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The best of Bhavan's Journal: 1954 - 2003
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The Future Administrator
Dr. Zakir Husain
(Published in 1962 Annual Number)
We are face to face with a new life with new problems. The attitude of the people and that of the administrator have to undergo a radical mutual change. We have still a rather confused attitude towards our administrative machinery, perhaps understandably so. Before independence, this administrative machinery was the operative agency of foreign rule. For long years it was thus in a static mass of apathetic, hopeless, visionless, inarticulate humanity, unmindful, by and large, of its obligations, ignorant of its rights and forgetful of its destiny.
In its early days, this administrative machinery, in spite of its being the tool of a foreign domination, was even liked and respected for its efficiency, its impartiality and its incorruptibility. But operating in a population uneducated and illiterate, ridden with poverty and disease, politically dead and socially stagnant, without a word of valid criticism or a stirring of legitimate protest, would corrode and demoralize even the best administrative apparatus.
The apparatus of British administration in this country was no exception and, in spite of the limited scope of its operation, mainly for the maintenance of law and order in a police state, it deteriorated as it grew. It alienated their sympathies. It came to be regarded not only with suspicion but with hostility as an engine of exploitation and oppression, geared to a system of government which Gandhiji brandmarked indelibly as ‘Satanic’.
This has caused considerable damage to our present administration when circumstances have so radically changed.
The present administration has inherited some of that exclusive forbidding touch-me-not-ness, some of that standoffish sense of superiority, some of that lack of sympathetic understanding which was associated with the administrator of the past.
It also inherited, perhaps, some of that lack of initiative only natural in a circumstance where points of initiative were mostly occupied by the foreigner. It also inherited some of those narrower loyalties of community and caste and language and region which could flourish and grow under foreign rule, for allegiance to those narrower loyalties did not place any higher and larger loyalty in jeopardy.


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