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The Bureaucrat's Bible

Updated: Oct 24, 2021

Even though they are usually staffed by competent, qualified and trained people, yet we all suffer delays, incompetence, carelessness, and indifference of government departments and large organisations.

The problem lies in the way they are organised, the main culprit being bureaucracy and their credo. Listed here are 20 of the unwritten rules that bureaucrats live by.

Rule No 1.

Be reactive and Not pro-active. Appear to hasten but move slowly and cautiously.

Rule No 2.

Do Not create waves. Flow with the water. Just be a processor and not be a facilitator. that is NOT your mandate.

Rule No. 3.

Have No fixed conviction or commitments or views. At least do not display them.

Rule No 4.

Process and procedure is most important and not the end result. Stick to them as long as it helps you to remain inactive.

Rule No 5.

Remain non committal. Act sincere, do nothing.

Rule No 6.

When in doubt, sleep over the matter and procrastinate as much as you can.

Rule No 7.

There are no rewards for good work. If you go wrong your neck is online. Do nothing as far as possible.

Rule No 8.

Cite rules. There is some rule for every sin, inaction, action or position that you may be in, to justify it. Look after your own interest and manoeuvre best positions and postings for yourself.

Rule No 9.

Accumulate wealth and maintain good public relations with those who matter in the hierarchy.

Rule No 10.

Avoid controversy and side step when difficult situation comes up. Pass the buck when things get hot.

Rule No 11.

Things will remain what they are. Your actions/inactions and contribution do not matter.

Rule No 12.

People and their problems are NO concern of yours. They have been born to live like that. You are the privileged one. Do not identify with common people.

Rule No 13.

Look after yourself. Watch your back.

Rule No 14.

Do not trust sincere and dedicated and honest type of colleagues and other activists They are nothing but trouble.

Rule No. 15.

There is nothing called absolute fact/truth. Everything has many dimensions and sides. Always defend your action by highlighting the side that justifies your position. Always side with the winner.

Rule No 16.

Bureaucrats NEVER retire. Ensure lining up a cosy post retirement assignment.

Rule No 17.

Never get trapped in idealism, patriotism, honesty, fair play, professional or personal integrity etc. These are just vague and unrealistic concepts and should never affect your actions.

Rule No 18.

Never promote or recommend anyone from any other cadre/discipline (other than your own cadre) for any valuable position /post/assignment however suited, appropriate and capable that person maybe for the same. Always maintain parochial interest and promote it to the best of your ability.

Rule No 19.

Always pull down anyone who may be competent and able to outrun you. Trip him/her unabashedly.

Rule No 20.

Be very careful of those who are genuinely good, able, motivated and visionary. They are highly dangerous for our peace and carefree existence.


Bureaucracies can sprout up anywhere. However they are more common in large organisations. The biggest and most cumbersome bureaucracies are of course government departments.

Nearer home, if one encounters more than one of the above symptoms listed above in one's organisation, then one is likely heading for trouble, if not already experiencing trouble in getting satisfactory performance leave alone superior performance from one's people.

Bureaucracies develop when organisations focus on procedures rather than outcomes.

The solution is to reward results rather than efforts.

Focus on achievement of shared goals and objectives unifies people and enhances team work and almost always produces consistently superior results.


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