Saturday, 7 December 2019

PMO: Is It Back To Business As Usual?

Updated: January 31, 2015 7:45 am

It is rather ironic that within seven months of the Modi regime, an impression is evolving that in communication with private persons (most being Modi’s supporters) Narendra Modi’s PMO is just like the Manmohan Singh’s who headed a government in inertia.

When in May last year Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, he tuned and streamlined the bureaucracy at Centre. For his PMO he selected officers who were of his confidence and had a clean image. The secretaries were to come at nine in the morning and go home only after files were seen and disposed off. The golf-addicts or those who were used to enjoying leisurely lunches had to give up these ‘perks’ of office. In the latest, Modi’s popularity soared further. He had promised a change and he was trying to change fast the old order. PMO became the engine of governance and administration. It was also said that Prime Minister Modi was very particular that response to all communications was a must. But, lately many are disappointed that PMO did not even acknowledge receipt of their letters complaining of some injustice or excesses of an organisation or a government department. Admittedly, officers in the PMO have huge responsibilities and they reportedly work almost 12 to 14 hours a day, for them there is hardly a Sunday or a public holiday.

Yet when Modi excels in direct communication, and is so much trusted, some solution could be found to resolve this problem. All requests and complaints cannot be dealt with nor can most be favourably dealt. But a letter of acknowledgment would go a long way in making the writers happy. A retired Colonel settled in Australia had sent a book written by him on India to Modi and all other chief ministers. Modi was the only one to reply. He wrote a very personal letter complimenting the Colonel for retaining interest in the country of his birth despite living abroad for decades. That letter made the Colonel so happy and proud that in all possibility it will end up as a family heirloom.

Hope the disappointment at the failure of acknowledgement does not turn into a frustrated anger. One proviso, the disappointed do not number too many, it is possible their missives did not merit a response.

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