Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Democratic Culture

Democratic   Culture

(  Contributor  :   hcp  )


A recent circular of Maharashtra Government requires that babus ( govt officers ) should stand up from their seats, every time a MLA , MLC or an MP , enters and leaves their office

Ostensible reason offered :

Government officers must treat elected representatives with " Honour " and " Courtesy "

That circular contains many other " DOs " and " DON'Ts " for government officers , while dealing with elected representatives

I shudder to think about what next the Government would want these officers to do  !

May be garland the MLA on arrival and walk-up to his car while leaving  ?

Or , that a Secretary must get up and offer his chair to a Minister who walks in and himself shift across the table and occupy the visitor's chair  ?

{  In the past , we have had instances of officers tying the shoe-lace of a Minister !  }

That makes me wonder :

What is the " Character " of a Democratic Institution ?

Who is responsible for building this " Character ",through personal example  ?

The following instances may provide a clue :

>   During my tenure as General Manager - Powai Works at L&T( 1979-87 ),
      whenever Mr Holck Larsen or Mr N M Desai ( Chairmen , at different
      times ) , walked into my cabin , they insisted that I do not get up from
      my seat !

      On many such occasions , they would start pacing the cabin from
      end to end , telling me or listening to me - as I continued sitting !

>   Whenever Mr Holck Larsen visited Madh Works , he would just peep into
      my cabin and say ,

      " Parekh , carry on with your work . I know my way around the factory "

      Then , he would just walk out and go around the factory , all alone ,
      meeting and greeting hundreds of workers , at their work places !

      He just insisted that no Supervisor / Foreman / Manager should stop his
      work , in order to accompany him  !

      I wonder how many of our Ministers today , go around their offices ,
      or their constituencies , without a retinue of Officers  !

>   I even recollect an incidence when Mr Holck Larsen said :

     "  Parekh , can we go and try out the food being served in Workers
      Canteen ? "

     Then , when we reached there , he insisted on standing in the queue
     with the rest of the workers , to pick up his food-tray  !

Incidentally , talking of a Manager having to vacate his chair for his boss ( a
practice , which , I believe is still prevalent in many organizations ), I remember an instance when we hired a Maintenance Manager from one " Sethji  Controlled " company

After a few days , I heard of severe resentment in that department

When I inquired , I found out that he had the habit of asking his subordinate managers to vacate / offer him their chairs , whenever he visited those section !

I was left with no choice but to ask him to resign  !

"  Yathaa Raja , Tatha Praja " ( People will emulate those in power ) , is true even today

I request others to comment / submit their own experiences of what goes into making a Great Organization

By contributing their own similar experiences , they would be telling  Managers and Ministers :

" Here is how we can imbibe a Democratic Culture to transform India "


hemen  parekh

10  August  2015


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