Decoding Public Service

Let’s look at various perspectives which can be considered as motivating agent to streamline public service. These are as follows;

  • Divine command and Spirituality – Religious preachers such as Buddha, Mahavir and social reforms such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa viewed public service as a way to salvation. As we can learn from life of Gandhi, he worked throughout his life for the cause of Dalit emancipation which he considered more sort of religious duty or divine command. For him, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.
  • Spirit of Service – Apart from Divine command, sense of individual morality and social goodwill too motivates one to devote oneself for public service. As Swami Vivekananda said puts it, “service of man is the service of God”. For instance, Dr Kalam even after his retirement from government service, continued to work for public welfare.
  • Social Contract – Conception of modern state as described in the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Rousseau is more sort of an obligation upon ruler. This is a bilateral agreement wherein citizens surrender some of their basic rights in exchange of certain basic service from them such as efficient law and order machinery by which right to life and liberty can be secured.
  • Maxim of Reciprocity – Those sections of the society who have enriched themselves by leveraging existing resources is under moral obligation to give back to the society. Mechanism such as Corporate social responsibly (CSR), Scientific Social responsibility (SSR) are the mechanism through which society Big corporate houses or influential persons can give back to the society for its betterment.