June , 2022
22:57 pm

Dr. P. K. Agarwal

India has a feudal background but today’s world does not accept it. A feudal set up or thinking does not give scope to merit. It tries to suppress it. However, modern economic advancement based on high technologies bring merit to the forefront.

These facts are equally relevant in the field of industries, services, politics and even in the dynamics of the family. Familial management cannot outshine professional management. Professional management is based on proven principles of good governance. Transparency and honesty are its two main pillars.

Corruption has become the worst fallout of undemocratic management. None has the power or energy to fight against it. However, the world and the public sentiment - especially in developing countries - are dead against it. Now, it is upto governments of developing nations like India to identify the issue and address it.

During the recent elections in five Indian states, it has been amply demonstrated that corruption and good governance were the main issues. Even the national election of South Korea was fought and won over the issues of lack of transparency and political dishonesty. The public at large is no longer ignorant and indifferent to corruption. An emergent vocal and enlightened press and heightened penetration of social media have been empowering agents. An independent judiciary provides the much-needed support.

Corruption and injustice are hand in glove. Corruption creates inequity. A corrupt person walks with the pride of wealth and power and challenges the system. He would purchase everything with money and even try to subdue the judicial system by hiring big lawyers who will be prepared to defend anybody who is able to pay their hefty fees. Thus, corruption creates a new class of capitalists who disturb the normal economy through their ostentatious spending and black money investments.

Decentralisation does not mean that the top man will lose his power to supervise and control. He exercises control to a substantial degree. A delegate cannot be a person who has delegated. In the land of Ram, people have faith in one leader. That faith is not bypassed in a decentralised system. Ram had himself divided his kingdom equitably among all the sons of his four brothers. He gave them full autonomy but was always available when the security or sovereignty of any of his units was in danger.

In India, the head of a kingdom or family used to leave active life after handing over his baton to his young heir or successor and retired to the forests to observe Vanaprastha. The idea was to infuse new thinking, quick working, promote risk-taking and push new blood in the polity or family. But now some heads do not want to share their power and authority with the budding generation. Involving the younger generations is more important in this modern world of scientific and technological innovations. In spite of all efforts and training, the older generations cannot handle most modern information technology gadgets efficiently. As a result, their organisation is doomed to decay and the head is thrown out unceremoniously.

For example, Shah Jahan was dethroned because he was going to construct another Taj Mahal with black stones without caring for his treasury and the hunger of his citizens. Gradually, the centralized management or administration is confined to a coterie and ultimately to a person. One fails to understand why the subordinates or secretaries support such actions of an arbitrary and self-centered head when it is well-established that respondeat superior is no longer a defense of illegal acts of one’s superior. Rule of law is the ultimate dictum. Therefore, many new corporate heads are now leaving their positions - paving the way for younger managers. This has been a success.

The Constitution of India provides a time-tested framework of a decentralised system of polity through cooperative federalism. It has taken the decentralised, democratic system to local self-governing structures in urban and rural India in the form of corporations, municipalities and panchayats.   

India is no longer dependent on any ruler or family and will continue to progress even if a ruler becomes handicapped or otherwise incapable to deliver the goods for the country. No familial leadership or unitary, all-powerful head is recognized by the Constitution of India. Why should this idea not percolate down to all units of the country?


Dr.P.K. Agrawal has seventy books to his credit. He retired as Additional Chief Secretary Govt. of West Bengal. At present, he is the Managing Partner of the New Delhi based law firm VAS GLOBAL.

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