Recently in New Delhi during an interaction with Shri Harish Khare, former Media Advisor to the former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and formerEditor in Chief of the Tribune I explained to him the innovative idea of "Mo Sarkar"-
, My Government, conceptualized and operated by Chief Minister of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik by employing Five Ts- Technology, Transparency, Timeliness, Team spirit and Transformation- for the purpose of making governance more deeply people centric. I attempted to drive home the idea that Mo Sarkar based on five Ts embodies the vision of Mahatma Gandhi who underlined the point during the freedom struggle that people are the real masters and Government employees as also representatives of people and Ministers are their servants. Adding further I stated that Shri Patnaik celebrates the supremacy of people over employees and Ministers who are entrusted with responsibilities to serve people and not lord over them.
I told Shri Khare that Shri Patnaik through Five Ts and MonSarkar ensured people’s access to services of the Government without hassle and officers, staff and Ministers manning the machinery of governance were strictly directed to treat people visiting Government offices with dignity and decency and take up their problems with empathy based professionalism. When I persuaded him to recognize the seminal point that decent and dignified treatment of people in Government offices combined with handling of their problems with humanity and professionalism would lead to Transformation represented by the last T in five Ts, he took a pause and said that Five Ts should be expanded to include another T i.e. Trust. Shri Khare’s cogent argument is that in twenty first century India there is massive trust deficit between the people and Government and so another T representing Trust should be added to five Ts to neutralise alarming decline of trust between the people and Government. As our interaction on Mo Sarkar based on Five Ts and Shri Khare’s striking suggestion that it should have another T, Trust, became more absorbing and thought provoking I recalled the findings of a young media personality Shri Sampad Patnaik of Indian Express.
He shared with me his telephonic conversations with around 80 people who visited Government offices and were contacted by Chief Minister and Chief Minister’s office to find out from them the kind of treatment they received in those offices and if their grievances were dealt with by officials properly or not. Most of them very feelingly stated that for the first time in their life they felt that at least there is a Government now in Odisha coming forward and listening to them and approaching them to get an account of the behavior meted out to them by the officials in Government offices and the way their problems were dealt with in those offices .
Those eighty people believed that ithe Government is sensitive enough to telephonically call them, after their visit to Government offices, and give a patient hearing to get to know their experiences in the hands of officers.
They were of the opinion that they never ever had such an experience earlier and they found the telephonic call from the Chief Minister’s office (CMO) as not only refreshing but also empowering. The sense of joy and empowerment they had because of a telephone call from the highest office of the State enhanced their huge trust level on the Government. Their feeling of self assuredness that the Government headed by Shri Naveen Patnaik is there to listen to them and monitor their grievances registered by them in Government offices spoke volumes for their faith on the Government. Such positive assessment of people on 5Ts underline the point that the Government of Odisha is not just a run of the mill Government engaged in routine process of governance.
it is more than the Weberian sense of a legal formal arrangement the egitimacy of which is derived from people’s mandate. Rather it is a Government which makes governance people centric.
The sense of security ensured to people by Five T based Mo Sarkar has generated sixth T, the Trust, of the people for the Government.The sixth T i.e. Trust which Shri Harish Khare very thoughtfully and persuasively argued for inclusion in 5Ts has already been generated by the effective implementation of 5Ts covering numerous Government departments.
The success of Five T based Mo Sarkar giving rise to mutual trust between people and Government owes a lot to the incessant exertion of Shri V Karthikeyan Pandian who has been entrusted with the responsibilities to implement it.His dedicated engagements to do so on a round the clock basis bring out his exceptional administrative capabilities. His surprise visits to Government establishments located in far off places of the State very early in the morning and his preference to buy very modest food in Government run Aahar Centres during such visits to personally monitor the implementation of Five Ts set a shining example that civil servants are servants of people.Chief Minister setting such worthy example at the political level and Shri Pandian at the level of civil service constitute a source of inspiration to take forward the cause of people centric governance to higher levels of excellence.
It is because of close identification of Government with people that they have expressed their trust on the Government and the Government in turn has deepened that feeling among people that its employees, Ministers and people's representatives are their servants and not their masters.Slightly four months after India attained independence from British rule Mahatma Gandhi referred to the Ministers of independent of India and said with sincerity of purpose and strength of conviction that the rulers deriving power from people have to inevitably trust them.
It is worthwhile to quote his own words. He said, "Today you have power in your hands. This power is not of Wavell or the Viceroy, it is of the people and for the uplift of the poor. How could we work if we did not trust our people? What would be our fate then?" The essence of what Gandhiji said in 1947 is valid in a much more deeper sense in twenty first century India. Mo Sarkar based on five Ts trusts people's primacy over legal formal procedure of Government often forming the red tape and paralysing the people centric governance. Because of the reposition of trust on people by the Government people in turn have trusted the Government. Such mutual trust validates the meaning inherent in the adage that "Trust begets trust". The inescapable conclusion is that Five Ts have generated sixth T i.e. Trust which is the sure and solid foundation of people's centric governance. No wonder that 5T has been applauded by NITI Ayog for making governance more effective and people centric. It is a matter of pride and deep satisfaction that the UNDP Representative in India has appreciated 5T based governance.
Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik in his message to the people conveying greetings and good wishes to them on the occasion of the celebrations of 71st Republic Day very appropriately stressed on the point that 5T based people centric governance adopted in Odisha has emerged as a role model for the entire country.
Adding further he said that because of 5T driven Mo Sarkar the gulf between people and Government has been considerably bridged and it is indicated by enhancement of people's faith and trust on the Government. When I was in Balangir on 29th December 2019 to participate in the platinum jubilee celebrations of Rajendra College, now conferred with the status of a University, Shri Jayadev Bohidar, an advocate, very passionately hailed 5Ts and feelingly said that these should have been made integral part of governance five years back.His argument was that the 5Ts have acted as the breath of fresh air which has given a new lease of life to the process of governance and made it people centric.
A months before independence Mahatma Gandhi had emphasised that Swaraj (Independence) should be transformed to Suraj (Good Governance). In fact Shri Naveen Patnaik intends to transform the impressive mandate of people secured by his party, Biju Janata Dal, to effectively implement policies and programmes meant for people and thereby transform Swaraj to Suraj. The sixth T representing Trust generated among people in favour the Government because of application of Five Ts augurs well for deepening the culture of people centric governance ushered in in Odisha.