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261. The Politician and the Administrator

Expert knowledge is exceedingly admirable. One can look at a cycle and say that in that company in the chain section there is no discipline, they are not buying the best quality aluminum. When an expert in the field analyses a company, he will know more than those in the company about the company. An auditor came to a hospital that won an award for family planning operations and showed that it was a false claim. They claimed credit for 1700 operations but had purchased anesthesia only for 200 operations. They come to your village, dig the soil up to 100 feet and tell you the rainfall for the past hundred years. The knowledge of the expert is formidable. Still, it is not a knowledge that can achieve in the future.

Where one has to build a house, conduct a surgical operation, decide on the aptitude of a boy, the expert possesses the ultimate knowledge. A genius escapes his analysis. Potential leadership in a man will not reveal to him. When a country is facing an unknown situation, as in 1947 in Kashmir, the expert fails. His own expertise utterly fails in fresh political situations. Mountbatten advised Nehru to go to the UN about Kashmir. For fifty years, it hangs fire. In dealing with the ten million uprooted refugees when Patel and Nehru were nonplussed, Lord Mountbatten solved the problem in a trice. Such is the power of expertise and its limitation.

The plan to build an overbridge near RBI building in Madras was defying a solution for years, as rules stood in the way. When he was the Chief Minister, Kamaraj called all the officials and the Railway Minister. The discussion came to a deadlock as before. The Minister stood up to leave the meeting. Kamaraj said, "Please sit down. We are politicians serving the people, not administrators serving the Government. We are here to accomplish what the IAS officers are not able to accomplish. Let us discover a way out." A way out was found and the bridge was built. The knowledge of the expert, however brilliant, is the knowledge of the past. It is also the knowledge of a part. The expert has no knowledge of the Future or the Whole. The politician belongs to the future. Therefore, he rules the expert. Mind, with all its brilliance, is of the past and of the part. The Spirit belongs to the Future. Its knowledge is of the WHOLE.

story | by Dr. Radut