Source: News Bharati English07 Apr 2016 20:43:12

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

A role model in public administration

Can, the in-put of a socio-cultural organization such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh be considered a sort of public administration agency in the field of socio-cultural development in general and socialization of individual personality-growth in particular? 

Public administration aims at bringing about economic development through the device of civil service and its administration. Deployment of bureaucracy at different echelons in the administrative set-up keeping the individual in focus.

Broadly stating, the principles of management of both the functionaries are in no way different from each other. POSDCORB (Planning, Organization, Staffing, Directing, Coordination, Reporting and Budgeting) -  the famous term in the field of science of public administration is considered as the basis of the organization and management of both the two  functions.

There is nothing new in its application. POSDCORB is the device in the process of governance of the State and its application is equally relevant to the functioning of RSS.

Governance in the process of State administration heavily depends on the tenet  of  ‘POSDCORB’, RSS functions on the same set  of  principles. POSDCORB  in the context of  State  governance is responsible to the maintenance of law and order governed by the principle of  rule of law  in the  legal  framework of ‘law  in  the State’, it is accountable to the people (legislature), however enforcement is neither the function of the RSS nor the responsibility to maintain law and order in the State.

After all RSS is not a statutory unit. It is essentially a socio-cultural NGO (non government organization).

“POSDCORB is an acronym widely used in the field of Management and Public Administration that reflects the classic view of administrative management. Largely drawn from the work of French industrialist Henri Fayol, it first appeared in a 1937 staff paper by Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick written for the Brownlow Committee. The acronym stands for steps in the administrative process: Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, Co-Coordinating, Reporting and budgeting.”

Fayol's fourteen principles of management are as follows: Division of Work, Authority and Responsibility, Discipline , Unity of Command , Unity of Direction , Subordination of Individual Interest to General Interest , Remuneration of Personnel , Centralization ,Scalar Chain (line of authority with peer level communication) , Order , Equity ,Stability of Tenure of Personnel , Initiative Esprit de Corps .

If  we  carefully   note the above ,  with  reference  to the State- governance and  the functioning of  RSS , every  point  mentioned therein is  meticulously  followed  by   both  the    applicants. In fact  any  NGO is  required  to follow the abovementioned  tenets  carefully  lest they  would  fail .

However, these principles were criticized by the   theoreticians later in 1940’s and 1960’s. It can be summed up as,   “as early as 1938, literature began appearing in the field of Public Administration challenging the validity of POSDCORB and the concept that there could even be a rigid set of principles in administration. In 1946 and 1947, prominent Public Administration scholars such as Robert Dahl, Dwight Waldo, and Herbert A. Simon released articles and books criticizing POSDCORB and the principles notion. Simon's article Proverbs of Administration challenges the POSDCORB principles by stating "For almost every principle one can find an equally plausible and acceptable contradictory principle." Among other criticisms, Simon states that the POSDCORB principles are an oversimplification of administration. Simon's criticisms largely center around span of control and unity of command, stating that sometimes it is necessary for a subordinate to receive guidance or directives from more than one source, as well as Gulick's division of labor concepts “.

The criticism was a consequence of fast changing nature of economy and industrial revolution all over the world. Great  depression periods,  disasters  of W.W.II ,  post  World War II , devastation  of  Europe , liquidation  of  different  military  and  imperial colonies  spread  all over the world-   all these factors  led  to an added  tenet  of  ‘ welfare  economic  policies  and public administration ‘ incorporated  in the process of  governance.

The  environment  of  economic development  policies  focusing  the poor and  the deprived ones   who  in the early  20th  Century appeared  fascinated by the Bolshevik  revolution , soon realized their   frustration  and  returned to the  liberal  republican democratic  fold. I think, the emphasis shifted from bare economic development to nationalistic and cultural traits.

The impact of the colonial rule on the ‘ruled’ led to defacing and twisting the respective histories of the native communities all over. Most of the ‘ruled’ communities succumbed to the foreign European and Islamic pressures and acquiescingly embraced their foreign traits. Some of these did not succumb. India was one who tried to resist and partly succeeded, thanks to the ancient cultural roots. Roots  of  RSS  could  be traced  in this  preservative nationalist attitude when  Dr.Keshav  Baliram Hedgewar  from  Nagpur,  a town in Central  India , emerged  as  its  champion, as  a sharp  response to the Macaulay an tendencies. Dr.Hedgewar  cannot  be considered as a  typical ‘chauvinistic’ patriotic politician  since  he never  spoke  of any sort  of  Hindu  superiority , all he wanted  to  submit was  the existence of  the ancient  roots of  the Indian  civil  society. He  proclaimed that the  majority  Hindu  community was  competent to protect these roots of  the ancient  Indian civil society if  they  remained  united.  There was no chauvinism whatsoever in this submission. Dr.Hedgewar  was  a well qualified  person , medical graduate and  his  early   team mates too were  well versed with  the  indigenous  principles  of modern management  ( without  referring to Fayol and  Gullick  and  Urwick  ! ) . Perhaps he contemplated and visualized an NGO which would function on these principles of modern management.

RSS is always considered as a very effective organization in implementing its decisions. It plans big programmes and it is implemented effectively. Communications  are   issued  at the top level  and  they are  transmitted  at the lowest  rung  in the shortest  possible  period. The RSS  has  a well-oiled ,  trained  man  power whose  total  obedience  and  commitment  happens to be the  main  cause  of the  success of  the  organization. The  recruitment  of  these  volunteers  at the  lowest ‘shakha’ level  is  carefully groomed   and  carried   with  great  efforts . The training of these recruits commences   at the ‘shakha’ level   right in their youth. Inculcating  the  values  of  character building  , honesty , dedication , commitment and ‘nation first’ attitude  among the cadres and  also the  leadership qualities  has  always  been  of top priority  in the  organization. These qualities are imbibed consciously and with deliberate plans and programmes.  Maintaining high quality health- card is specially taken care of. The first, second and third year OTC    are the programmes which take care of these objectives.  In modern way of expression it is a personality development programmed and courses   in leadership development. Advocates of RSS maintain that the RSS personnel should lead the society. They are   the volunteers in times of natural  catastrophies. It is important to note that the RSS personnel have time and again proved this in the society.   The entire organization and management of the RSS is transparent and beyond doubts.   Those  who  feel that  its operations  are secretive  and  their  activities  are obscure  and concealing , they  think this way because  they do not have experience in functioning  in an  organization  responsibly.  (Such idle persons indulge excessively in the realm of RTI world.)

Remember POSDCORB?

The best type of service is to remove the basic disease of the loss of national consciousness and cohesion and build a strong, well-organized and self-sustaining national life. Golwalkar  Guruji .      

The  above  vision has  always been  of top  priority of the RSS  in  its  approach to all the programmes  This  approach  is not   a chauvinistic  one.

On  the  contrary , the  General Secretary of RSS in his Annual  Report  which  he  submitted to its   Annual  General Body  meeting  held  in the Nagor  ( Rajasthan ) meeting in March  2016  expressed  serious  concern  over the  national scenario  and  submitted  as following.  I quote---

  1. 1. Security Agencies are target of anti national forces: - Repeated attacks being made targeting the Security Agencies in the last few decades, has become a big challenge to our security arrangements. Our security forces have been successful in repulsing all such attempts made by our enemies, through their valiant fight. The latest example of such attacks is the one made against our Pathankot Air Force Base recently.

It is necessary to further tighten the security arrangements and make them foolproof so as to ensure that such incidents are not repeated anymore. Reviewing the efficiency of the Security Forces, the materials at their disposal, as also the officers in charge, necessary changes should be made.

  1. To curb activities such as Illegal migration, smuggling, Pak-inspired terrorism, such activities should be strictly observed for taking remedial action. With this view, it is necessary to review the infrastructural facilities to develop border areas, border security, and the materials, from time to time.

It seems that Pakistan’s India policy is decided by the Military Establishment and not by the elected government. The incidents from Mumbai to Pathankot testify this. Presently, the whole world is concerned about the growing menace of terrorism.

  1. Growing Communal frenzy in the country: - Incidents of violence and terrorist attacks at different places in the country have become a matter of grave concern for the patriotic and peace-loving people, and the law and order machinery. Under the pretext of small and big issues, people at different places, armed with weapons taking to the roads in large numbers and creating an atmosphere of fear and tension, as happened in Malda, has become endemic now a days.

Incidences of destruction of public and private property, attacking the police force throwing the rule of law to the winds, looting and burning of business establishments, especially those run by Hindus, had taken place. Political parties, giving up their policy of appeasement, should take such incidents seriously and cooperate to restore the law and order situation and peace. This will be possible only when political parties and the ruling parties shed their petty and parochial political interests, and make a combined effort in the right direction. No political party or person is more important than the national security. It is the responsibility of an efficient and strong government to instill confidence in the people about their security.

  1. University Campuses become hotbed of antinational activities: - In the last few months, reports about antinational and subversive activities in certain universities, has become a matter of concern. When renowned and premier universities, which are expected to groom patriotic citizens by imparting them the lessons of unity and integrity generate people who raise the slogan calling for breaking of and destroying the nation, this naturally becomes a matter of concern for the patriotic people. When they find certain political parties supporting such antinational elements, their concern grows further.

In the name of freedom of expression, how the slogans calling for the breaking up of and destruction of the nation, can be tolerated, and how the guilty, which had hatched the conspiracy to blow up the national Parliament, can be honored as martyrs? Doing so it, itself will be treated as an antinational act. Those who do such things have no faith in our Constitution, judiciary, Parliament, etc. These subversive elements have made these universities the centres of their activities for long.

It is very delightful that the moment the reports about these incidents became public, there was all round condemnation from everywhere. We expect from the Central and State governments to deal strictly with such antinational and antisocial forces and ensure the sanctity and cultural atmosphere by not allowing our educational institutions to become centers of political activities.

Such incidents that pollute the social environment are sure to affect the social life.

The change that took place in the political sphere last year, has made people in Bharat and the Bharatiyas living abroad happy and proud. This mood has been discernible in programmes conducted by people of Indian origin in other world countries.

At the global level, the celebration of the “Yoga Day” by a majority of world nations is an indication of the acceptance of Bharatiya spiritual thought and way of life by the world at large.

The expectations of our people have naturally increased and an atmosphere of confidence has developed. Therefore we expect those who are in power to accelerate the process that has paved the way for this new-found confidence and make it more pronounced.

The acceptance the nationalist discourse has been gaining steadily and the resultant unease among the antinational and antisocial forces has come to light through certain recent incidents. The antinational activities at the Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad) University and the J.N.U. have thoroughly exposed their conspiracy.

Violent agitations in Gujarat and Haryana for the demand of reservation are not only a challenge to the administrative machinery, but will also weaken the social harmony and trust. Such incidents will certainly affect social life. This is a matter of grave concern for all. There should not be injustice or oppression of anybody, but the society should be vigilant and the administration should take strict action on the persons and organizations engaged in anti national activities in a planned manner. The only solution to such problems is well organized society.

The ever increasing public participation in our programmes and steady increase in the number of Shakhas are a matter of satisfaction for all of us. Now we are experiencing a favourable atmosphere everywhere.

Through well-planned efforts and hard work we will be able to transform the prevalent favorable atmosphere into concrete results. And if we move ahead with a firm resolve, the coming time will be ours; and this confidence itself is our strength.” Unquote.

The  above  reference is  significant  in two  ways : First , the  transparency  shown  in the  affairs  of the functioning of RSS in public  view, and secondly , the  policy  views adopted  by the General Body  of the RSS. It is  to  be  understood  that  the  policy  resolution    mentioned  as  above , was  the culmination  of the deliberations on  these  topics right  from the lowest  rung i.e.  ‘shakha’ and  above levels. All of them  are  united , and  they come  together to  discuss  thread bare and  reach a  consensus.  Dissents are withdrawn or surrendered once a consensus is arrived at.

POSDCORB is adopted at every level

RSS is  known  for  its  discipline, and  the discipline  is  maintained by  everybody  in  its  united  action. Freedom  and  liberty  is  paramount  but  its boundary  is  strictly  adhered to , since  they  believe that freedom of  dissent  does not  entail  freedom of destruction. There is no freedom of arrogance or conceit. There is of course, always a danger of persecution by ‘majorityism’ . In political democracy a political minority has to learn to concede to the majority view. It is always  the  skill of  the leadership which  is  required  to bring about a delicate  equilibrium in varying  views  in such  situations.

In  fact , it  is a folly to describe  RSS  as  a reactionary  force , on the  contrary it is a catalytic agent  of a much progressive outlook, with  a modern approach of building  political  society.  Sans  Western  interpretation of the  essentially  European   term  ‘secularism’ , RSS  is out and out a non-religious (  not anti religious )  organization which  does  not focus  any religious celebration on its  agenda . The atheists  and  pervert minded thinkers  will find it difficult to  understand  these  facts and  the  vision  of  a ‘nation’ . The  pseudo  modernists tend  to break themselves from their  own  past , they  are essentially  anti-continuity  existentialists species anarchists  with  faith  in  nothing. Atheism, in their opinion, is the final destination of human civilization. RSS ideology has faith in human civilization; it attaches more importance to human emotions and sentimental life. It is not a ‘robot ’.

The  purpose  of  referring the Sarkaryavaha’s  reported speech in the AGM of  the  RSS  is to  show  as to how the  outlook of RSS on national  security issues is  emotionally different  from  POSDCORB  since POSDCORB essentially  is neutral  and indifferent to  such issues. POSDCORB is supposed to be in the service of the ‘citizen’ for his welfare. RSS looks after the citizen’s emotional health by building his nationalist attitudes. POSDCORB is concerned with the citizen’s civil needs. RSS  primarily  aims at  building  one’s  character and  self-discipline  in  the  process of personality  development.. Moreover , the reported  speech  is also an example as  to  how the transparency  of  intentions and  plans  is  maintained  by the RSS. The said speech was flashed and reported on web within a couple of days.  Where is the alleged secrecy? 

RSS ,  thus , is a socio-cultural  association of  like-minded  citizens  seeking  cultural  welfare  whose primary  purpose is ‘character-building  with  the motto ---NATION FIRST.