Delivering a Lecture on “Governance and Leadership” in Jamia Millia Islamia to commemorate the Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which is being observed as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’ all over the country, Shri Prabhat Kumar, former Governor of Jharkhand and Ex-Cabinet Secretary observed that contemporary governance that was done through the instrumentation of bureaucracy was bereft of ideals envisioned by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who offered leadership with unbounded integrity. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, he averred, had accomplished monumental task by stitching together around 600 princely states into the mosaic called India within a span of thirty months. Charisma, for leadership, was a desirable quality but had a limited value. What mattered most, he went on to add, was personal integrity and commitment to the idea of freedom shorn of identities of caste and religion.
India, he remarked, taking a cue from an economic study, was a flawed democracy owing to the absence of quality governance and delivery mechanisms. Holding bureaucracy squarely responsible for the sorry of state of affairs in India, he bemoaned that other sectors and constituents of Indian democracy were equally responsible. Every individual, he felt, was responsible for the flawed nature of Indian democracy. The situation was akin to what obtained in Agatha’s Christie’s mystery novels that had multiple suspects and no suspect could be fully exonerated whether it was media, politicians or people in general.
Reeling off statistics to corroborate the inadequacies of Governance and Leadership in India, he observed that 70% of Indian population didn’t have sanitation, 20% of people went without drinking water and the dimension and depth of poverty that was not fully explored amply demonstrated that there was a ‘conspiracy of silence’. Of late, civil societies, across the world, either through Arab-spring or India Against Corruption have taken upon themselves the task to interrogate this so-called ‘conspiracy of silence’.
Earlier, Prof. Kum Kum Dewan, Offg. Vice-Chancellor, welcomed the distinguished administrator and highlighted the unmatched achievements of Sardar Patel.
Prof. Tasneem Meenai welcomed the guests on the occasion of ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’. Dr. Naved Jamal proposed the vote of thanks.[This is an official Jamia press release dated Oct. 31, 2014]