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Government servants' ethical values

They must know the art of running the country

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09th-Apr-2019       
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Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed  :
One of the goals of administration should be promotion of moral and ethical values among the public servants as well as the people. An officer can make his contribution in this area, if he himself is developed in ethical values. If he himself does not have of moral and ethical values, how can he help in this promotion of ethical values among the people? The first target of an officer would be himself. He must be developed himself in moral and ethical values.
An officer may serve the government and the people in two major ways. These may be by (a) what he is and (b) by what he does. Unless an officer is good, his performance may or may not be good. If an officer is bad, he may do good work, but his performance is likely to be bad. Therefore, the first obligation an officer after recruitment would be to himself and he must make sincere and honest endeavors for Self Improvement. The government employees have reasonable security of service tenure. He can plan his career remaining within the restraints of his service. If he wants to spend his afternoon in social service, there is none to stop him. If he wants to spend his time in medication of tabling, then also there is no bar.
Comparatively he enjoys greater opportunity of self-improvement. One of the objectives of the public administration would be to produce good officers. It is difficult for immoral and unethical officer to be good officers. It may even be impossible. Goodness is on all inclusive and comprehensive word. It includes all the virtues and qualities an officer should have.
The basic quality of an officer is his truthfulness. An officer can never be good if he is a liar and his foot lies in falsehood and if he shines well in the company of liars, cheats, and misappropriates. One fundamental tool of administration should be to inculcate truthfulness among the officers. In the modern complicated or developed society-- it is so much blamed that most people cannot spare time wanted by others. Telephone is a blessing as well as a nuisance.
We can reach a person staying thousands of miles away in a few seconds if there is direct dialing system. So many persons unpleasant and unwelcome can reach even in the privacy of the bedroom. The public servants must have balanced and cool temper. The people have the right to be treated well. Even criminals have good manners. He may be punished according to law. If the offer is severe, he may be kept imprisoned for ten years instead of one year but for the severity of the offence, his rights cannot be forfeited.
If the offence is serious he may be given death penalty, but he must be treated well, which is his basic fundamental human rights. If the criminal misbehaves he may be whipped after due process of law, but his rights to good manners cannot be denied. Most of the men cannot understand their own faults. The reality is that -- they think they are deprived of justice even if they are the worst criminals. For the crime they may be punished but as human beings, they should not be deprived of the sympathy of the public servants.
Punctuality in every conduct of life must be observed and inculcated by every believer. This is a way of life with every Muslim and any deviation from it is a misconduct. The way of life, a person who is not punctual in his habits is not fully Islamic and falls short of good Islamic conduct. The officers who say their prayers are most likely to be time-conscious; they try to be punctual and timely in official affairs and at least show more punctuality than those who do not say their prayers. If they are indifferent to punctuality, it may indicate that the prayers did not have desired impact on their habits.
The public servants are supposed to be better educated than the common people. The engineers, doctors, technicians are the products of high seats of learning. They know the art of running the country, improving the condition of the people better than the people themselves. It is the duty of the public servants to act as trainers to the people. They are to act as trainers and educators. They must take every opportunity to transmit to the people what they have learnt.
The officers in magistracy and police are educated and trained in the use and applications of the law of the land relating to law and order. It should not be policy of the public servants to wait for the people to violate the law, to haul him and try him for committing the offence. The better policy would be to educate the people about what the law is and motivate them to live in conformity with the law. The role of the public servants would be to act as trainers and educators of the people, relating to whom and the area in which they have the responsibility.
The persons who want to lead comfortable and lavish life should not take government service as a career. Government service is for those who want to serve the country and the community. The job is for them who are willing to suffer from luxury but authority and power, which they must exercise most judiciously. If someone wants to lead a good life, he should start business, if he has intelligence, courage, pains taking perseverance. If he lacks those but has the desire for good and comfortable living, he should be a business executive.
The environment of the administration is being polluted by people with inordinate desire for high living. This nation cannot afford luxurious living for its officers and too brilliant officers are not required either. It is not enough that an officer should lead honest life, but he must demonstrate that he leads an honest life. It is held in legal jurisprudence that justice should not merely be done but if should be shown to be done. Otherwise, judges could write a two-sentence verdict. They are required to explain why they came to the conclusion of acquittal or punishment.
The demonstration of honesty should not be for the vulgar motive of ego satisfaction, but, must be guided by the nobler purpose of guiding others. In religious parlance, if anything is done for the pleasure of the person concerned, it ends there. But if any demonstration is done for the pleasure of Allah, he gets the reward for not merely doing it himself but also for inspiring others to do it. He will get the reward for not only being honest himself but also for the honesty of those who had been inspired by his example. The officers working in any office should be models of good conduct for others as well.
The living and life style of the public servants should be above brand, free from, and suspicion of doubt. His life should be open and the members of the public should be able to learn something. He must not have habits to hide from the people. The officers will have to keep company with the some people in the places of their posting. It is better to establish relationship with scholars, social workers, and persons who lead simple life and are involved in education and humanitarian activities.  
A good officer must not maintain link with the criminals, cheats, misappropriates, and those whose earnings are questionable. He must keep himself away socially even from officers who maintain a standard of living beyond their known sources of income. A person is generally understood by the company he keeps with. Even, question may arise in the mind of the people in spite of the fact that the objective of the good person would be to purify the bad. Manners, etiquettes, and good dealings will make a public servant good leader and good manager. And in the long run it will help an individual officer to build up his or her bright future.

(Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed, writer, columnist and researcher)

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