The babus are angry, very angry. And, they are threatening to protest in their patented style: go on mass leave, and that too on a Friday. The reason for such annoyance is a report from the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India that says people working in government offices and state-funded institutions work in ‘stress-free zones’, while their corporate counterparts are busy firefighting. There is nothing earth-shattering about the report; it just reiterates what we discuss all the time behind their backs: babus have it nice and easy.
Babus, on their part, can blame their enthusiasm-deficiency syndrome to low salaries, multiple bosses, dingy offices and lack of corporate-style incentives to work harder. But what would you tell the mother who got back her kidnapped son three days after he was rescued? The designated venue at which he was to be handed over was shut thanks to a babu who declared May 11, a Friday, a holiday to commemorate the 150th year of the Mutiny. And, these sundry holidays are not even a part of that hallowed list that makes lesser mortals like us green with envy. Our combined fret barometer goes up a few notches more when we see them lazing around in the winter sun, way after the scheduled lunch hour.
Who are on the other side of the fence? Project developers, courier companies, retail sector bank employees, and journalists. We can vouch for the last category at least, because unlike our counterparts in and around Raisina Hill, we don’t even have the luxury of passing the buck (read files) to the next table.