Sunday, December 15, 2013

King and His Lieutenant

King and His Lieutenant

By Zubair Ahmed

Core values like Imandari, Wafadari and Izzat should be the guiding forces, reiterated our Lieutenant Governor in two very important gatherings last week.

Its almost six months, the new Administrator, A K Singh took charge of the Island territory. A refreshing change for the Islands after prolonged six and half years, the territory gets a new Administrator with clear vision and intentions.

He is trying his best to be a contrast to his predecessor and has been successful to an extent. AK Singh wants to stand against everything, in word and deed, that Bhopinder Singh was. He tried to connect with people and employed all tactics for that. His whirlwind tours were well attended and appreciated. Indeed, he changed the way people look towards an Administrator.

However, he is yet to understand the mechanics of civil administration, where mutual trust and faith are two important factors rather than regimentation and commands.

In Defence forces, everything is sensitive and discreet. However, in a civil governance setup, transparency and openness are paramount. No decision is sensitive to be kept a secret as far as public office is concerned.

After six months, although he has good grasp of the Islands, its challenges and opportunities, it seems he miserably failed in gauging the dynamics of civil administration. He should have approached the Administration without a myopic vision. But, his vision was blurred by his immediate advisor, the Chief Secretary. Today, he looks the Administration through CS’s eyes, who engineers and manipulates his views according to his whims and fancies. There are officials in the good book as well as bad book of the LG and unfortunately, the books are photocopies of the Chief Secretary. He failed to have an impartial and neutral assessment of the officers. The Islands that the Chief Secretary has created within the Administration remains disconnected without a bridge.

The lieutenant in question here enjoys blind trust of the Administrator. On the one hand, the Administrator harps on zero-tolerance against corruption, but his lieutenant openly supports and protects corrupt elements. The Administrator wants encroachment to be eliminated, whereas his lieutenant gives instructions to the DC to go slow on it. The Administrator talks positive and development, whereas his lieutenant thinks only negative and anti-development.

Either the Chief Secretary's memory power is very high, or he don't give a damn to all the announcements the Administrator makes at the functions. The announcements and decisions made by the Administrator at different functions are never followed up.

The Lieutenant Governor who like to mingle with common man on the ground, and have cup of tea on the streets and mutton delicacies on far away beaches with local tourists, also needs to meet people in Chief Secretary’s absence, to get proper feedback, in an unrehearsed atmosphere. He will get to know the true meaning of the core values – Imaandari, Wafaadari and Izzat!

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