Discussion On Power and Responsibility in Today’s India
Discussion On Power and Responsibility in Today’s India—In last few years, government jobs have increased in the job market especially in the fields of banking, insurance, services, etc. Today’s youth is attracted to these due to security of tenure, fixed income, proper facilities, assured promotions, opportunities to work for the country and society, etc. But at the same time corruption can be seen rampant in these government posts in departments at central, state, district and panchayats levels. Then a legitimate question arises: Is the new job holder professional or corrupt? Is the new joiner moral and ethical or just a new sheep in the herd? This is a million dollar question!
This issue of corruption can be seen in other dimensions of private jobs, self employed people, businessmen, political leaders, social entrepreneurs and cultural icons or any other person in agriculture or labour or even as a customer and consumer. Such is the depth of this pervasive issue that changes in government were seen in the past over this issue in centre and states. So here further it can be asked: Why a clerk in the department takes bribe? Does he or she need bribe? Should this pervasive corruption be formalized? Is it impossible for a person in a department to remain ethical and honest to his duty?
Any person doing any job can be asked these questions and usual answer will be inflation, social boycott, domestic needs, blaming government and other officials or customers, etc. But really can power be misused on these grounds or should one become unethical and dishonest due to these temporary reasons? Is there a real deficiency in character of people? A person doing any job has some duties and discretions and some responsibilities. For example a clerk has power and responsibility to complete files and move the file to next process table. But a corrupt one will sit on the file and move it only when he is told by the higher official or he gets the bribe. Why such a tendency is tolerated by the people?
Looking deeper into the clerk example, let us understand the nature of power and responsibility. Power is basically an independence given to a post holder to take decisions regarding his job. Responsibility on the other hand is the basic duty to complete the task assigned with accuracy, honesty and skillfulness with a sense of duty. It also includes the time to complete a task and act according to the urgency of the work in a proper manner. Simply put, a clerk taking the decision to work out a file is his power and completing the work within time is his responsibility as a servant. But why such a simple thing is properly done by the servants or professionals?
Not only government jobs but private jobs also have different kinds of corruption of power abuse and responsibility non-fulfilment. For example, not following government rules on pollution, doing favouritism in recruitment, not following internal rules in the day to day affairs of the company, also delays in tax payment, etc. Further politicians have nexus with the criminals to win the elections, people in general look into selfish interests and vote those who pay them money and liquor, etc. This simply means that power and responsibility are in the decision making of each and every person as a citizen. Power defines the choice to make decisions and responsibility means the responsibility to nation, society, family and oneself in this chronological order.
Now if every person has to take some or the other decision, it is but natural that decision to give bribe or do any corrupt practice or allow any illegality to happen is in the power and responsibility of the person himself whether in a job or not. So here comes the role of “conscience” in a person. Conscience is an inner voice which says to the person to follow or do the right thing and reject the wrong. If this voice is suppressed then the person becomes corrupt soon because he or she loses the ability to pause for a moment, listen to the inner voice and think about the consequences of the corrupt act on his or her nation, society, family and himself or herself.
Such suppression of inner voice has many disastrous results like a feeling of insecurity, constant fear of losing job or respect in society, bad impact on children’s future and their ideals and imagination, fear of children becoming criminals by taking cue from parents, higher threat of losing respect within the family and friends, etc. While listening to inner voice leads to right decisions, higher confidence, no fear of even the false cases, higher alertness in work and better efficiency, sense of pride in the work even if of a peon job, honesty respected by the people very soon and recognized by the officials and colleagues, better chances of promotion, etc.
So it is clear that we just need to follow our good inner conscience and judicially use our power responsibly looking at the nation, society, family and oneself so that one can sleep peacefully in the night. As Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore said, “Where the head is held high… Let my country awake”.
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