Bureaucracy – the God

  • Post category:Office Office / Social
  • Reading time:7 mins read

“Existence is God” has been discussed across the world and across the cultures. People may believe in one God or many Gods or a systems of God like a big office with hierarchies, rules, orders, responsibilities, domains etc. There are some cultures or communities for which existence seems like as anti-God, but still not completely independent. Despite the advancements of scientific and communist and “other” views GOD still remains a popular entity, although in different forms. Recently, I stumbled upon a new personal discovery or it may be just an association; Bureaucracy- the God.

When I was in school, we used to read and listen about communism, but mostly in the context of Russia and its influence on India. Russian science used to be referred as the best in class. I do not know where it stands now and even if what we read and heard was recent or was just some old school books. Nevertheless, being a communist and scientific country, we heard that they do not believe in GOD any more and that gave birth to a joke. “Once upon a time scientist from Russia and India had discussion about GOD. They were on opposite sides of course. Russians saying GOD do not exists and Indians who grew up believing in many Gods who exist in everyday life. After some heated argument, Russians said that they will come to India, travel across places, investigate and study all different Gods and prove that it is all false. As soon as all the travel permits were arranged, a team of Russian scientists came to India. They travelled all across India; from north to south, from east to west; from state to state; from culture to culture and from religion to religion. They spent hours, weeks, months and years, jotting down every detail about whatever they came across. After they analyzed all the details, prepared the report, the head of the Russian team presented their conclusion. He said,”All the religious documents that exist do not prove any scientific evidence of GOD. However, our experience in this country, made us ‘feel’, that although GOD do not exist, but the only way to explain how this country is still operational is by adding the existence of the GOD in the equation”.

Well, this was a childhood joke and remained like that and I continue to learn about the various Gods that exist in India. Well, I am sure I only know a handful and probably that too in abstracts. Many years fast forward, I am sitting in a café bar with a friend of mine. I was expecting some paper work to be finished by Indian system. All other details of that, I will probably write another series of it about my experience. But for now lets just stay at the high level. I have been waiting for these documents months after months always to know, that it will be finished today or tomorrow or next week guaranteed! Knowing my state, my friend jokingly asked me, “You have so many Gods in India for different purposes, don’t you have one for bureaucracy?”. I thought about it just for a second and I said, “No, we do not have a God for it, because Bureaucracy is the God!. What we have is thousands and thousands of priests and community members who follow and worship that GOD. It is just like any other God, which cannot be seen, cannot be talked to, cannot be directly approached, cannot be touched, but you can feel its presence all across!” We had a good laugh with that and we continued with our coffee.

Outpost bureaucracy. The power of one is strong. Source: Stuart spence

However, a couple of days later I was thinking about it. I realized that apart from many other problems, these are the daily problems for which mankind invents or need a “God”. When you are stuck with system of bureaucracy, you find yourself completely helpless. None of those positive quotes or spiritual statements help e.g. “When the going gets tough, tougher gets going” or “Think positive and it will be positive”. No, as you can do all that you can do, but there is no way to influence the system, if you are just a person from outside. If you are part of bureaucracy, then sure things will get done for you, the speed may be different based on at what level of hierarchy you stand. Whom do you pray to move your application from this table to next, which apparently is just really the next table, not even another office in the city. Whom do you talk to when all you can do is stand at the gate and request for your work to be done and you do not have any clue where and with whom is your request pending after the gate. Well, just so that you do not take it easy, there is not just one gate. You will most probably move from gate to gate, pushed left and right, here and there. It does not matter, if you have urgency or not, it does not matter if what the system requested is illogical or not, it will work the way it wants to. Those are the times, when people start to seek some super power existence, which can somehow move somebody somewhere, transfer some positive energy or love (talking in the language of spirituality) to the people handling your work. This way like many other Gods, the God of Bureaucracy is born.

Well, this article is not so much to smile about. But, I am sure the people who have gone through such an experience could stop for a smirk. On the other side, if there is a real bureaucrat reading, he must have smiled whole heartedly.

Hail bureaucracy!



Once an Indian Bureaucrat visited his counterpart in Switzerland. They had to go to a meeting in the morning. In the early morning when they woke up, had their shower met for early tea/coffee. The swiss looked at his watch and said, now my staff guy is making tea and he would be here in 15 min. Sharp minutes later the tea was on the table. As they were having tea, Swiss guy again looked at the watch and said, “my staff member is now cleaning the car”. After sometime he again looked at the watch and said,” my staff member is now checking the car is ok”. After sometime, he looked at the watch again and said, “my staff is preparing the breakfast and would be here in 10 min.”. Voila! 10 min later breakfast was on the table. Once they finished their breakfast, Swiss guy looked at his watch again and said,” my staff is now bringing the car in front in 10 min. Let’s be at the gate.” When they reached after 10 min, car just stopped in front of them. As they took the car and went to the meeting, Indian told the Swiss guy that this watch is amazing and asked him to give him one. Swiss guy gave him his own as gift. Indian bureaucrat happy and satisfied, please visit my place next time when you come to India.

Next year, Swiss met Indian at his home. In the morning, Indian proudly looked at this watch and said, “My servant has went to the market to buy fresh food or breakfast. After some time he checked his watch again and said,”Now my servant is cleaning the car”. After 15 min, he checked the watch and said,” Now my servant is cleaning my shoes and preparing my dress”. After some time, he checked his watch again and said, “our breakfast will be ready in 20 min”. 30 min passed there was no breakfast on the table. Indian looked at his watch again, went to the balcony and shouted, ” Ram bahadur!!! Where the hell is breakfast!!” . Another servant replied from the floor,” Sir, Ram bahadur is on leave today, do you want to me to do anything? “