोरी करता है और अगर मालिक उस पर फ्रॉड, गबन या चोरी का मामला दर्ज करता है, तो फिर उस एजेण्ट के द्वारा किए गए दुष्कर्मों को निस्तार किया जा सकता है। मालिक ऐसे कामों की न्यायिक जिम्मेवारी से मुक्त हो जाता है और उस माल को वापस ले सकता है जो फ्रॉड और गबन के माध्यम से दूसरों को दिया गया।

लेकिन शर्त यह है कि पहले मालिक अपने एजेण्ट, नौकर या प्रतिनिधि के विरुध्द यह एफआईआर दर्ज करें कि उस एजेण्ट ने फ्रॉड, गबन किया है।
तो क्या इस देश की मालिक जनता सबसे पहले ए. राजा पर फ्रॉड और गबन का एफआईआर कर सकती है ? पब्लिक सर्वेण्ट (शब्द को गौर करें- वह सर्वेण्ट है,) होने के नाते उसे यह संरक्षण मिला है कि जब तक देश के प्रधानमंत्री उस पर एफआईआर दर्ज कराने की अनुमति नहीं देते तब तक एफआईआर दर्ज नहीं हो सकती, और तब तक जिनके पास यह चोरी का माल और उसके फायदे पहुंचे हैं, उनसे आप वह माल वापस नहीं ले सकते।

सुब्रह्मण्यम स्वामी ने प्रधानमंत्री से इसी एफआईआर को दर्ज कराने की मांग या अनुमति चाही थी -नवम्बर 2008 में। जब कई महीनों अनुमति नहीं मिली तो सुप्रीम कोर्ट का दरवाजा खटखटाया। तब जाकर एफआईआर दर्ज हुई और वह मुकदमा अभी चल रहा है, और प्रधानमंत्री ने राजा को हटा दिया है। अर्थात वह एजेण्ट के रूप में अगली चोरी या गबन नहीं कर सकेगा। लेकिन एफआईआर से आगेकी कारवाई नही कर रहे, क्योंकि चोरीका माल वापस माँगनेकी प्रक्रिया शुरू करते हैं तो रिलायन्स समेत उन कई कार्पोरेट हाऊसेस और FDI वालोंसे वसूली करनी पड़ेगी जिनके पास यह चोरी का माल है । जिस कार्पोरेट सेक्टर के आठ-नौ-दस प्रतिशत उछाल पर प्रधानमंत्री अपनी पीठ थपथपाते रहते हैं वह उछाल धड़ाम से 2-3 पर आ गिरेगा।

मेरे दिमाग में बार-बार एक दृश्य घूम जाता है- नासिक कमिश्नर की हैसियत से मैं जेल विजिट कर रही थी। महिला कक्ष में एक बीस-बाइस वर्ष की कैदी थीं। उसका गुनाह पूछा तो पता चला ''कुछ नहीं -- रेल्वे स्टेशन पर घूम रही थी। पुलिस को शक है कि किसी की जेब काटने की फिराक में थी। इसी संदेह पर पोलिस ने पकड़ कर यहां ला रखा है। पांच महीने से पड़ी है- अभी तक मजिस्टे्रट ने छोड़ने की अनुमति नहीं दी है। कच्ची कैदी है।''

लड़की ने रो रोकर मुझसे गुहार लगाई- मैं निर्दोष हूं। छोटा भाई खो गया था। स्टेशन पर घूम-घूम कर उसी को खोज रही थी। मुझे छुड़ाओ। अब तक तो भाई भी वहां गुम हो गया होगा। मैं देश की आला अफसर तब भी कुछ नहीं कर पाई थी। और, आज भी नहीं ! सो यह लड़की और उस जैसे सैकड़ों बच्चे आज भी हमारे जेलों में केवल पुलिस की शक के आधार पर सड़ रहे हैं और ए राजा द्वारा सेंध लगाया माल दूसरे खरीदारों की जेब में मुनाफे भर रहा है।

यही है हमारा अर्थशास्त्र । चालीस चोर लुटेरों से मिलकर खजाना भरो और देश को बेवकूफ बनाओं- कि देखो कितना खजाना इकट्ठा हुआ है । कार्पोरेट सेक्टर को खूब चोरी करने दो और उनकी सोने की जगमगाहट लोगों को दिखाकर कहो- देखो देश कितना तरक्की कर रहा है- हमारे इन चोर, लुटरों की बदौलत संसार के पांच सौ सबसे धनिक व्यक्तियों में हमारे देशवासियों की गिनती होती है।
बोलो लूटने वालों की जय । वह जेल की लड़की निकम्मी थी - गरीब ही रही, नीरा राडिया न बन सकी -- सो उसकी पराजय ।