Tuesday, December 28, 2010

M for Mamata, M for Metro Rail

Today I learn from newspaper advertisements that Metro Rail will be getting status of a Railway zone. When I was working in Metro Rail, I realized, and all my colleagues agreed, that interests of Metro Rail and Indian Railways would have been served much better had Metro Rail been a division or a sub-division in Eastern Railway. Today's development shows that our momentous decisions and actions are not driven by common sense or common prudence but considerations of self-interest. One could argue that to be driven by self interest is also common prudence. But I hold that to be driven by larger interest is better prudence, as self-interest also gets better served (though we don't realize it). Self-interest is nothing but a subset of larger interest.

The event is also a strong statement that the top bureaucracy, at least in Indian Railways, does not have backbone any more. And why should they have when they know that their very existence as it is, depends on the whims of one individual i.e. the Hon'ble Minister for Railways? Survival must come first. Problem doesn't lie with them but the system that turns men into moles.

If we look back, we find that most of our political decisions are governed by same approach or thinking that has been governing Ms Mamata Banerjee since she took over as Railway Minister. Indian Railways have become Bengal Railways at the cost of the organization. Those in the organization know it but are either not bothered or feel helpless. I know morale of officers is at its all time low, with proximity to Ms Banerjee or her coterie deciding most of top level postings and her whims reigning supreme. An example of how a great political leader, and a greater individual could be a disastrous administrator when keeping counsel of only self-serving sycophants. Driving force~ whether larger interest or parochial thinking~ will distinguish between a Statesman and a neta. Alas! no statesman is around.

No comments: