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Social and political Values and Systems in India.

What ails Indian society the most?

Corruption and indiscipline – “One of the biggest curses from which India is suffering – I do not say that other countries are free from it, but I think our condition is much worse – is bribery and corruption.” Muhammad Ali Jinnah,  (1876-1948), a lawyer, politician, and the founder of Pakistan. Jinnah served as leader of the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until Pakistan’s creation in 1947.

Introduction

Few factors responsible for ailment of India are – colonial tradition, monopoly of few groups in power echelons, no regard for meritocracy or expertise for development of the nation, monopoly of coercive power, tiredness of workforce, inadequacies and instability of political leadership and the near absence or weakness of groups exercising countervailing force over authorities men and work for the development of nation.

But above all, corruption and indiscipline are responsible for weakening the social, political and economic  fabric of India beyond repair.. Pervasive corruption and indiscipline are fast becoming an accepted way of life. Corruption and indiscipline has The persons and the groups, who have the power in their hands and who control almost every walk of national life are working to deny justice to the masses.

Closer view of the present Indian scene

Indiscipline

Shaken confidence of the people – Taking a closer view of the present Indian scene, common-man finds that with many of the old visionary leaders having gone from the national and state scene in the sixties, era of committed bureaucracy started, undermining the integrity, values, ethos and confidence of the service as well as of people. Common man has been reduced to the size of pigmy.

Broken social fabric –  The social fabric of India almost completely broken. Population has exploded virtually unchecked. Social change processes have led to sectional and regional imbalances all over India, which are sources of great social and psychological tensions.

Instability of political arena – Larger political turmoil’s are making a virtue of narrow loyalties of caste and religion and the sub-cultures like – favouritism, nepotism and corruption. Bureaucracy being an important part of this very Indian Society, has reached up-to the point of being beyond repairs.

Economic slow-down – Economic growth of the country has been  slowed down. The whole economy is in a bad shape because of low per capita income, inflation, price-rise, at least ¾ of her adult population are working as marginal/migratory labours in unorganized sector, agriculture, industries etc. Their  backwardness, capital deficiency, rapid population growth, growing unemployment and under-employment, prevalence of backward technology, under-utilization of natural resources – men, money and material are adversely affecting the development of the nation.

Delay in decision-making – A rot started setting up rapidly in the administrative set up during Mrs. Gandhi Era (1965 to 1980). The trend of ‘committed bureaucracy’ has developed. Attitude of ‘Playing safe’ attitude among upright and honest bureaucrats prevented/stopped them from  taking much required decisions or actions on time. Hence arose the problem of how, when and by whom  important decisions in national interests should be taken. It added fuel into the fire.

Unholy alliance among the major players in power echelons– Some
unpleasant changes have taken place in the recent past, and are increasing every day in the character, role and inter-relationship of the following main constituent of the   bureaucrats, political executives, legislators, criminals, businessmen, media persons, organized workers, and surplus farmers.

Deteriorating standard of education – Standards of education have declined beyond any remedy and it has become inefficient, wasteful, dysfunctional and increasingly unrelated to national needs and aspirations. It is so when still science and technology have been waiting yet to make their full impact.

Public attention diverted to abstract issues – In order to divert public attention from real issues, abstract issues like social justice, socialism, secularism, communalism were floated in the political world. Government assumed a pervasive role of being the sole guardian of public interest and assumed tremendous authority in the name of socialism. Economic logic and administrative acumen was subordinated to the logic of politics.

As the result, the country is now facing caste-communal divide; forward-backward divide, urban-rural divide and division based on class, gender, language and region. The feeling of oneness has almost disappeared with the emergence of many myopic, local regional parties pursuing sectional interest.

The nation has witnessed that the government has started taking some hard decisions under the Prime Minister-ship of Mr. Narendra Modi. But the bitter criticism of the decisions taken in the interest of nation and suspicious attitude of the opposition slows down the efficient functioning of the government.

Corruption

Corruption and misappropriation of public funds was always there, but not so rampant, as has been witnessed after 1990. Corruption has now deeply entrenched into the system and has become its integral part. General public finds itself unable to defend themselves against exploitation due to corruption.

Era of instability – The era of instability started after the fall of Rajiv Gandhi’s Government and then disappearance of Nehru-Gandhi family from the political scene. In the absence of any sound ideology and clear vision, the politicians of 1990’s depended  ideologically more and more on “Caste”, “Community”. “Political secularism” considerations, in pursuance of sectoral interests and use of power of money and muscle to widen their electoral base.

Types of corruption – There are two types of corruption –

  • Nazraana – Offered before the beginning of some specific work. It depends fully on the will and capacity of the giver.
  • Shukraana – It is given after the desired work has been done. It is not asked by the recipient.
  • Hakraana – Price to be paid for saving the time, energy and effort for pushing up the files in the government Where bribe is given by someone and is taken by another after reaching a mutual agreement. This kind of practice has acquired a kind of legitimacy, as a price to be paid for “Getting a job done” in the Government and saving common-man’s “Time, energy and money”.
  • Extortion – Those in authority abuses power to extract money from the public. It is this type of corruption which has increased enormously, from which public wants to get rid.

On the top are some political leaders, who give shelter to people working in the field or different departments, be it corrupt party workers, magistrates, police officials, engineers or overseers. People think that there is no doubt that in the list of most corrupt persons, on the top are the shrewd political leaders. Then comes the number of  corrupt personnel of police department or Municipal corporations, especially of Metros. Next in the line is PWDs engineers and overseers and then comes Excise and Customs. Hapless citizens want to root out harassment, to extract money/bribery, so that they can enjoy their legitimate rights.

Reasons for deterioration

There are many reasons for reaching up-to the present pitiable condition of law and order all over India. Concentration of authority in few hands, protectionist and populist policies of the government to create vote-banks, poor personnel policies of the Government are responsible. Slow infrastructural development, cumbersome office procedures, increased paper work. Over and above it, there is disincentive to hard work, talent, honesty and sincerity, lack of accountability and alienation of common man. Last but not the least tolerance of people of India is also responsible, which tended the people to accept the sub-standard administration, giving very little challenge to the authorities to upgrade their performance.

How far Bureaucracy Responsible?

People hold bureaucracy, ‘the steel frame of governance’, responsible for its deterioration, which is shaking under its own pressures. People wonder why the steel-frame of yester years is shaking and failing to do its job effectively and judiciously despite having a constitutional status with enough powers to deal with unwanted situations. There is decline over the years in the quality, competence and commitment of the administrative officers. In-discipline, violence and lawlessness are increasing every day all-over the country.

Comment and suggestion of Mr. VN Narayan

Mr. VN Narayan has described beautifully the present climate, “We have a political problem (scams and scandals), but we have no political solution, we have a religious problem (Ayodhya), but no religious solution. There is an economic problem (poverty), but there is no economic solution (Liberalization). There is a social problem (Sectarian conflicts), but there is no societal remedy (Secularism and Mandalisation). There is a socio-medical disease (cancer of corruption), but there is no socio-medical cure (ministerial resignations and reshuffles)”

“There is only one solution to all problems – a human and spiritual solution. We have to consciously move toward humanizing our social institutions and spiritualize (not communalize or secularize) ourselves.”

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