The government has directed all departments to deploy officials for a nationwide roadshow named Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, taking place from November 20 to January 25, 2024, to highlight its achievements, primarily those from the past nine years corresponding to the two terms of the ruling party starting in 2014. This campaign is conveniently scheduled around the expected Lok Sabha election in April-May 2024.
- GS2- Role of Civil Services in a Democracy.
- GS4- Public/Civil Service Values and Ethics in Public Administration.
The convergence of politics and administration should be harmonized, if not completely segregated, in order to establish the credibility of democratic politics. Analyse. (15 marks, 250 words).
More on the roadshow:
- The Ministry of Defence is establishing 822 ‘selfie points’ where citizens can take photos with an image of the Prime Minister.
- These selfie points are meant to be strategically located in high-traffic areas to garner public attention, such as war memorials, defense museums, transportation hubs, educational institutions, tourist spots, and festival venues.
- Opposition parties, led by Congress President, have criticized the government for what they view as the overt politicization of the bureaucracy and the military.
Involvement of the bureaucracy and military:
- Joint Secretaries, Directors, and Deputy Secretaries will act as “Rath Prabharis” in charge of the roadshow.
- India’s constitutional framework emphasizes a clear separation of powers among the executive, judiciary, and legislature. It also maintains a distinction between the bureaucracy and the military, separating them from the political executive.
- While both the bureaucracy and the military are under the authority of the political leadership, they are expected to remain impartial and avoid engaging in partisan politics. This impartiality has been a key element in maintaining the credibility of India’s electoral process.
- Involvement of the military in domestic politics is strongly discouraged, and both civil and military officials are supposed to prioritize their loyalty to the government elected by the citizens, regardless of their personal beliefs. However, recent directives have compelled them to assume partisan roles to further the interests of the ruling party.
- The ruling party’s strategy of disregarding established norms to gain electoral advantage has been successful, but it leaves a lasting negative impact.
If institutions are undermined, the harm may prove to be irreversible. It is crucial for the ruling party to prioritize the nation’s interests and practice what it preaches.