Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Musings of a Retired Veteran

I once heard a saying:

“You have no right to make the rules of the game which you have never played...”

Of course – this is a “moral” saying – and like most “morals and ethics” – this maxim has no relevance in India – and – in fact – exactly the opposite is being followed.

Let us start with “games” (sports).

Have you seen any “Sports Administration Body” which is headed by a distinguished Sportsman…?

I wonder if BCCI has ever been headed and governed by distinguished cricketers…?

Do you if any BCCI “bigwig” has ever represented India in Cricket and played test matches for the country…?

It is the same in other sports governing bodies too – those who “make the rules of the game” probably have “never played the game”.

Why only talk about sports – the situation is same in other spheres as well.

In India – most organizations/agencies are not governed by Professionals with domain specialization/experience – but they are headed by Generalists (mostly IAS Officers).

In most cases – people who have never “played” the “game” make the rules of the “game”

Purely from a professional viewpoint (and in consonance with the precept “You have no right to make the rules of the game which you have never played” – shouldn’t Civil Aviation affairs be run by an experienced pilot or aviation professional?

You may be surprised – but the Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA) is a mostly a Generalist IAS Officer who may not have any clue about aviation before taking up the post.

Similarly – Government Run Airlines like ‘Air India’ etc are headed by Generalist IAS Officers – and not by Pilots or Aviation Professionals.

Logically – shouldn’t the DG Shipping and Heads of the Shipping Corporations/Port Trusts be experienced Merchant Navy Captains who have vast experience commanding ships at sea…?

Sorry – this is not possible in India – here – all these coveted posts are mostly held by generalist IAS Officers – who probably have never even spent a day at sea.

Do you think that most Regulatory Organizations like TRAI, SEBI and various Regulatory Bodies for Electricity etc are headed by Professionals…?

Just check it out – and you will probably see that most are headed by Generalist IAS Officers, serving and retired.

It is the same state of affairs even in most Private Industries and PSUs as well – where “generalists” rule the roost over “technocrats”.

Tell me – how many Indian Industries are headed by Domain Specialist Engineers…?

In India – most industries are “Family Affairs” – so – obviously – in true “Dynasty Style” – they would prefer to have someone from “Family” installed at the top – rather than a professional who has come up the hard way.

MNCs and the “IT Sector” are notable exceptions – where Domain Specialists head many organizations – and – no wonder – they are doing so well.

Also – the Armed Forces are headed by professionals who have come up the hard way – but – even here too – increasingly – it is the Generalist Bureaucrats who dominate and call the shots.

There may be a few exceptions – but – in most cases in India – people who have never “played” the “game” make the rules of the “game” – and the results are there for all to see.

Of course – Politicians (who only “play” the game of politics) make the rules for everyone.

We have turned the dictum: “You have no right to make the rules of the game which you have never played” topsy-turvy – and – the cardinal principle here in India seems to be: “people who have never “played” the “game” make the rules of the “game”…”

Do you agree…? Please comment and tell us your experiences and views.

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