Peter Principle and Governance

“Do a good job and you get promoted to a position with more authority and responsibility, but the consequences of bad decisions are much worse when a person makes a decision that is beyond their level of competence to comprehend and deal with.” Peter Principle

This was my second outing on the Yamuna Expressway and on both occasions I branched out from the highway towards Aligarh on its execrable road, with the depressed feeling that the major towns continue to be connected by world class highways, the smaller ones remain with narrow small poxed arteries. The Yamuna Highway Rest Area near the toll tax barrier apparently has all the facilities for relieving and unburdening as well as  quenching and gormandizing, however, the long queues on each of its facilities tested my forbearance and sufferance; perhaps I was journeying on a sepulchral day!

Tejpal who picked us had made us cross the busy airport exit road to enter his car, and occupy our seats. A pleasant middle aged man from Manali, he had migrated to Delhi two decades back and since then he was at the wheels to feed himself and his family  consisting of his wife, son and daughter, who stayed behind to enjoy the pristine uncontaminated air and the environment. My experience with the persons who took me on long drives has been pretty pleasant, they talk and I listen. I allowed him to overburden himself listening to his passionate soliloquy as he chronicled his past. The countryside was appealing at this time of the year, my attention from it was distracted when he spoke of his ownership of a taxi, which he had to sell due to a ruling from the supreme court.

The court in its order had made  it clear that it’s ‘final objective is a gradual phase out of diesel taxis, and put a blanket ban to allow diesel-run All India Travel Permit taxis to operate till the expiry of their existing permits’. Tejpal had to sell his proud possession and revert to his earlier employment. No one buys petrol cars to carry passengers.

“Is this a diesel car?” I became curious.

Yes, we were sitting in a diesel driven car without any permit. The owner of this car was into regular all India taxi service business with many such cars with no permit. In Delhi almost all cars taking paid passengers to other cities, do not have permits.

“Yes, I was caught once, paid the policeman Rs 500, the owner refunded it to me,” he said with a smile.

Peter Principle: Did the learned judges of supreme court make the right decision considering the present culture and environment?

My stay in Aligarh was only for a day with a dear relative, who had invited many friends of my wife to meet her. The topic veered towards their recent frightening  experiences. One of the ladies had this to say to my utter surprise:

“The perpetrators  are in power therefore  there are no caste and communal clashes presently, but the petty thieves are thriving with impunity and no restraint in the streets and lanes,” she related her personal experience of purse snatching by men on motorcycles and that of many other chain snatching incidents where her relatives and friends were victims. Complaints to the police remains unattended, no culprit is apprehended as they continue with their crime inflicting concern and fear. I sympathized with her though her narration did appear a bit overdrawn.

Peter Principle: Did the people the State make the right choice in the elections?

Dubagga, sounds funny, that is the place I stayed in Lucknow with my humzulf (my wife’s sister’s husband), a judge who on retirement purchased a house in a Government built colony. For commuting to Hazratganj, it took us over an hour through the dense uncontrolled traffic. Across the Gomti river where a near relative lives, Lucknow is very different with beautiful mansions, large parks, lined trees and planned commercial spaces. Though Lucknow is among our heritage cities, the present day planners have messed it up completely.

Peter Principle: An accurate example of persons promoted with greater authority and responsibility taking bad decisions.

Kichaucha Sharif, some distance from Faizabad my home town, is the village where my youngest brother is engaged in cultivating our ancestral land. He, his wife and their two daughters over many years have enjoyed the challenging  life of a farmer. Well versed in his occupation, the recent experiences had unnerved him. For months the village bania did not buy his produce as he had no money. The bania had  always kept cash, which he had deposited in the bank due to demonitization. Then the complications involving  GST further deferred the payment my brother was to receive from the baniaa for the wheat sold to him.

“Why did you not sell it to the Government procurement agency?” He smiled, there were two issues, very delayed payments by them and greasing the hands of the Government officials who would defer the payment under one pretext or other unless they were given their cut, which was substantial.

Sugar cane is a cash crop, but the growth in this area has reduced considerably mainly on account of the attitude of the sugar mill owners; during the season the mills take days to unload the cane from the trolley which result in large payments to the trolley owners by the them and added to this is the abnormal delay in payment by the mill owners to the farmers for their produce. The farmers forever have to wait and remain helpless as the mill owners are powerful politicians!

Peter Principle:    The selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. This invariably is the rule with those Governing and administering the country.  

The relevance of getting good governance comes precisely from its relationship with the development of a country and the reduction of poverty. Have we ever pondered over this while casting our votes for the candidates?





2 thoughts on “Peter Principle and Governance”

  1. I agree but where do we get the right person for good governance?
    We are not happy with the current Government and have no desire to cooperate with it. The previous governments have undoubtedly failed us all the time.
    Time to get foreign power to govern us?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.