ISBN: 8129105241 Publisher:Rupa Book Format: Hard Bound Language: English Physical Description: 262pages Year of Publication: 2004
Can officers use red or green ink on files? A simple question, you may think. But in government it is enough to set off meetings, letters, references to other ministries that stretch over a year. . . A tree false on to the house of the Indian High Commissioner; memos fly to and fro, and for nine years government cogitates and deliberates, and weighs pros and cons, unable to decide who is to repair the house, and how. . . From such trifles to matters that spell the difference between life and death, the same pattern. . . Environment degenerates. Laws are passed. Rules are formulated under those laws. Boards are set up to enforce the laws, the rules. The degradation accelerates. . . Intelligence agencies, governors experts on national security issue warning upon warning about the peril that the demographic inundation from Bangladesh spells for our country. Political parties keep quarreling about the matter. Ministers keep issuing statements, and disowning them. Governments keep ordering intelligence agencies to prepare position papers, and then up-dates of position papers, legislatures keep drowning the warnings. Courts keep adjourning hearing. The inundation continues. . . . Governments shut their eyes to a problem. The problem swells. Governments look the other way. The problem explodes. Governments set up an institution to tackle it. Five years later, exactly what had been forecast comes to pass - the problem is still there, and the institution has become another problem. . . . As the institution has not worked, a law is passed. As the law is not enforced, amendments are decreed that make penalties under the law more frightening. Legislation as a substitute for enforcement. Vision statements, plan documents, strategy papers as a substitute for execution.
Arun Shourie Arun Shourie, among India’s best known commentators on current and political affairs, backs his distinctive writing, his conscientiously independent perspectrive with rigorous analysis and meticulous research. Born in Jalandhar in 1941, he studied at Modern School and St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, and obtained his doctorate in Economics from the University of Syracuse, USA. He has been an economist with the World Bank, a consultant to the Planning Commission and Editor of The Indian Express. His writings have gained him a vast following across the country, as well as several national and international honours. Among these are the Padma Bhushan, the Magsaysay Award, the Dadabhai Naoroji Award, the Astor Award, the K.S. Hegde Award and the International Editor of the Year Award. The Federation of Indian Publishers recently conferred The Freedom to Publish Award on him. At present Arun Shourie is a member of the Rajya Sabha. This is his fifteenth book.