At the time of gaining independence, Indian civil services were seen as a value based service, in particular the IAS or as it was known in pre-independence India, as the ICS (Imperial Civil Service). It was seen to be serving the then imperial power and its interests well, helping them maintain their power over India even while presenting a face to the public that generally inspired confidence amongst the general populace who perceived them, rightly, to be their rulers.
All that has changed beyond measure for the worse over the decades. The progressive venal degeneration of our politicians, the manner in which they have downgraded the bureaucracy, and pushed them into the lowest common denominator behavior; where they are pushed not to be independent minded, and to push the country’s welfare, but rather, to push politician’s and political agendas.
Amongst other nefarious acts, of helping them in making huge dollops of money through organized theft of the national and state exchequers. These facts are amply covered in the national press over the past 60 odd years with increasing regularity. The civil services and political class have evolved to a mutual back-scratching society; and anyone who question the story, is removed, or even murdered. God seems to have died for these people.
Above all, and to the great detriment of India and the Indian citizen, the Indian Civil Services including the IAS (Indian Administrative Service), IPS (Indian Police Service), IFS (Indian Foreign Service), IRS (Indian Revenue Service), the State Civil Services still function to, and within, the Rule-books and Codes of Conduct written and set by the British; in many cases more than a century ago in the 19th century, as British rule got established and embedded in Indian society and in its governance. All these services are in Urgent need of review, overhaul and reset if India is to move into its true growth and world power story.
It is to be noted that since independence, no one has bothered to relook or evaluate these rules and codes within the context and needs of an independent India such that they are aligned to the best Public Interest and needs of our people and our civilizational narrative. That should have been the first task for the first government of independent India, and all governments since then.
The bureaucrats do not serve the Indian people with the best interests of the Indian public at heart; rather, they continue to serve, and act upon and with the public, in a rough, abusive, master-servant story; in a draconian manner within a long absent foreign ruling power’s governing structure, complete with their aims and objectives of suppressing the Indian public and constricting their functional space.
British rules and laws which were designed to subvert and suppress the Indian people, are applied in full force to modern, independent India with such destructive force, as to leave an entire population hugely stressed and virtually enslaved.
Except that the skin tones of the rulers have changed, nothing has changed in so far as the treatment meted out to the public within the British ruling paradigm is concerned. It is shocking that there has been no public awareness or widespread protest and outcry in India thus far on these issues and facts; perhaps no one realizes what is really happening.
Absolutely no political party has brought any discussion on these key and vital issues into the public domain. The Rising India Party is set to change all that. It is to be noted that while the Indian electorate or public have all the say in electing their representative through periodic elections; but immediately after elections are over, they lose all power and have absolutely no say at all; in the laws that are framed for an on their behalf, or the way they are governed, either in the manner or the content of their governance.
Public servants have no public oversight. They see themselves as Kings and Queens and throw their weight around with little or no consideration for the public they serve; completely secure in the British Rules and laws that protect them and provide them with near total immunity, such as was made available to the officers of the foreign power that set the rules to protect their own citizens, not Indians.
Politicians constantly and continuously connive to ensure that no accountability laws are passed, such as the Lok-Pal law with teeth, that the public demanded and rose with one voice under the Anna Hazare Lok Pal movement. They prohibit or make exceedingly difficult the prosecution of elected Politicians or the bureaucrats.
This is unprecedented in the life of an independent nation that, above all, is democratic, and not a dictatorship as in the case of China.
Every party has projected very strong slogans selling minimum government- maximum governance to the people of India, and all of them abandoned this laudable ambition the moment they got elected. Given the record, these slogans are pitched only for more top-down rule and governance with no public participation and / or oversight.
Certainly, none of the changes needed, are possible within the present Political Parties across India; as the solutions would attack the very system upon which they thrive, grow rich and accumulate and exercise power. The task of ushering in a New Deal is extremely difficult, but not impossible, with the blessing of the people in a true democratic vote.
The rise and growth of Bureaucratic Corruption, particularly since the past 60 plus years have some key factors fueling the phenomenon. These reasons need to be identified, tabled, addressed and rectified through strong but sensible policies.
One of the core factors, is that the present system of governance and compensation packages, on the one part puts enormous power into the hands of those who run or manage the bureaucracy, and on the other the compensation that is given to them, even after many pay commission revisions, is so far off the level of power or responsibility exercised that it is bound to drive, and add, to the corruption index.
For example, a Joint Secretary level position, that in government would draw salary of approx. 25 to 30 lakhs per annum, in the private sector equivalent would be on 1.5 to 2 crore packages plus incentives and privileges.
These types of anomalies have led to the growth of the power circuit, and political and bureaucratic power elites emerging in India, based on a system of patronage wherein crony capitalism and crass mutual back-scratching society has come into being; or rather, been firmed up even more than under the British, thus damaging and weakening the India growth story beyond measure. Merit and an ethical backbone that is so essential for the health of the nation has been bypassed. This must end and the story be changed at once.
The Rising India Party, on winning elections is committed to bringing about radical change and a new Policy Framework where intelligence, integrity, ethics and merit must be the backbone of the people who occupy the most powerful positions of the nation The Policy Framework itself would be subject to a referendum so that these are instituted only after the public has voted on them to become permanent features of the India governance system.
Through pre-defined and stated Laws, Rules and Policies, The Rising India Party is aiming to bring an end to this horrible state of affairs relating to our bureaucracy and political class, and the manner of its governing the nation.
To bring these factors into sharp focus, and create a complete change in the way the country is governed and managed, given below, is the first cut of the extensive exercise that must eventuate to bring in the cleanest and strongest possible governance paradigm, and The Rising India Party opens the debate with the vision laid out in this document.