Monday, January 24, 2011

Vicious Cycles


Following strikes by auto-rickshaw wallahs in Delhi, the Government incremented the meter fares providing incentives for them to carry the passengers without bargain and harassment. Although it was implemented just prior to the CWG, in order to preserve the country's international reputation, it was aimed long-term. However, recently the auto-rickshaw wallahs have junked the code of conduct and resumed with earlier habits of overcharging, and refusal to abide by the meter rates.

Recently, following public outrage regarding inflation Government investigation bodies raided the homes and godowns of onion sellers suspected of hoarding. Following this, there was a strike in the Azadpur Mandi Market, who also threatened to go on an indefinite strike if this wasn't stopped.

Very recently, a government official-a collector was burnt alive near Nashik when he challenged some local adulterers of oil.

Thus being a honest government official in India includes risking lives, watching helplessly as possible perpetrators of crime hold strikes when being investigated- i.e. very less freedom to carry out their work and open mockery of rules incepted into the law. These are just a few instances of such behavior. "Uncivilized" behavior by commoners is easily witnessed in bus, railways, public offices.

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In turn, the bare minimum accountability which the Government offices offer leads the citizens to believe the uselessness of demonstrating responsible and ethical behavior, thus providing them a means of justifying themselves with excuses of officials compelling them into the same. (which at times, maybe a harsh truth) Newspaper reports reflect the same.
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It is just one of those vicious cycles, which has no beginning towards the end.

PS. I have digged out this complaint number against non-complying auto-rickshaw wallahs. All residents of Delhi, let's use this to end this vicious cycle.

Of course, it is offensive to be questioned and raided on charges when you are innocent, but if they are innocent then what's to fear. Moreover, there must be a system where in case the raids are proved pointless, the Government must reimburse those raided.

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