Saturday, August 31, 2013
Sitaram Yechury, Member of CPI(M) Polit Bureau and Member of Parliament in a letter addressed to the Minister for State for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pension, Shri Narayanasamy, has drawn attention to the damaging nature of the Distance Learning module “On Values in Administration” and sought its immediate removal from governmental programmes. The full text of the letter sent on August 30, 2013 is given below:
Dear Shri Narayanasamyji,
I would like to bring to your notice a Distance Learning module “On Values in Administration” prepared by the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India, http://persmin.gov.in/otraining/UNDPProject/undp_modules/valuedinadmin/Read%20hyperlinked%20pdf%20file/Values%20in%20Administration.pdf. Though the document's objective is to teach through distance learning the supervisory staff of the Government, it makes no effort to base the values of the administration on the Indian Constitution and constitutional values such as equality, fundamental rights, equity. Instead, the document talks about values derived from what the author calls “Indian Insights of Human Values ”, which then identifies such values virtually with Hindu religious texts and beliefs, such as:
· “in the modern era, there has been much degradation in the value system, leading to all round problems” (Section 1.1 Introduction)
· “We can say that there are uniform (Universal) values inbuilt in each one of us. They flow out of the highest of our own self, our ultimate holistic potential. ” (Section 1.3 Values)
· Values for administration based on Sattwik, Rajo and Tamoshik Guna – Guna and Karma Theory (Section 2 and 3).
The module shows a shocking bias. There are disparaging remarks on Sikhism and Islam which in any case are not relevant to the subject matter – what constitutes values in administration. Neither is there any mention made of the Constitution of India, the various guarantees given under it to the Indian people and what it enjoins on the government personnel.'
The text also denigrates various political parties and identifies itself with the values intrinsic to erstwhile princely rulers of states. In the case of Kerala, it makes the astounding claim that all advances in Kerala have taken place due to the enlightened rule of the former Maharaja of Travancore and makes disparaging remarks about the Communists and the Communist government in Kerala(Section 3.9)!
Values in administration cannot be derived from some so-called inner universal values based on a Hindu outlook but the values that have been enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Any document developed for administrative personnel of the government must show how the values in the Indian Constitution must reflect in its practice and to strengthen a secular democratic Republic. Not only does the above volume not fulfill this purpose, it actually harks back to medieval values that have little to do with modern administrative values and could even be harmful to it.
I hope you will take notice of the complete damaging nature of such a module and take measures to immediately remove this from any governmental programme. It is unfortunate that the Government of India and its Department of Personnel should be associated with such a module.