Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why not democratic governments run like a pure managerial exercise ?

Why should our enlightened age carry on democracy as a political drama instead of  having it  as a plain managerial tool for running peoples government ?  Why can not we get rid of its rhetoric and  the propagandist deceptions ? Why can’t we bring an end to its primary image as a non-stop fight among political parties for advantage over the other, while all the rest priorities of the nation falling back to secondary priorities ?

We have a well prepared policy document called constitution to run the country. The philosophical, political, psychological and historical needs of a people are well documented in the constitution.

What we need is a representative team to run the country with the best of managerial expertise, like the way corporate houses run their business, or like constructing a building according to its blue-print plan.  

Targets for achievement of each ministry could be prepared with the help of organizations like FICCI or CII, or any of the top management school in the country. Inexperienced ministers could be trained in the art of delegating responsibilities to his subordinates and bureaucrats. Thus every bureaucrat and minister will have his/her well documented, transparent target for each year. His/her performance could be assessed by the same agencies and monetary incentives could be provided for achievers and punishments for losers.

When administration of the state becomes a managerial exercise, with its responsibilities,accountability and pains, its existing glamour quotient will naturally come down. Media persons can stop following them day and night,even up to their toilets, with cameras,in search of scintillating  news. 

This single media act was chiefly instrumental in converting plain country administration into a glamour business of politics. It also has converted these purely managerial  occupations of country governance into a fantastic, parallel world of glitz and glamour, which was  totally unmatched to democratic values  and traditions.

If run like a plain managerial exercise, at the end of each term of a government, people will be easily able to judge the better performers,  and decide wisely when their votes are asked for the next time.

Media also will be able to concentrate more on meaningful social themes when they get free from the routine act of following leaders day and night. Media’s absence will itself distract many leaders from  running after political career. Thus, the wasteful exercise of politics could be slowly eliminated from the scene of country administration.    

Such a shift of priorities will get democracy reinvented into a rational, no non-sense managerial exercise, the sacred purpose for which it was intended for.  

Media should wake up, and take up the cause of reinventing democracy, and help it to become a national agenda. 

Abraham Joseph
Founder secretary
Conscience of the society- a non-profit for philosophic initiatives into  the cause of strengthening and reinventing democracy.


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  2. Dear Vivek,

    Thanks for going through my blog!

    I genuinely want to hear from you the political 'wisdom' that you may have !
    I repeat, this is frank and sincere wish to learn from you more, as I could gather from your blogs that you possess an exceptionally brilliant mind !

  3. Sorry, I didn't spot your comment till just now. T
    'Brilliance' may be a good thing in Maths or Physics but, as Isaiah Berlin pointed out, it is a handicap in understanding political or historical processes.
    This is not to say analytical techniques developed by Game theorists and Econometricians and so on aren't useful. However, human beings have evolved superior Social Choice heuristics- indeed, the need for such heuristics drove evolution- and a lot of this goes on beneath the threshold of language and 'discourse'.

    The British ICS was, at least in theory, an honest, managerial, caste. However, they soon saw they could not deliver the goods. They needed representative bodies to affirm that their innovations were in the public interest. Hence, from Ripon's Viceroyalty onwards, ICS officers needed representative 'Natives' to justify their actions as well as to raise new cesses or open new revenue streams. Despite support from ex-ICS officers like Hulme, Wedderburn, Cotton etc, the I.N.C however soon found that it could not deliver the goods either, so long as it remained shackled to a managerial style of admin.
    The Indians in the ICS, before and after independence, were extremely loyal to the I.N.C top brass- Nehru in particular. However, their very existence and anxiety to please, prevented Congress from grooming its own managerial cadre.
    This was actually a good thing, because it enabled India to escape the sort of de facto one party rule that Mexico suffered under.
    Anyone still hankering for rule by bureaucrats needed only to look at Pakistan where the Civil servants took over. They bungled things, so the Army rushed in. Even when this meant Pakistan was pursuing sensible economic policies, a huge amount of trouble was being stored up such that the country blew itself apart and remains fragile to this day.

    The real problem India faces is lack of subsidiarity at the Fiscal level. This by itself gives rise to rent seeking.

    You want "a representative team to run the country with the best of managerial expertise, like the way corporate houses run their business, or like constructing a building according to its blue-print plan."

    A good management team would break up India- if not politically, then at least in terms of fiscal subsidiarity. No one admits this. Delhi shouldn't be ruling India. The only way it can continue to do so is through corruption and instrumentalizing political disorder.

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