Weber’s model of bureaucracy was found inappropriate to effect the social transformation in ma developing countries. In India, it received a good amount of criticism for its failure to meet the growing demands of social legislation.
After two decades of independence, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, advocated the concept of committed bureaucracy. Not only did she express her dissatisfaction with the performance of bureaucracy, she expressed doubt about the relevance of the basic assumption underlying the Indian bureaucracy, that of neutrality, impartiality, anonymity etc. and she alleged that to bureaucrats lacked commitment.
She disgustingly referred to the administrative machinery as ‘ stumbling block in the country’s progress’ and reiterated the necessity of creating an administrative cadre committed to national objectives and responsive to Indian social needs. She found in ‘committed bureaucracy’ the answer to the ills of neutrality that crippled the development process in India. She had an earnest belief that only a committed bureaucracy can bring about the desired change.
The concept of ‘committed bureaucracy’ was much contested in the political and administrative circles. It was alleged that it would permanently damage the fabric of the services. It would create a breed of pliable civil servants who would always say “Yes Minister” and would be ready to crawl when asked to bend by their political masters.
It was also alleged that in the name of commitment the ruling party was seeking bureaucracy’s alignment with the party’s ideology in order to perpetuate its rule. However, it was later clarified by the government that commitment did not mean attachment to the ideology of the party in power, but a commitment to the development of the country and personal involvement of bureaucracy in the tasks as opposed to ostrich like withdrawal and isolation from politics.
Thus, if committed bureaucracy stands for a non-partisan, socially sensitive civil service, which can empathize with the politician who is genuinely interested in progress and development of the country, then a committed civil service is more appropriate for a developing nation than having an insensitive neutral one.