Real-life Instance of Delivering Governance

nmodiIt didn’t need a Rajiv Gandhi to tell us that only 20% of the funds allocated to any public project actually reaches the intended recipients. He only vocalized what was already well-known even in his own time. He was obviously talking about the corruption that occurs at all levels starting from the top. So let’s keep this aside for a moment and focus on the loot that happens at the bureaucratic level.

What I’m talking about is a truism: that many a well-intentioned public project is mercilessly butchered on the bureaucratic table. Put another way, a successful politician is one who ensures that such butchering doesn’t happen—or one who prevents or remedies it as quickly as possible. In other words, a successful politician is one who can effectively rein in the bureaucratic beast, a must for delivering governance. Case in point: Narendra Modi.

Last night a gentleman narrated his experience, which reinforces the faith that millions of people have vested in Modi.

This gentleman, an architect in Bangalore had invested in the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNL) Bonds way back in 1993. Over time, he had forgotten all about it and in 2007, he recalled that he had invested in SSNL. He decided to redeem the bonds and realized that he had lost the original bond certificates. He approached the authority in charge at SSNL and was advised of the procedure to obtain the duplicate bond certificates. The process, which took a few weeks was completed, and he received the duplicates.

Then he applied for redemption, a process that was the beginning of a bureaucratic nightmare.

The officer at SSNL took him on a long-winded tour around red tape. “The cheque/DD has been dispatched sir but the address was wrong.” “The cheque/DD has been torn because it returned unclaimed. Please wait for six weeks.” “New cheque was  <Insert favourite excuse> sir…please wait for six weeks.” And so it dragged on in multiples of six weeks. After speaking on the phone to the SSNL officer and hearing his latest excuse, this gentleman decided that he had reached the end of the proverbial rope. At about 4:30 P.M, he wrote a complaint-email to Narendra Modi and left it at that.

The next morning, he found a government employee at his doorstep holding an envelope in his hand: the redemption money delivered, in less than 24 hours. The deliverer then asked him to call the SSNL officer. When my architect friend called him, the man told him to write another email to the Chief Minister informing him that the money was received. When my friend asked him why he needs to do that, pat came the reply: “I was suspended at 5:30 P.M. yesterday sir. Your mail will help my case.”

Enough said.

20 comments for “Real-life Instance of Delivering Governance

  1. Bhatta
    August 7, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    I agree with comments made on ‘ Lights out folks ‘.Bureaucracy or other organ of the Govt. follows the leadership at the top.And leaders like Narendra Bhai by their conduct set an example of the rank and file.And this is not the first instance of swift action by NaMo.A few years back a guy from Hassan in Karnataka experienced it to his pleasant surprise.This guy was a dealer of Amul.And for sume reason he canceled his agency and ask of the return of his deposit(Rs. 25000).But the folks at Amul all sorts of reasons and refused to return his deposit amount.Finally as a last resort he wort to NaMo and within a week he got a check of Rs.25000 with a apology letter from Gujarat CM himself. I wish this man becomes PM of India.

  2. JayKumar
    August 4, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Hi Guys,
    I have got something, which many of us have not seen or heard..Even looks that Sandeep too missed this point to cover..

    Here is the link of it..

    http://www.haindavakeralam.com/HKPage.aspx?PageID=16276&SKIN=B

    “Justice Soni exposes ‘Communal Mindset’ of Justice Aftab Alam ”

    We can read how our learned Judge’s do in their leisure time..

    After I copy pasted this link, I see a very good debate among bloggers on Outlook..

    http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?281773

    But wonders is that Justice Soni raised this point after 3 years, while the whole episode of lecture took place in year 2009…

    Is that judiciary and eminent members are trying to fish in troubled water??

    –JK

  3. Pingback: Lights out folks
  4. Sid
    July 30, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    @Madhav,

    You are right! This is all Modi’s failure. When we were told that Gujrat babus are more efficient, it obviously meant that Sri Modi will keep track of all babus 24X7 besides responding to myriad cases filed by people inspired by Gandhi dynasty’s money and creating policies to draw investment. Obviously, that is not the case.

    Governance does not work in vacuum, it is connected with larger society. Our society lost so much of it’s self-respect and values that it no longer thinks that honesty has any value. So it wont produce babus who will work to earn his/her living. In such an environment, Modis are anomalies in such a society, freaks who think that people need to be governed when exploitation of masses is the norm defined by the elites of our society.

    In such an environment, Modi is a failure! He should be. How dare he creates a system where complaints can be mailed to him directly? Even if such a system exists, think about the blasphemy! He also dares to act on those complaints! He does that without even waiting for mandatory six weeks! Does not that set too much expectation from the masses? All he was supposed to do was to condemn these upper middle class dude’s profit motive & sell the bonds to the secular certified by Teesta bibi’s secular agency. You are right, pal. I condemn his failure to act (or govern) as per the norm set by the elites of our country.

    What a failure! I tell you, those bloody right wing conspirators!

  5. JayKumar
    July 27, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    To my previous comment I can find the link from CNN website but fact is that was he Right or Wrong?
    So you are the right person who can correct him..

  6. JayKumar
    July 27, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Sandeep,
    One out of track topic..Sorry for it!!
    Yesterday I was watching “Face The Nation” on CNN-IBN where discussion of Women’s Safety has been debated and to my surprise I found that Radio Jockey Sangram was referring to some Manuscript where how to treat women is been discussed…But unfortunately I could not hear fully as I got a call that moment….

    So can you take some pain and find out what he was referring to…?Already I have read your lengthy article on Girish Karnad’s “Utsav”..Where point by Point you rebutted Karnad…

    After that article I became a great fan of you and make a point to go through all of your articles once in a week…

    So it would be of part of great knowledge for us from you, if you give provide some thought process article on it….on Sangram’s words…

  7. seadog4227Bodhi Dharma
    July 26, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Some bureaucrats at the centre might well ponder their fate when Modi claims his rightful place at the centre.

  8. CC
    July 26, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Menka like people are everywhere. And no doubt the officer who got suspended was also a Menka who was personally corrupt until Modi kicked his butt.

    So of course it will take time for the administrative reforms to weed out all the Menkas in Gujarat. And I can bet it will take much less time than it will take the “unfinished product” to become a finished product. Him who all the Menkarangers worship.

  9. Menka
    July 25, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    @Madhav

    The story proves all the so called administrative reforms undertaken are only a myth.

  10. CC
    July 25, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    What an amazing story…! Great blog post Sandeep, made my day!

    I feel pity for those who would read this and go… yes. but… 2002… blah blah blah.

  11. Madhav
    July 25, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    @SS
    Agree with you that Modi is doing what he can with the limited instruments at his disposal at state level. I was just wondering about the long term sustainability. As Minhaz Merchant has pointed out in his recent blog in TOI, major administrative reforms are needed pronto. This is bound to be a political hot potato. Hope after 2014, a favorable dispensation (perhaps with Modi as PM?) can try and create a conducive atmosphere for this.

  12. SS
    July 25, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    @ Madhav

    you do have a point. However, there are also hurdles that a CM may not surmount in the present structure. The persons manning a situation cannot be created in factories. Just like Narendra Modi. Not all RSS-pracharaks, once in some power position, proved like Modi. In fact, many shown themselves as worthless as any local Congress or SP, RJD, etc. leader could be.

    So, the solution is to create a system and environment where honest, efficient persons could be identified and given responsibility. Perhaps at the moment such institutional changes cannot be made in a province. Or perhaps Modi has no more abilities and wits than you and I do. He is doing what he can. Major over-howling of the system prerequisites a general political desire in the upper classes in every sphere. Do we have it?

  13. RS
    July 25, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Dear Sandeep, Pranaams.I have been a recent follower of your blog (and more recently your tweets) and have admired the passion and reason behind each post.Pls accept my heartiest wishes and congratulations on the selfless job of creating awareness that you have been doing for a decade. Being Mr Modi’s most vocal and intelligent supporter in the cyberspace is a great service that you are doing. Would agree with Sughosh that while the incident above is a brilliant example, it also shows that 10 years of Modi has not brought pro-activeness to the babus (it could just be one bad apple). Is it possible that you may gather a few such evidences and put together an article in the Daily Pioneer. It would be an effective counter to the campaign of calumny that will peak, come Gujarat election (which you have shown in your earlier post).Pray please continue with your thoughtful writings. I hope concerned Indians rally round people like you and spread the word. As long as there is life, there is hope.Best rgds,RS

  14. Madhav
    July 25, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Hmmm….actually don’t think this is such a positive story. I’m a tad disappointed. I thought the famed gujarat bureaucratic efficiency would have been institutionalized by now. If it still depends on the individual honesty of the man on top, what will happen when he moves out or becomes the PM(hopefully) and is no longer in direct control? Institutional mechanism must be reformed such that regardless of who the CM is, it functions properly. Or is it that any such minor or major systemic change can happen only from the center?

  15. Sughosh
    July 25, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Sounds like a scene straight out of Mudhalvan / Nayak! While it’s an excellent example of Modi’s concern for the common man, it’s a little disappointing to see that the Gujarat bureaucracy has not improved as much. How many more terms of Modi at the helm till he can cease to be involved with such minute details and trust his suboprdinates to deliver as he would?

  16. SP
    July 25, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    My sister-in-law lives and teaches in Ahmedabad, since 91. She told me recently that during Comgress and our Keshubhai’s time youths of particular community will come in front of school and tease the girls. Well to cut the story short, it all stopped after 2002. Hindus now feel safe in Gujarat. Wish I could say same thing about Assam. UP Merut and Muzaffarnagar areas, N. Kerala and of course entire Bangal. Well to secularist I say enjoy the money paid by Sheiks and Sultans and Mormon churches.

  17. Raj
    July 25, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Great, Sandeep Sir thank you very much for letting us know this, and there may be more such incidents,

    but great thing is others officers junior or senior learns from such incidents and the ultimate goal of better governance reached.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.

  18. mital
    July 25, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Seriously, ‘nough said!!

  19. July 25, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    This sounds magnificent. There should also be junior officers who take on the responsibility.

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