Political attitudes refer to those attitudes towards recurrent political issues like political ideologies, election processes, etc. It determines the opinions and values individuals hold about political issues, events and personalities.
Aristotle believed than every man is a “political animal”. While this is true, a Civil servant must exercise the following forms of attitudinal values while dealing with political issues.
- Non-partisanship : He should not favour one party or the other, either for ideological reasons or for pecuniary or other benefits. He is a ‘servant of the people, working in the government’, so, he must limit his political likings to the personal sphere.
- Neutral : Civil services maintain the chain of continuity when one government goes and other comes. Disregarding which party occupies power, he should tender his honest advice on policy matters based on merits. In being neutral, he is expected to exercise restraint in giving opinions on any political issues.
- Equality : He should treat all political parties as equal agents in democratic functioning.
- Tolerance : He may have personal liking/disliking, but in professional domain he must be tolerant towards all political creeds.
- Transparency & Integrity : He should maintain integrity & transparency in dealing with every political party. This will ensure that he doesn’t fall victim to any manipulations or ill-machinations of competing political groups.
- Accountability – He should ensure zero tolerance to political-electoral corruption.
These will facilitate cooperative governance, an important facet of good governance. This will build a sense of trust & friendliness among all concerned stakeholders, making the Indian democracy a sustainable & resilient one. The 2nd ARC has mentioned that civil servants should work in a non-partisan manner, with politically neutral attitude.