Government servants are public servants, not masters – an analysis
Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed, Former Deputy General and Commandant, Ansar VDP Academy: The government servants are a group of organised public servants employed for handling the overall administration of a government. The first and foremost duty of a government servant is to render services to common people in line with democratic norms and values. The attitude to serve the nation and its people is inevitable. Regarding the topic, there are some points to say.
The security and discipline is the most vital thing which is focused before all other things. This is so essential that without it any office cannot run well. It is heard that very often office records are being misplaced or at times become missing. This is simply suicidal. It must not occur. These occurrences, no doubt, are bad reputation and image of any government office. Besides, administration is being collapsed for such types of bad practices.
The government servants hardly maintain the timetable. They do not attend offices in time and leave offices early. We see the queue of employees at the secretariat from one hour before the final bell rings. They are not at all alert about effective time management. Meetings, seminars and conferences do not start timely. In some cases, the scenario is very much offensive. The office people are not serious on this issue. They are very much casual and going out of their offices, they move to other places randomly.
Moreover, the government servants must show the highest loyalty to office discipline. They will give up the corrupt and unfair means. But, the tragedy is that the majority of the government servants are used to do the wrong practices along with corruption and nepotism. They are supposed to be selfless, impartial and unbiased. But the opposite picture is reflected here. Now-a-days, the officials do not behave well with people. They show sentimental attitudes and even do not hesitate to exchange hot talks with clients. This is happening in banks, corporate offices, Bima offices and even all service sectors like PDB, gas, energy, health centres and so on.
Again the government officials should work with team spirit. But officers do not pay heed to it. They do not understand the team management. So, we find very poor performance at offices, specially at government offices. In some cases, their output is below standard.
If bureaucracy is equipped with the concept of modernization then any targeted mission can be achieved. With the changes of time and modernisation the bureaucrats will have to involve with the process of politics and do their respective job in line with politicization. They are supposed to work and cooperate the government to the interest of the ruling class and sometimes they play the part of socio-political guardianships in favour of the government and they remain confined within the four-walls under the preview of colonial culture. They do not at all bother for any criticism or pressure from general people or deprived people, whatever be the type or nature of the government the bureaucrats become the soul and power of government. So, the objectives of all government must be mandated to people’s welfare & nation’s upliftment. But the problem is that the civil servants in the name of people’s welfare concentrated to themselves only for maintaining a group or class interest which we may call it colonial system. But in the progressive society this can not be accepted.
People and their leaders get agitated and they protest it. In the colonial regime the public servants were not trained as a public servant, but as a public master. They were really treated as a government agent. But that regime is over & we are the citizen’s of a free and independent state at present. If the officers become cordial and there is an expression of positive aptitude but they are obstructed from some pressure lobbying groups from dark corner. In the modern welfare state, the administration has been re-arranged. The bureaucrats must play a good role of a good administrator and taking the measures where highly professionalism is focused.
According to the opinion of modern political scientists, bureaucrats consider themselves to be the master of the people. They also think that they can exercise any authority upon people on any ground, so this sort of superstructure mentality is a great problem for a nation and its people. With this aptitude, they show negligence to people and care little. Besides, the present bureaucrats are not liberal and they become rigid to taking any decision.
Moreover, there are absence of transparency & accountability at public offices. The civil servants are very much formal and they have the tendency to escape responsibilities. Under the circumstances, we want to see our government servants as a public servant, not a public master for more development of the country.