Jan Seva, Dhan Seva or Bal Seva?

What is public service? Is it service to the people in a sovereign country? Ideally, it should be. But there is a flood of complaints from the public against the service providers: governments, ministers, bureaucrats, bankers, judges, police, teachers, doctors, traders, journalists, tour and travel operators, hotels and restaurants, film makers, preachers and almost every service provider. Surprisingly, all the complaints are genuine, serious and actionable. If that is the case, why are public grievances not redressed?

They are not attended to merely due t. pressure from various lobbies. Honest public service is denied to the people and diverted to Dhan Bal or the moneyed people. In other words, the money that exchanges hands in an unclean manner, diverts scarce resources to only those who can make illegal extra payments over and above the fixed lawful charges, such as on drinking water or electricity or school admission or hospital bed for a serious patient. Those indulging in such activities are smart guys, who do a kind of reverse engineering, making service delivery defective, inadequate or unsatisfactory in order to extort illegal money. They do damage to equipment, forcing the people to avail of private service such as X-ray or MRI. The more audacious simply do not sit at their desk and make the people wait for hours . They return to their seat/desk just a few minutes before the closing time counselling the people to come another day. There can be no check on it because the authorities feign ignorance about it and promise to make an inquiry. They do it routinely every day, which people realize after making a few more visits. The activity is so well organized that nobody has been able to break it. Money had been looted from the government treasury, public sector banks and co-operative banks in billions. The looters simply moved to foreign destinations in some obscure corner of the globe.

Such cases become juicy stories  for the investigative journalists. Details get published in newspapers, television bulletins and wild fire social media. Everything looks very attractive. People lend support to the news channels for raising a voice against public dis-service. The story, however, has just begun, not ended. Shortly, the people will be struck with disillusionment. Muscle power will soon make black a white and all white as black. The law may be a written statute but the power in reality is wielded in accordance with the spoken law uttered by the lobby providing muscle power. Might is right need no more be spoken  publicly, but the public comes to know of the real power in the system sooner than later. Democracy is a fragile form of governance. It is controlled, regulated and manipulated by the muscle power who help the party in power to win elections or remain in power for the full term. Any defiance of the lobby can dethrone the president/ prime minister easily. There is no need to admit it openly. Decisions are taken on these (unlawful) considerations. A signal, suggestion or nudge from the concerned authority is enough for the delivery agent of public service to develop skills to make public service (Jan Seva) muscle service (Bal Seva) or money service (Dhan Seva).

The essence is that public service is not different from money or muscle service. Everyone is eligible for public service. All are equal.


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