Monday, June 6, 2016

Bureaucracy a Chameleon

Bureaucracy a Chameleon 

I always wonder why did the bureaucracy was call chameleon? I was searching for the logical the answer. Is it only because bureaucracy change colours like the chameleon? 

Have you seen the Chameleon (lizard), one of the most the beautiful creatures of the Nature? They are distinguished by their zygodactylous feet; their very long, highly modified, rapidly extrudable tongues; their swaying gait; and crests or horns on their brow and snout, and their ability to change colours. It's literally meaning, 'lion of the ground'. The chameleon is among the most highly visually-oriented lizards, using this sense in prey capture, mating behavior, and predator avoidance. 

Chameleon skin has a superficial layer which contains pigments, and under the layer are cells with guanine crystals. Chameleons change colour by changing the space between the guanine crystals, which changes the wavelength of light reflected off the crystals which changes the colour of the skin.

But do you know about the functions of their eyes? They are unique. Both the eyes rotate 360 degrees. They can see in all directions with panoramic sight. They use both brains to use their eyes. Both the eyes can move independently in any direction. When one eye sees the front, another can see the sides and back. Unique features of chameleon vision include a negative lens (concave), a positive cornea (convex), and monocular focusing. It's image magnification is higher in a scaled comparison to all other vertebrates eyes. Positive Cornea improves sight resolution and Negative Lens improves retinal image size, allows more precise focusing. Both together, makes the focusing accurate. 

A true bureaucrat keeps his sight like a chameleon. Always lives in present moment!

One of my batch mates KP Singh opined that since civil services are highly politicised and we in India are hypocrites in as much as we claim  virtues like anonymity, no bias etc, knowing that these are only in theory, why can't the civil servants be allowed to take part in politics, contest elections? If one wins, he can be treated on deputation. Why is politics reserved for ...? In France 40 % politicians are from civil services and it is very successful. If it is possible there, it can be introduced here in India also. What is required is a countrywide demand.

Is it a right demand?

In the first or second meeting of INC in 1885-86, it was demanded that government employees should be allowed to take part in politics in British India. However, after independence, no government has accepted the principle of participation of government employees in elections. As elections are fought on party lines, the wisdom of the Constitution maker rested in the neutrality of the administration with a permanent bureaucracy. 

There are countries like US, Australia, etc, where top bureaucracy is committed and they change with the change in power. But Indian authorities felt that the bureaucrats once affiliated with a political party will act with subjectivity. There are experiments in isolation placing specialists on contractual appointments. However, in some States, the employees of grant in aid institutions (high school teachers, etc) can take part in politics. But their political affiliation sometimes become a nuisance against administrative discipline. 

Present bureaucracy in India is like a Bhisma of Mahabharata, always respect the chair in power elected by the people of India. People's will is their will. Bureaucracy Change colour like a Chameleon, when there is change in power. They can see backward and forward. And accordingly they move keeping their fate in mind.

Bureaucrats will become better politicians like France may not be a right conclusion. All knows, votes win the power and to capture vote, the contestants need money. That comes through crude means or through smart acts under the carpets. Some bureaucrats tried politics but mostly failed. Better to concentrate on executive job. After all bureaucrats are the advisors, architect and the executives of the policies. Elected representatives have a big role to play in democracy but the administration in practice has been run by the bureaucracy under the supervision and guidance of the Ministers.

I like the bureaucratic ability to see and change colour like Chameleon!!! Lol. 

Do you?

6 June 2016


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