dated July 7, 1951: Responsibilities of Govt. servants

Speaking on ``Public Servants in New India'', Mr. O. Pulla Reddi, Home Secretary, Madras, told the Madras Secretariat Association of the vital need for officials and their assistants to bring more of a human touch in handling files (rather than look for correctitude reinforced by precedents as in the olden times), to do justice and not merely to interpret and administer rules. The Secretary of the Home Department also touched on red tapism. He said: ``Where a citizen's welfare is concerned, precedents and rules are not enough. By all means follow them, but try to understand the difficulties of every petitioner you deal with. When the administration was in foreign hands checks and balances may have been vital because the foreigner distrusted the people of this land. Now we have our own Government. We must be able to do justice without tossing files up and down, and from department to department. To do quick justice, we can copy with advantage the methods of businessmen who send prompt and crisp replies to the letters they receive... I am sorry to see that, after Independence, a certain looseness has crept in everywhere. We have to tighten up discipline, and put an end to sartorial anarchy too. All of us can uniformly adopt a simple form of dress and maintain dignity. A welfare State is our objective, and the duties of Government are increasing enormously. Public servants are coming into increasing contact with the people. Hence there is need for us to have greater resilience of mind and adaptability.''

Costly newspaper promotion

In St. Petersburg, Florida, more than 3,000 persons stormed a newspaper office, a police station, and a swanky residential section in a frantic search for a $200 buried treasure. Six persons were injured in traffic accidents. A woman walked in darkness into the bay and had to be rescued. Only a few hundred persons had shown up in 1950 when the St. Petersburg Times inaugurated its annual treasure hunt by burying $50 at some place, and publishing eight clues as to its whereabouts. But when the paper rolled off on the 4th, thousands mobbed the publishing plant for a copy containing the final clue pointing to the buried treasure of 200 silver dollars. They tore down bars of the cashier's cage where the papers were sold, and descended like locusts on the residential section on Treasure Island causeway, 18 miles away from where the chest was actually buried. Five persons dug it up eventually.