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

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In Pursuit of an Ideal Bureaucracy

The concern for an ideal bureaucracy has been widely discussed in the public domain with regards to a particular response that was given by a senior administrative functionary to a young female student from Patna, Bihar. Arguably, the response of the officer in question to the reasonable queries raised by the student was wrapped with multiple inhospitable, if not destructive, emotions such as sarcasm, distaste, and resentment. The public reference to hygienic and contraceptive devices was in complete distaste.

The concern for an ideal bureaucracy has been widely discussed in the public domain with regards to a particular response that was given by a senior administrative functionary to a young female student from Patna, Bihar. Arguably, the response of the officer in question to the reasonable queries raised by the student was wrapped with multiple inhospitable, if not destructive, emotions such as sarcasm, distaste, and resentment. The public reference to hygienic and contraceptive devices was in complete distaste. One could understand the basis of such a crude response that was wrapped with hostility, which is possibly evident in the argumentative mood and capacity of the student under reference. One might also notice an element of resentment that was discernible in the officer’s efforts to try and hide the limits and failures of the state. The failure to be tolerant to receive feedback from the female student and to handle her queries seems to have led the officer to deploy the ultimate weapon of “nationalism” that is widely used these days to douse dissent and to clamp down on rational arguments. In such cases, normative ethics as such are on trial.

The ethics of the elected and appointed officials perform as a vital function for ensuring the credibility of public institutions and restoring the people’s confidence in them. Both these elements refer to the internal principles of the bureaucratic system. These two are also supposed to learn from the external principles that reside in the sensible feedback received from the informed and enlightened public. But this ethical bond between the two—the appointed and the elected—seems to have been broken, going by the recent evidence from the strong but strange reaction of one of the top officials whose response, according to media reports, entailed at least three emotions that are subversive of ethics. These are sarcasm, distaste, and resentment.

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Updated On : 8th Oct, 2022
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