QUEST FOR THE ‘OBEDIENT G SERVANT’
The steel frame of rising power men (and women) who decide the fate and fortunes of people is increasingly looking like a soulless greedy herd. Even when we live in the global world of internet and e-governance, the huge unwieldy mainframe beasts hold all the aces to cement old and obsolete working procedures, processes and organizational forms (to encode greater levels/snarl ups of bureaucracy) into the software that fail even the most surgical IT wizards to resolve the chaos caused by red tape and bureaucratic leviathan. The thick skinned pachyderms carry mincing knife, don bulletproof armor and always busy themselves into defending their positions, fending for themselves, protecting their interests and furthering their objectives. Always guided by ‘what-is-in-it-for-me’ factor and expert at passing the buck the desk-jockeys know how to fire from someone else‘s shoulder. If it’s to their advantage to risk violating norms, people don’t hesitate to side with the forces they’re supposed to fight against. For risk averse, non-activist pencil pushers, who are the strong advocates of Nimbyism…. not-in-my-backyard…. activity is more important than accomplishment, and fixing responsibility for an error more important than avoiding the error. The daredevils that ensure that someone’s head under them must roll or else their own heads may roll turn viciously nasty when someone attempts to be perceived as an obstacle. An independent, upright brilliant whiz kid, at his nerdish best that refuses to play the political game and violate rules at someone’s bidding is seen as someone who frustrates the critical priorities of these wire pullers. He’s kind of ‘intolerable’, who isn’t pliable to the diktats of the ruthless beasts. Consequently the fellow will be arraigned and his life made hell (he’d be trodden on and beaten down or sent packing to languish in obscurity or even ensnared in the vigilance/crime/police nets till he’s finished).
As if it were a chemical reaction, when people hear truth, faces go red and temperatures soar. They feel like striking back with all the signs of defending and debating. Truth being bare and naked not coated and straightforward, it invariably sounds crude and unpleasant to the ears. People don't like us normally to tell the truth, even if it costs them (in the long run) for having been kept in dark to use the opportunity to correct them. They like someone telling them that they like their new haircut, when what the latter really think is that it makes them look fat. We come to think of such harmless deception as necessary social graces. Costs of disagreement being high, people don’t ‘disagree’; they don’t speak truth. A body language that transmits that they’re not to be treated some ones who 'speak up' or 'disagree' they’re therefore the allies and compliers. In our wonderland of red tape and perverted sense of justice, where justice is measured by the capacity to fit-the-noose-in, irrespective of the fact whether or not the poor fellow is remotely connected/involved, even the Law of the Jungle is usually an expression that means "every man for himself," "anything goes," "might makes right," "survival of the strongest", "survival of the fittest", "kill or be killed", "dog eat dog" and "eat or be eaten". In our system where this law prevails ‘anything goes’.
For the people-in-power can’t make a killing of their own, under these circumstances an ‘obedient servant’ is needed to aid and abet them. As a survival strategy, the ‘obedient government servant’, cloned by the hundreds in various service academics, has learnt to obey, whom to obey and when to obey and then determine when the time is suitable for obedience and when the time is no longer right to no longer serve anyone else. In the law of jungle, good and bad and right and wrong are indistinguishable. Honesty and financial propriety are not enough. The target fellow knows how to appear to be so from the documents. Lure of money increases the loyalty to powerful authorities, and strengthens the command hierarchy. He does extra work. He is extra courteous and extra subservient to seniors and powerful peers.
The ‘obedient servant’ is certainly a ‘khaaane-aur-peene-wallah’, and therefore amongst the popular ones. He’s most certainly capable than an honest one who may or may not be capable and creates gridlocks. The former has friend circle and knows to keep powerful authorities in good humour. He’ll be known for throwing lavish parties and giving expensive gifts. He’ll have the financial capability to indulge in this. People love these guys and hate the opposites who obviously therefore are inherently weak and vulnerable. In order to be success in the changeful bureaucracy the fellow has got to appear (and he certainly does so) thick skinned, hypocritical, and insensitive and not someone-non-compromising.
A person is powerful because he’s in a position to abuse his power. To achieve this he’ll have to rely on the fellows that are ready to risk bending or breaking the rules. If there is no problem to solve, there is no reason for bureaucracy in the first instance. Kind of a family patsy he who is always loyal to the authorities, he’s every reason to indulge in sycophancy of the bigwig, become his eyes and ears, guide him and keep him in a good humour. He basks under the sunshine of his master, for remember, nobody bows to another person for nothing. In an intense politico-administrative power struggle if a civil servant is shunted, others see only an opportunity in it for their own advancement. The latter hanker after postings, curry favour and try to be in good books of higher ups. One doesn’t get posted unless he lobbies for it. (He who’s seldom lucky to get off his own because someone was lobbying for the superior post once the fellow is shunted to the inferior post it means something is amiss). The ‘obedient servant’ doesn’t want to vegetate and lose his sheen. This will not be in the interest of his career, and therefore he readily submits.