Gov 2.0: 10 Learnings for India – Part 10

9.       The Indian government needs to think itself as an agent and servant of its citizens.

This point goes beyond technology and cuts to the heart of Gov 2.0 initiatives – and to the core of India’s problems of governance. When the British left India, we changed the skin colour of our rulers and we changed our flag. And then we stopped. Those who took over realised that the same institutions that the British had created to loot India and subjugate Indians could be used by them for maxmising power – and of course the loot. As a result, nothing really changed for most Indians.

Out of that flawed beginning in 1947, we have a government that believes in maximising power and profit for itself. This is the big difference in the way the US was conceived and how India was born. In the US (and there are exceptions), the government works as an agent of its citizens – working to execute the policies and initiatives they want. In India, it is the exact opposite. And out of such core differences is born a mindset in Indian government of superiority, command-and-control, a byzantine maze of rules and regulations, and corruption.

India needs political leadership that is willing to reverse this. Only then will our dreams of a truly democratic and participative government be realised. We in India got Gov 1.0 badly wrong. More than anyone else, we need Gov 2.0 to set things right.

Continued tomorrow.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.