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Government Service - National Disservice

On Sunday, 29th June, we were given an unmistakable and unpardonable demonstration of Government service. About a thousand candidates who had appeared for the Railway recruitment Board held in Secunderabad forcefully occupied berths in the Falaknuma Express. They threatened and terrorised passengers who held valid reservations. It took police forces in two stations, Guntur and Vijayawada, to finally get them off the coaches.

If even before recruitment these aspirants bully passengers whom they are supposed to serve, imagine them in actual service when they are assured of lifelong tenure with almost nil accountability.

Actually, I have a sneaking suspicion that this was a part of the RRB (Railway Recruitment Board) examination, the ‘Practicals’ of the written test they took earlier on. Assignment: How to treat consumers recklessly, callously, and ruthlessly in a real life situation. And, according to newspaper reports, they all passed in flying colours! This is a glaring example of the attitude Government employees imbibe — the organisation is for the employees; the consumers are there to pay the taxes that pay the salaries.

Do we really need these atrophied, over-blown government organisations? 15,00,000 employees in the Railways, 7,00,000 in the Road Transport Corporations, about 25,000 in Air India — for the great service they render, we pick up the tab of Rs. 50,000 crore in losses per year.

It’s time we pulled the chain on this organised politico-bureaucratic thuggery in the name of service. Half the problems in the country would disappear if half the government corporations were dismantled, and the other half down-sized. That, would be a true national service.

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