April 10, 2007

CM and government officials

Mr H D Kumaraswamy heads a government in which, it appears, he cannot rely on his own officials. His complaint is that bureaucrats, far from addressing people’s problems, do not even deem it necessary to bring them to his notice.

CM says, if only the officials were responsive to public issues, he wouldn’t need to hold janatha darshan and go on night-stay in villages to get an idea of the extent of the problems such as housing, sanitation, water supply education and healthcare. Addressing a meeting of about 100 officials – DCs, zilla parishat CEOs, dept. secretaries – CM observed our officials could do with some compassion, a mother’s heart, as he put it.

This is in sharp contrast to the tough talking the CM did on earlier occasions. Whether or not his change-of-heart call works with officials the chief minister appears to have had a change of mind in coping with non-performing officials – threat has given way to an appeal.

1 comment:

Guru said...

"CM says, if only the officials were responsive to public issues, he wouldn’t need to hold janatha darshan and go on night-stay in villages to get an idea of the extent of the problems such as housing, sanitation, water supply education and healthcare"

The above problems have been there since India's population started rising steeply in 1950s onwards. Rapid urbanisation that followed sucked people from villages to towns and cities at a rate that left villages impoverished. The Nehru government implemented the disastrous 5 year plans Soviet style, contributing to rapid industrialisation as the focus was always on urban areas. The poorest and the weakest of the society who tend to be villages have been left to fend for themselves since then. Simple and effective solutions to rural education, healthcare, housing, water supply etc.. were never at the top of the agenda, and when they ever climbed to that level, corrupt officials ensured that there was flow of funds into their packets, and which left very little to hungry village poor. All kinds of top-down schemes were cooked by ministers and officials 'to help the village poor' In 1960s seats in medical colleges were doubled to provide doctors for rural population. Those students who were admitted under the scheme after their studies ended up in manning accident and emergency clinics of large teaching hospitals in cities like Chicago.
Now, Indian politicians and industrialists are after creating IT centres of excellence and Indian Silicon Valleys just like the USA.
The village poor is again lost out.

I remember that Kengal Hanumanthayya way back in 1950s started saying the same as the current CM. I saw him even camping at a village then near Bangalore and admonishing officials in a language not dissimilar to the current CM. Yet he presided over the biggest urbanisation scheme that paved the way for the uncontrolled growth of Bangalore.