PACHU MENON, MARGAO
With Goa placed in a precarious situation with many of its ministers unwell and compelled to be hospitalised for long periods in medical institutions outside the state, it becomes difficult to understand how a government can function in the absence of these important ‘functionaries.’ The unfortunate trend wherein one minister after the other has been taking ill is indeed a matter of concern. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who himself is recouping from an ailment for quite some time now, thus finds himself overburdened with the work of the departments hitherto handled by the indisposed ministers. Although it hardly helped, at least the Chief Minister was practical enough to appoint a three-member advisory committee comprising cabinet ministers to look into the day-to-day affairs of the state in his absence. No doubt the ministers are but mere mortals and cannot be expected to be in the pink of their health all throughout. But it is when their absence hampers the workings of their concerned departments that things start going awry. With doctors attending upon these ministers forbidding anything that would aggravate their condition and lead to complications, the task becomes all the more cumbersome. Competent bureaucrats posted in various departments do carry out their tasks with aplomb, but it is the decision-making that is affected the most with the ministers confined to their hospital beds. As one of the core concepts of management leadership, delegation of responsibilities assumes a great importance in any organisation. But in a democracy like India, it is generally observed that when it comes to their departments, the concerned ministers have always preferred to have their writ running large over their domains. Fond of having the last say in any formal matter, the absence of the ministers thus has a telling effect on the departments that come under their purview. While the health of its ministers has become a serious cause of concern for the state, it will be interesting to note how the Chief Minister temporarily juggles the portfolios of his ailing ministers between his colleagues in the ruling dispensation before the monsoon session of the legislative assembly.