ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Neutral Bureaucracy

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This is with reference to the editorial, “Do We Need a Neutral Bureaucracy?” (EPW, 29 December 2018). The malaise noticed in Indian bureaucracy is primarily because of two reasons. One, the rulers of the nation do not respect the regulations and violate them to reap benefits for themselves and their parties. Two, bureaucrats have surrendered to them because of the threat of being transferred or posted by them to an unimportant position. The consequent crisis of governance in India has aptly been mentioned in the observation of the high-level National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, chaired by Justice M N Venkatachaliah: “Public servants and institutions are not alive to the basic imperatives that they are servants of the people meant to serve them. The dignity of the individual enshrined in the Constitution has renamed an unredeemed pledge.”

Excessive political interference in the administration has led to a state of dichotomy. The party in power often uses the bureaucracy to suppress the opposition. Faced with a complex situation, most officers prefer to serve as their yes-men, with few exceptions among them. This has created impediments to an effective neutral bureaucracy.

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