The colonial masters wherever ruled left their mark and dented the cultures of the colonized countries significantly. The biggest strain on the ethos of these nations had been the ruling elite rather everyone wants to feel “Entitled”, the moment anyone comes into any position of power. The entitled are always looking for shortcuts and he feels that he is beyond all rules.
The merit gets violated rather than mutilated forever. This behavior becomes an inspiration for others and sooner than later gets accepted in society. Self-entitlement provides an ecology where people start feeling that they are special, and rules just do not apply to them. There remains no empathy and commoner just become a low caste. The class system germinates, and the entire society wants to live like the Entitled master.
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Understanding the matter better
Self-service becomes their fundamental principle, and they feel that they own the world. Having fallen in love with their position, they show no mercy to work ethics or for that matter any objectivity. A concept of protocol and special treatment has culminated. The biggest victims of this behavior are justice, meritocracy, and service delivery. It becomes much easier for service delivery people to pamper the few and get away with overall ease providing to all the consumers. The idea of que vanishes, and abuse of power, connections and position becomes prevalent.
People become insensitive towards others and the system itself because they know that not only their needs are met but also their ego is being massaged. The feeling of being a colonialist gives them the drive to always create exceptions in the system. This motivates the elite not to work for equality and commoners but rather for self-service towards their own groups, service, tribes become more relevant and germane. There remains no focus on improving laws, public service, and fairness. The inherent self-entitled forces work day in and day out to keep the status quo. Any voice pointing towards their mistakes is silenced and the entire force works jointly to throw these voices out of the system.
Look around and you will see the self-entitlement and exceptions culture all around. When any dignitary is receiving a protocol, this means either he is not popular, or the environment is not safe for which the very dignitary is responsible. Go to any office or any que in any of the colonized countries, you will see people bypassing rules to get special treatment and the commoner gets humiliated in the process. It happens because the service delivery wants to distract the ruling elite from their performance by providing special protocols.
The mockery of rules and justice is evident in everyday life. There are laws that everyone knows will be violated but are made for commoners and there are rules which are violated constantly by all the bigwigs belonging to the establishment, judiciary, bureaucracy, parliamentarians, and business houses. The worst thing is not only no one feels bad about self -entitlement rather everyone in power wants to retain, Moreso, but they would also like to enhance, expand and ingress exceptions in the name of their services, titles, and unions.
The system provides no choice for the poor to raise their voice
The middle class remains in utter awe of these entitlements and gets inspired to be one of them. The differentiation between right and wrong diminishes. The service delivery dampens and there remains no one to do any accountability since every accountable authority is also enjoying the so-called privileged exceptions.
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West neither has a culture and moreover, west used technology to overcome exceptions in the system. One of the strong reasons why we see no focus of successive governments on digitalization may it be land records, revenue collection or judicial processes is to keep the discretionary powers and create smoke screens around transparency. There will be all kinds of frivolous talks on Tv shows but none will share the facts, evidence, and solutions to the problems. The bureaucrats will keep justifying their superhuman skills without even blinking an eye about running health, petroleum, and finance ministries by just having the basic qualification of history. They will keep resisting any reform in the system because it will take away their entitled authorities and immutable powers.
The establishment will keep weakening the parliament to ensure that no one talks about their absolute powers without any accountability. The word National interest provides cover to all the narcissistic and self-serving adventures. The Justice system turns a blind eye towards efficiency and new mechanisms because it will take away their unchallengeable control.
Transparency and uniformity in policies do not suit the ruling elite but they forget in the process that they are leaving behind an unmanageable legacy. To start a culture of equality and empathy, the ruling elite must let go of their privileges entitlements and prerogatives. The success must be measured if the same set of security, services and delivery mechanisms is being provided to all. If the same level of education, health, housing, and amenities are available to every individual living in the country.
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The culture of perks, privileges and bending rules must be replaced by transparency, the same rules for all and no exceptions. About the time the ruling elite comes out of the trance and understands the cultural decay they have caused by living under colonial offices, clubs and houses and start treating themselves as a mere mortal, about time to think beyond their self-worth and self-entitlements.
Moied Javeed is a senior telecom executive in Pakistan and can be reached at email@example.com. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.