Today as Naveen Patnaik compelets third year in office after winning a massive mandate in 2019 for a historic fifth term, his 5T based Mo Sarkar commands attention, analysis and deeper study for tuning the governance across the country.
On Gandhi Jayanti, on 2nd October 2019, Mo Sarkar(My Government) initiative was launched by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik primarily to uphold the cause of people centric governance and underline the vital point that people are the real masters in a democracy and Government employees and representatives of people are their servants. On that day Mo Sarkar only covered the police department and Chief Minister had famously said that under the Mo Sarkar ''The citizens will not chase us. We will follow up with the complaint as to how he was treated at the police station and how his her complaint was dealt with.'' He had also observed that ''Do we know how people are treated when they visit police stations? There is no mechanism to monitor the manner in which people are treated in police stations and what happens to their complaints and grievances''.
Review of Mo Sarkar
In less than three years time when he reviewed, on 28th May 2022,the six departments falling within the Mo Sarkar initiative- Home; Health & Family Welfare; Forest, Environment & Climate Change; Industries, MSME and Water Resources- Naveen Patnaik asserted that it has now given a new model to the administrative system in the State based on feed back of people on their visit to different departments of the Government for access to multiple services.
On 2nd October 2019. Chief Minister forcefully stated that ''The citizens will not chase us. We will follow up with their complaint…''. In less than three years time he claims that a new model of administration has been established by monitoring the complaints of the people and reaching out to them by dialing their numbers, on occasions by Chief Minister himself and always by some senior functionaries. The Mo Sarkar initiative based on 5Ts (Technology, timely completion, team spirit, transparency and transformation) has in the words of Naveen Patnaik, ''has brought changes in the perception of the people towards the government and government institutions. It has also succeeded in building trust between the public and government institutions''.
The meaning and essence embodied in the term Mo Sarkar flags the crucial issue that people should have no hassles in dealing with the Government and Government machinery of which they are the real masters. Their affinity with it should generate a feeling and sensation among them that it is their Government and they can claim individually and collectively that it is My Government, Mo Sarkar.
The 5T based Mo Sarkar initiative headed by its Secretary Karthikaeyan Pandian has generated another T i.e. Trust between people and Government over a period of two years. I had written an article on 5th February 2020 that Five T based governance of Naveen Patnaik produced 6th T- Trust. It is illuminating that he said on 28th May 2022 that “The programme has succeeded in building trust between the people and government''.
Indian Express Report on Mo Sarkar
It is quite educative to note that the former Assistant Editor of Indian Express Sampad Patnaik made a study of Mo Sarkar initiative in 2020 after taking 100 random telephone numbers from Mo Sarkar Portal. He contacted people by dialing 80 out 100 telephone numbers and asked them to give their response to their visits to different Government Departments and the way Chief Minister and other higher functionaries monitored their visits and complaints. Sampad was surprised that most of the people he spoke to gave a positive response and even stated that never in their long record of interactions with Government departments they received a call from a higher authority to find out the treatment they were accorded in the departments they visited and how their complaints were dealt with. They were excited to share their feelings that for the first time they felt that the Government of Odisha has become responsive.
Such an observation made by a journalist of a reputed daily of India flag the point that at the field level the impact of Mo Sarkar has been positive.
Sixth T, Trust
It means that people 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 had 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 giving a new lease of life to the process of governance and made it people centric.
Mo Sarkar :From Swaraj To Suraj
A few months before independence Mahatma Gandhi 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 Odisha.
#The author served as Officer on Special Duty and Press Secretary to President of India late Shri K R Narayanan and had a tenure in Prime Minister’s Office and Joint Secretary in Rajya Sabha Secretariat. Views expressed in the article are in his personal capacity.