Structure of the Essay:
You can start the introduction through following ways:
- Start with a general introduction/anecdote/an example/a short story/a poem/a quote/a recent event or trend etc which can help in describing the need for self-reliance.
- It is a transition statement between introduction and body of the essay.
- In thesis statement, you should write outline of the body with your own arguments. You should prove these arguments in body of the essay with relevant examples.
Body of the essay:
The remark implies the vastness of the governing mechanism as well as the limitations of bureaucrats in terms of mandate, decision-making capacities, efficiency, talents, honesty, integrity, and dedication. Unfortunately, this is the public perception of bureaucracy, despite the fact that there is a segment of bureaucracy that assists governments in all possible ways to run and fulfil their goals and missions. Government is a large mechanism that requires administrators to function correctly. A bureaucracy is defined as a body of non-elective government officials and/or an administrative policy-making group. Historically, bureaucracy referred to government administration administered by non-elected ministries. Bureaucracy, in modern usage, refers to the administrative framework that governs any significant organisation.
Many commentators associate the term “bureaucracy” with negative connotations from its inception. Bureaucracies are chastised when they grow overly complex, inefficient, or rigid. The dehumanising effects of excessive bureaucracy were a key issue in renowned author Franz Kafka’s writings, and were essential to his most famous work, The Trial. Similarly, eliminating needless bureaucracy is a significant tenet in modern managerial theory and has been a focal point in various political campaigns. Max Weber, a German sociologist, maintained that bureaucracy is the most effective and rational way to organise human activity, and that systematic processes and hierarchical hierarchies are required to maintain order, maximise efficiency, and eliminate favouritism.
However, even Weber saw unbridled bureaucracy as a threat to individual freedom, arguing that a rise in the bureaucratization of human existence can trap individuals in a “iron cage” of rule-based, logical control. Through a range of government agencies, bureaucracy is meant to handle administration and governance, implement development projects, support entrepreneurs, and offer basic services to the public. However, bureaucracy is not always successful in carrying out these obligations due to a variety of factors such as red tape, incompetence, indifference, corruption, a lack of funding, and competence.
Because bureaucracy is a component of the power system, it seeks several privileges and rentals without doing its obligations. Bureaucrats gain influence through their position within the institution, not through their interactions with the people they are intended to serve. The public are not the bureaucracy’s masters, but its clientele.’ Even in that case, officials would have done their jobs according to the contract and mandate they were given. On the contrary, they cheat and exploit their clients, making them unhappy. People begin to rely on the bureaucracy for everything, and they discover that there is no way to protect themselves from crooked and insensitive bureaucrats.
Bureaucracy is formed by hiring professionals and generalists to manage the government for the advancement and development of a country and its people, as well as to enforce the rule of law. However, bureaucracy’s power and mandate are limited. Individual departments and their bosses are frequently disjointed. They are frequently forced to diverge from the ‘blue book’ by their political masters (book of laws and regulations). They sometimes work hand in hand with their political employers, leveraging executive power and public funding for personal gain. They also show bias and nepotism. Aside from greed and the desire for wealth and power, there are several more reasons why bureaucracy fails in its objective.
It obtains power not through elections, but rather through selection tests or political nominations. Political masters remain masters in both scenarios. So, in a large system, each bureaucrat is too little to make a significant influence. In this sense, they can be called pygmies. Nonetheless, they receive their strength from the constitution and other rules and regulations, and it is difficult to fail or falter them if they remain dedicated and honest. They have a permanent position as long as they perform their tasks correctly and honestly, in accordance with the blue book.
Max Weber has pointed out the main features of bureaucracy thus: Precision, speed, unambiguity, knowledge of files, continuity, discretion, unity, strict subordination, reduction of friction and material, and personal costs – these are raised to the optimum point in the strictly bureaucratic administration. But it is an idealized perception. In reality, bureaucracy may achieve only a few of its idealized qualities. Bureaucracy is often characterized by misplaced use of discretion, ambiguity, poor file keeping, delays, and increasing friction. In India, starting a company needs more than 50 approvals, and the earliest, with hooks and crooks one can get all clearances, is about 45 days. According to Max Weber, the main characteristics of bureaucracy are as follows: precision, speed, unambiguity, file knowledge, continuity, discretion, unity, strict subordination, reduction of friction and material, and personal costs – these are raised to the optimum point in strictly bureaucratic administration. However, this is an idealistic perception. In actuality, bureaucracy may only accomplish a handful of its desirable characteristics. Bureaucracy is frequently characterised by erroneous use of discretion, uncertainty, inadequate record keeping, delays, and growing conflict. In India, launching a business requires more than 50 approvals, and the earliest one may acquire all clearances is 45 days.
Many of the projects have been dogged by uncertainty for years. Bureaucrats turn out to be barriers rather than facilitators. Even in the event of public protests for compensation, rehabilitation, and basic services, they not only create obstacles but frequently utilise official authority to suppress reasonable requests. Bureaucracy is frequently perceived as insensitive and lacking in creativity. They continue to cause delays and even casual blunders with no accountability, yet when the ordinary public makes a mistake, they pounce like a monster. Bureaucracy was traditionally intended to maintain and impose structure; yet, over time, bureaucrats’ position has developed as an agent of progress and change. However, it has been seen that bureaucracy dislikes change.
For example, Indian bureaucracy retains a feudal atmosphere and instils fear of imperial times, rather than functioning as a friend, philosopher, and guide for free citizens and the ordinary man who require their assistance. Bureaucrats oppose policy changes for two reasons: first, they are constrained by existing norms, and second, they must fulfil the dictates of their political masters. It is true that bureaucracy defends the status quo long after the status quo has lost its status. Aside from that, they refuse to give up their bureaucratic advantages and rentals, even if it means misusing public funds or losing the authority that comes with their positions.
They also have an impact on public attitude and mindset because they are the people’s closest role models. The bureaucracy is run by people whose authority and mandate are well defined. Because the bureaucracy’s various units have poor communication, integration, and coordination among itself, the impact they can have on the system is severely limited. Nonetheless, they are all committed and efficient in their work.
To name a few, T.N. Sheshan, as Chief Election Commissioner, changed the way elections are conducted in India; Sridharan made metro rail a symbol of fast, fair, and technologically sound implementation and operation of large projects; police officers like D.N. Gautam reduced crimes against innocent people in their daily lives; and Kiran Bedi made jails a place for improvement, rectification, and humane treatment. Nobody can refer to them as pigmies. Vinod Ray is another bureaucrat who, as India’s CAG, acted as a true whistle-blower despite knowing it was a difficult path. Many others are working quietly to write magnificent stories of progress and development.
We are always aware of the political leaders who govern countries, but we are unaware of the vast fleet of pigmies, nay bureaucrats, who give shape to their dreams. Bureaucrats are turned into pigmies in the governance process, where conformity and established disciplinary norms leave extremely little mandate, less room for dissent, questioning, and creativity. Even discretionary powers are severely restricted. In times of emergency, whether natural disasters or war, a disciplined bureaucracy is a necessary and most vital resource. This applies to some extent even in a government’s peacetime activities, when bureaucracy must be cooperative and disciplined in order to fulfil the goals and targets. Bureaucracy must be sensitive and reflective, imaginative and forward-thinking, and committed to the nation and its people.
These will solve many of the challenges that the bureaucracy is experiencing. If bureaucracy adopts these values, its contribution might multiply exponentially. But, in the end, it must be emphasised that while the part, i.e., bureaucrats, will always be small (pigmies) in comparison to the entire machinery, i.e., government and bureaucracy (giant), the system will continue to function and any effort to modify the bureaucracy will be as difficult as ever. To summarise, Franz Kafka said, “Every revolution vanishes, leaving only the slime of a new bureaucracy.” And, despite its flaws, Max Weber correctly maintains that modern civilizations cannot function without bureaucracy.