Wednesday, September 02, 2015

M.Sreenivasa Murty

Who is more insensitive to today’s plight of LIC Pensioners?
LIC/Govt OR Some of ‘our own’ Leaders?

Cut-throat competition among Leaders of Associations & Federations for one-upmanship (ostensibly to protect the interests of their own members), is common knowledge. It is so whether one likes it or not and we have been living with it. The trend seems to have changed for the worse in recent times, badly affecting LIC pensioners.

Our leaders have virtually declared themselves immune from accountability while remaining at the helm of the Organizational hierarchy. Like some cheap politicians. I am talking of the self-snatched immunity from accountability – not to the outside world or public at large but to THEIR OWN LOYAL, COMMITTED AND SUBSCRIPTION-PAYING MEMBERS. Questions are raised here and there, some loud and some feeble – but nobody to answer. Can such leaders be at peace with themselves, permanently?  

I was internally searching for the probable causes. As far as LIC is concerned, there has been steady erosion in values of individuals constituting ‘top management’. Safe (aka ‘selfish’) actions are preferred to bold (aka ‘right’) actions. It is a trend. We have to live with it for now. Current LIC management has no concern or respect for the ex-employees. They know these retirees are a spent force and can do nothing by way of posing a threat, unlike those still in service. So, why bother, ignore the retirees and take care of the Unions of serving workforce. Life will be smoother and better.

The fact that the Pensioners are physically weak, unorganized and less visible, is playing havoc when it comes to Pensioners’ Organizations also. Our own Leaders are taking us for a ride. They are able to do what they want to and the way they choose to and practically get away.

Let us get down to brass tacks. The Leader of one Federation (of undoubted integrity and invincible conviction in what he believes as right) is able to ride roughshod over the discomfort of two thirds of his loyal members and keep projecting the cause (absolutely just, no doubt) of hardly one-third of his members. Never tolerates dissent. Doesn’t find it necessary or worthwhile to carry the crowd. My search for the likely causes in this case tells me that the ‘weak, unorganized’ syndrome of the pensioner class is the reason. What is handy to LIC proved equally convenient in this case also. What can the majority do? Nothing. So let them suffer. They deserve to.

The other Federation is beyond anybody to describe. It has a hierarchy and vast network on paper. They all like their positions but most of them have no role to play. Main activity, perhaps the only, has been fund raising. For over half a decade, it has allowed its identity as an organization to be obliterated and allowed itself to be seen wholly through one individual. Someone who enjoys and has been accustomed to the blind loyalty of the ‘cult’ followers. The Organization woke up a bit late and has been trying to take control of the reins. Not able to and so paying a heavy price and losing face. Ordinarily, the above profile of the Organization notwithstanding, it need not sound the death knell to the members’ interests. Unfortunately however, the De jure leadership is choosing to keep silent when they are actually required to speak. One Regional satrap talks and writes non-stop – on all matters except the most critical subject. Because he (like all others) has no clue of what is happening in that crucial area. The De facto boss rarely speaks in public. His silence should be accepted as ‘strategy’.

The real irony is that the latter Federation was able to lure a few thousand non-members to lend support and to fill its coffers, promising the moon. Today not only its members but all those ‘outside’ supporters are left high and dry and are left with no clue of how their interests are safe in the hands of the ‘silent strategists’.

Who is more insensitive to today’s plight of LIC Pensioners? 
LIC/Govt OR Some of ‘our own’ Leaders?                            
Pensioners, awake before it is too late.

Sept 2, 2015