Bureaucracy at its best!

India is known for its bureaucracy and the babus! I have had experiences with the local municipal office to corporation office of metros dealing with the junior level peons and officers. They all have the same look on their face! What can you (I) give or What can I extract from you (I). If they feel that you are someone important or think that they can extract more from you the cost of service (whatever) goes more than double.

The best of bureaucracy and corruption can be seen at RTO (Regional Transport Office) although all the govt offices are same & corrupted as RTO. RTO issues registration numbers for all kind of vehicles in their region and driving licenses for individuals. Nobody from the outside world know what is happening at this office. All you have to do is catch a pimp who is waiting outside the RTO and presto.. your job is done in a matter of few hours. You got to just follow this broker (like a dutiful dog!) and stand wherever he stands. The important thing to note is you must not annoy this broker (although you are paying enough money) because if you do, the job will take longer than the prescribed(?) limit. The RTO walls are so tightly shut that a common man (aam aadmi) like me cannot even get an ounce of information directly from the office peons and clerks. Like they say – all roads lead to one destination – all hands lead to the pimp/broker. They are the official interpreters between the customers (us) and the officers. Brokers understand both sides of the language, the bureaucrats understand only broker’s language and they don’t even bother to listen us if we tried to communicate. By end of the day each broker has about 20-25 license application everyday! and you can see pile of papers on each desk. Paperless office & e-governance! it all crap.

There is lack of transparency, accountability and lackadaisical attitude of bureaucrats is making this country to hold onto the growth. The corruption is now in their blood! I saw this debate on NDTV yesterday, 01 Sep 2009 that 32000 cr is given to the babus as bribes in India per year. Thats a lot of money! My boss use to say India always takes a foot forward and simultaneously takes two feet backward! We are actually going nowhere!

Will the system change? How to change the system? Is there a simple answer or complex answer for these questions? I don’t really know! but I am sure that if I change first then it will be the first step and I don’t think I am changing in the near future. Unless I change I cannot ask/teach the future generation to think differently or act differently. In shipping industry the software of major ports are written by Indians to reduce paper transactions but if you see the Indian port technology there is always this paper and that paper required for every process.

Be the change you want to see – Mahatma Gandhi.

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