Dereliction of Duty - Daily Current Affair Article

CONTEXT:

Pointing strongly towards the derogatory mentality of the society where even a victim is looked upon with wolf eyes, 2017 Unnao rape case victim reaches a Delhi court against her Personal Security Officer (PSOs) in complaint of harassment.

The PSOs were appointed by the SC during the judgement of the Unnao rape case.

DEFINITION OF DERELICTION OF DUTY

The dereliction of duty can be defined as the deliberate or accidental failure of a person to perform his/her duties with respect to an individual, society or whole nation. It's the failure to complete one's obligations.

Many a times, it is observed, that Officers on-duty face a conflict between private/personal interest and ethics whereby they tend to bend towards their personal ideology and work according to that.

As explained by Kantian theory as well where he sees a constant struggle between human inclinations and duties.

VULNERABLE SECTIONS MORE AFFECTED

  • Often, the vulnerable sections of the society including the victims, physically-abled persons, mentally retarded persons, acid attack survivors, rescued persons from trafficking, transgenders and others are the one facing an officer's neglect towards responsibilities.
  • This is because of the fact that these are often eyed as weaker sections, unaware of their rights and crushed down when they try to raise their voice.

DERELICTION OF DUTY AT VARIOUS LEVELS

INDIVIDUAL LEVEL

  • The spread of ethics and moral duty towards society, starts within oneself.
  • This can be proved by the fact that Ashoka gave up war and started spreading dharma in society.
  • As a Inhabitant of a nation, it's the neglect towards duty when
  • We avoid paying taxes to the government
  • We act against the provisions of the Indian Constitution
  • We act against the Law and order
  • We deliberately harm other persons for our personal benefit
  • As a Parent or Guardian, it's our neglect towards duty when we fail to stand on the obligations towards the child.
  • Negative consequences of being unethical at individual level includes petty crimes, domestic violence, urinating and spitting on public spaces, abusive and filthy language, crime against aged people, jumping red light signals.
  • On the other hand, the positive outcomes includes self-confidence, courage of conviction, trust and credibility.

SOCIETAL LEVEL

  • As an administrative officer, it's the neglect of the duties when we fail to imbibe in and reflect Selflessness, Integrity, Accountability, Honesty and Leadership towards society.
  • As David K Hart propounded the ideas of 'benevolent bureaucrat' to create a moral exemplar.
  • When we follow our duty, it creates social capital, communal harmony, absence of greed, distributive justice.
  • Bhutan is one the happiest nation across the countries because they measure wealth in terms of Gross National Happiness
  • Negative consequences are Corruption, Rise in crime rate, acknowledging goons and mafias, joint family, parent’s respect, drug addiction, regionalism, castes.

NATIONAL LEVEL

  • As a leader of the masses of a high-ranked officer, it's the foremost duty to serve towards the nation and the society with Loyalty, Ethical responsibilities, Impartiality, and Vision.
  • The positive results comes out to be a beautiful nation where the economy of the nation reflects the similar economy of individuals
  • Examples can be countries like Japan, Singapore, Switzerland which achieve high ranks in all global assessments.
  • Negative consequences are Trust deficit, frictions, disputes, unhealthy competition, damage to the environment and unsustainable development, disregard to laws.

CONCEPT OF DUTY OVER EVERYTHING

Some contemporary examples who showed this spirit when they performed their responsibilities more than required and even faced life dangers doing so

  1. Tukaram Mundhe, being in Indian Administrative Services for 12 years now, From raiding an illegal bar to standing against water and land mafias and even getting life threats, he continues to be a leader and inspire the society.
  2. Smita Sabharwal where she worked tremendously to build the infrastructure of Naxal-affected areas, which resulted in the construction of traffic junctions and foot over-bridges.
  3. Malala Yousafzai, who stood up for the society, defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012.
  4. Mahatma Gandhi was one such personality where he ultimately dies because of the life-long work he did for the Indian Independence.
  5. Nelson Mandela, South African Anti-Apartheid Revolutionary, who fought against the greatest power to set his nation free of prejudices against the South African natives.

VALUES STRENGTHEN DEVOTION TOWARDS SOCIETY

  • Ethical standards of Impartiality and objectivity
  • Commitment and dedication to work improves the administration.
  • Integrity
  • Tolerance
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Accountability and Responsibility
  • Honesty
  • Dedication

The above stated values drives a person towards fulfilling of his/her duties. Thus, never leading to dereliction of duty.

Especially,the seven principles of Nolan Committee on standards in public life. i.e. I-SHOLA-O , that expands to:

  1. Selflessness
  2. Integrity
  3. Objectivity
  4. Accountability
  5. Openness
  6. Honesty
  7. Leadership

should be the pathway of values for the individuals.

CONCLUSION

As Swami Vivekananda rightly said " So long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense, pays not the least heed to them".

Ethics guide human conduct and it helps people to lead good lives by applying moral principles. The same when applied to public administration will not only bring efficiency but also helps in developing an egalitarian, just and fair society.

Sources

  • Indian Express
General Studies Paper 4
  • Ethics