Sunday, February 21, 2010

India’s Bureaucratic Albatross

I am glad to see today (February 22, 2010) a blog by Tavleen Singh entitled India’s bureaucratic albatross in which he describes his frustrations and observations in his dealings with the bureaucracy in government departments in Delhi. As one who returned to India in 1995 after 30 years in the U.S. , and now having dealt with both rural and urban government officials at the state level, you can imagine what I have been going through to accomplish anything that needs government approval or assistance. I have described my experiences in India Untouched: The Forgotten Face of Rural Poverty and subsequent blogs. It is my conviction that the root of poverty in India is set in bad governance – inefficiency, bad planning, terrible procedures and systems, corruption and favoritism. Use of modern technology might speed up some work, but unless bad attitude, lack of accountability and arrogance of power can be offset by the power of the people, there is no hope. When senior officials and politicians are only interested in maintaining their power at any cost, and are able to do so, nothing good will happen.

I started a journalism college – the best in India today (see www.iijnm.org) – to train young people to investigate and write about these and other ills in India. Unfortunately, editors, senior managers, and owners are unwilling to write about government practices beyond superficial reporting on some scandal that is of political interest. The media is also part of the problem – their reluctance to reveal the truth about ourselves.


By Dr. Abraham George. Please visit us at www.shantibhavanonline.org and www.tgfworld.org

2 comments:

Eapen Chacko said...

So, Dr. George, how does the logjam get broken? You've started a journalism school, but will you have to start your own media outlet so that your graduates can apply their skills to a free and inquiring media outlet? It seems as if we're endlessly talking about the same issues, but where will the changes begin?

Abraham M. George, The George Foundation said...

The journalism school we started (www.iijnm.org) has already turned out over 500 graduates who were taught the importance of investigative work. Unfortunately, most media institutions do not permit them to write stories that are critical of people in power. Hopefully this will change over time. Change must come from what we, as people, do ourselves to counterbalance the power of politicians and officials.