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The belief system, and some truths

These are the assumptions an IAS officer lives with,

and the reality there:

We are in this service to serve. The truth is, we scarcely behave as servants.

We handle vast sums of money and human resources; we do not possess any expertise for this task. We are not trained accordingly.

We have a very high opinion of ourselves and our “intelligence” and “experience”, and think people respect us for what we are. In reality, people genuflect before us due to the power we wield to either do benefit or damage.

Over the years we have developed the tendency to distribute largesse, whether in kind or in ideas. In reality, we do not own what we distribute.

We are paid to manage things efficiently and create systems. In actuality, we thrive on mismanagement and chaos because that gives us the power to choose some over others.

We are supposedly the steel frame. In reality, we have no long-term vision. We take ad hoc decisions, looking to what the authority above us wants.

We exploit the system for preferential treatment — for ourselves and people known to us. We are hypocritical enough to say we do it to “help” people.

We know if we create systems where everyone has easy access to services, we shall become superfluous. So we let things be.

We love to expand and enhance our sphere of work. We do not bother to place systems to bring in the needed efficiency.

Worst of all, we are the most pompous, officious and ill-bred set of people. And we have the nerve to say we work for the people of this country.

In reality we have no stakes in this country — our children often study abroad and we have created a niche cocoon of the luxuries this system can give us.

We have no empathy with the larger populace, though we are always careful to make the right noises.

If there were any justice, we would have long been extinct. But we are too powerful to let ourselves be annihilated.

We are the IAS.

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2020 4:00:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/the-belief-system-and-some-truths/article24300569.ece

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