By Vijay Darda | 19-06-2017
If India is to be put on the path of progress at a faster pace then the sense of responsibility should be instilled in every person
When the Narendra Modi government sacked 129 officials and employees on allegations of dereliction of duty and ordered 1,800 others to quit, I suddenly remembered a TV serial, Office Office! There was a character called Musaddilal who used to go from pillar to post to get his work done. His work never got done! Years later, these serial characters are still remembered because people see in those characters the truth around them.
It was a comedy serial but it was so close to reality that people used to see in it their ordeal which they would suffer everyday. Although there has been some difference due to computerisation, it has not been so telling that we could compare our country’s working culture to America, Western countries, Japan or neighbouring China! After computerisation, a new scam of ‘Server is Down’ has emerged. In fact, the US has a separate department to ensure that the server is never down! Compared to our country, there are negligible ‘server down’ cases in the US.
As far as the working hours are concerned — America or Japan or European countries — there are eight hours per day for officers and employees everywhere. There is a half hour lunch break in these eight hours. Officers and employees work with full dedication and devotion for the remaining seven and a half hours. Their focus remains on how fast every work should be done so that more work can be completed.
Even in this hurry, they take care that the quality of work is not affected! Completing the work on time is their first priority. This situation also prevails in Japan. Do we have such a work culture here? In some private offices or selected establishments, there may be such a system. But in the offices responsible for fulfilling the basic needs like the collector’s office, the commissioner’s office, municipal corporation, district panchayat or RTO, there is absolutely no such system. There may be some exceptions, but in most places you can see the common man wandering in search of the missing officer.
In fact, there is a lack of responsibility in different departments and offices in our country, and the common man has to suffer on account of it. Let me tell you about a recent development. Pensioners retiring from private institutions receive pension from the EPF on the first day of every month. This pension was not deposited on June 1. People thought that the pension would be credited in two to four days. When one week passed, some people reached the EPF office. They were told that all the pensioners will have to submit three documents and only then the pension will be credited! When the aggrieved pensioners said they did not have any information, an official directed them to the notice board in the office saying that the notice is pasted there! Is this not an irresponsible attitude? After all, no pensioner goes to EPF office every month! His pension is directly deposited in the bank. Why should he go to the EPF office? It is the responsibility of the department to send information to the pensioners. The common man faces many such situations in everyday life.
Even in our country, an office-goer works for a specified duration but in most cases he does not show the dedication, he does not give the productivity which is expected of him. Well, leave aside the point of quality and creativity! In our country there is a long duration of lunch break. Tea breaks are freely taken. In order to take stock of the work culture in the country, an Indian media house consulted a survey company three years ago and got the survey conducted. Survey report showed that 52 per cent of working professionals in India do not enjoy their work. They are not interested in new challenges in their work. Some 29 per cent are those people who consider wasting time as a part of the work. Similarly, 66 per cent of the people were of the opinion that it is necessary to reach the work place on time. This indicated that for the remaining 34 per cent of the people timing did not matter. Obviously, when people do not enjoy their work, there can neither be quality nor any creativity in them.
The way our neighbouring country is moving forward, the way it is dominating the economic world is astonishing. The question is how did it achieve this capability? China, Japan and India started their modern development journey almost together. Though we have also made our own progress, there are no two opinions that our growth is less compared to China and Japan. In fact, Japan and China combined the work with nation building and our work was left at the private level!
China made its human resources the basis of productivity and no attention was given to it here in India! China turned the youth towards the cottage industry and we started giving allowances to the unemployed. China has made its farmers modern and we continue to play politics with the farmers. Our farmer is getting trapped in debt. If we have to change this situation, the work will have to be linked with the national spirit. Every person has to understand that the nation will progress only when we move ahead. We have to change our attitude. We must understand the cost and need of hard work.
Former US national security adviser Colin Powell said: Dreams do not come true by magic. It requires perspiration, commitment and hard work. If India is to be taken on the path of progress at a fast pace, along with these three qualities, it is very important to instill a sense of responsibility in every person. Every person will have to make efforts to make our work culture better.
Before I conclude…
I am currently in California and there is a great fascination for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. He is coming to San Francisco on June 25, which is about 200 miles from here. People believe that Modi is doing a very good job and that India’s name has been elevated in the world. Secondly, I have felt that people are happy with the performance of US President Donald Trump and say that the media here is targeting him unnecessarily. The common man’s opinion is that Donald Trump is working in the interests of country and he should be given time.