Public Office is a Public Trust

The three words Public, Office and Trust carry great weight and imply sense of duty and moral responsibility. It is always a great privilege to hold an office, more so a public office and to render service honestly and fairly without fear or favor. The greater or higher is the office, the greater is the responsibility. The word office is synonymous with duty, with act of worship.

Once the Emperor of China, gave an official admiration to the officers of his government in remarkable words worth quoting that one who sincerely serves his country leaves fragrance of a good name to a hundred years, he who does not, leave a name that stinks for tens of thousands of years”. Trust and honor go together. He who is honest is always trusted and honored. And when honor is gone, man is dead.

The proposition : ‘Public office is a public trust’ is a worthy maxim, can be used as a touch-stone for judging actions of those who claim to be public servants or who talk high to serve the people, the community and the nation. The higher is the office, the greater is the authority or power derived from the office. Misuse of power or abuse of authority is not only breach of trust but also a public crime and a moral slur.

Territory, population and an organized government are the three essentials of a nation. The government runs the affairs of the state through a well knitted administration. Since earliest times there has been a division of subjects and creation of departments for dealing with the state subjects – the affairs of the state. In every form of government there has been division of subjects and creation and classification of the departments. The people who run the government and manage the departments, must be honest, responsible and dutiful. Then only they can be worthy of trust and real servants of the people.

The word ‘Administer’ has its roots in Latin word: ‘Ad’ and ‘Minister ate’ which means to minister, to manage, to serve. Thus, it implies that an administrator is a public servant. The three organs of the government i.e. the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary are responsible for making of policies and running the administration. In the present context an administrator is educated to realize that administration In a welfare state, is a harmonious combination of men and materials It consists in, proper channelization of available manpower, natural resources and development of human facilities. Administration or running of public office is a collective and not an individual activity.

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