Man, that’s how the Government of India works-4
“Friends, at some stage or other of your career in Government of India, some of you, if not all, would be required to frame rules , laws, policies and procedures which others would have to follow. But be careful if and when you make rules and laws; for in Government we are quick in making new rules and laws but we are rather slow in reviewing and repealing them,” said the officer; he had at least twenty five years of experience of working in different capacities in Government of India. He was talking to us; the newly inducted members of different civil services.
“Let me tell you a story and you will understand the point I am trying to make. President of a country, we will call it Blueland, invited the President of another country, let us call it Greenland. The President of Greenland arrived on the state visit and he was very warmly received by the President of Blueland. Both the Presidents developed a liking for each other and everything went as per the plot. On the third day of the visit, the two Presidents were relaxing in the Presidential Palace. They were enjoying their drink and the unusually heavy snowfall.
“President of Greenland looked at the Presidential Lawn below. It was known for its beautiful and rare plants. But that day everything was under a thick blanket of snow.
“Something odd about the lawn struck the President of Greenland. The oddity was a lone sentry standing almost at the centre of the lawn, holding his automatic weapon; there was nothing to protect him from the heavy snow. Presidential Palace was fully secured by latest surveillance systems. Expert snipers were positioned at vantage points. Even then a lone rifleman was posted in the midst of the lawn; what purpose could he serve?
“‘May I ask you something?’ asked the President of Greenland
“‘Of course my friend, you may.’
“‘It may sound foolish, but I am wondering as to why that sentry has been stationed there? What specific purpose is he serving? he said, pointing to the sentry standing in the lawn.
“The President of Blueland was taken aback for he had never noticed the sentry. ‘I am really sorry but I never took note of him. I have to find out why he is there. And before the day ends we will know the answer.’
The officer stopped for a few seconds and looked at all of us with a naughty smile. He knew that all of us were eagerly waiting for him to continue. We all wanted to know how the story would end.
“Well friends, it took some time before the President got his answer and what he found was amazing. He was informed that once upon a time Blueland was ruled by a King; the King had a young daughter, the daughter loved to play and dance in the lawn. In those gone by days the lawn was called Queen’s Lawn. There was a rose plant in the lawn. Beautiful roses would bloom on that plant. The princess loved the roses; she had taken a fancy to that plant. But one day she was shocked to see that someone had plucked all the roses and damaged the plant. In tears she ran to the King; King got angry for he could not bear to see his little princess in tears. He ordered his Commander in Chief that the rose plant, so dear to the princess, must be protected and always. Not even for a minute was it to be left unguarded.
“Commander in Chief immediately detailed sentries and thereafter the rose plant was kept under a watch round the clock.
“Days, weeks, months and years went by. One day Blueland became a republic; ruled be a popularly elected President. The King’s palace became the Presidential Palace; the Queen’s Lawn became the Presidential Lawn; and both were given face lifts on many occasions. Now there was no rose plant which the little princess loved. But the sentries would still unfailingly arrive as per the order issued by the then Commander in Chief and stand on guard at the place indicated in the order.
“No one in the intervening decades had reviewed the order even after the King and the little princess and the rose plant had vanished in departing waves of time. That is how the governments work.
“Therefore, don’t be in a hurry when called upon to make new laws and orders. They are likely to survive many generations.”I have never forgotten this story for many a time I did come across rules and orders which had outlived their utility.