Potestant Ethic and Spirit of Bureaucracy | Jasvinder Singh

Socialisation plays a vital role in turning a biological being into a social being. Over the years an individual passes through various agencies of socialisation like family, school, peer group, work culture, religion etc. If the process of socialisation happens in the right manner, it would lead to the development of morals, values, ethics and positive attitude in a social being. Such individuals who possess the above-mentioned qualities are likely to possess and display integrity, compassion, empathy and tolerance which are a prerequisite for serving bureaucracy in particular and society in general. A bureaucrat henceforth is likely to possess and display protestant ethics, which encompass hard work, thrift and efficiency, the values required to realise the true spirit of bureaucracy that strives to uphold the Directive Principles of State Policy, enshrined in the Indian Constitution, which aim at making India a Welfare State.

Therefore, only an efficient bureaucrat can make effective use of group dynamics by inspiring team spirit, focused work, synergy and sustained coordination. Efficiency enables a bureaucrat to appreciate individual differences and gives flexibility to individuals to express themselves. This gives a sense of participation to each member of a group. An efficient administrator is one who knows how to harness the true human potential - human resources.

Efficiency in public functioning makes an administrator emotionally intelligent which helps him to evaluate his own emotions and feelings and those of others. Eventually, it helps him to regulate his or her thought process and behaviour. Such a person always takes well-informed decisions.

Thrift is another important dimension of protestant ethics. Thrift means using public money carefully, without any waste. A public functionary with integrity never uses his office for his personal gains. It is his responsibility to use the public purse for people's welfare. In doing so, he should suo-moto reveal all information in the public which ensures accountability and transparency in the system. It is pertinent to ensure efficiency in utilising tax payer's money.

In the dilemma of hardworking versus talent, hard work coupled with consistency beats talent to realise the true spirit of bureaucracy. A hardworking person with character can develop talent and eventually put a nation on progressive wheels but a talented person without hard work lowers down the morale of his team and eventually takes a nation backwards. 

Thus if protestant ethics is inculcated in bureaucracy, it is likely to fulfil the ideals, values and objectives of the Constitution of India. 

As Gandhi Ji rightly said 'be the change that you wish to see in the word'. So first bureaucrats need to adopt the values of protestant ethics only then they can realise the true spirit of bureaucracy.


About the Author: Jasvinder Singh belongs to Poonch. He has graduated from GDC Poonch.

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