The relevancy of appointing a foreigner to report on the Indian Public Administration methods and technique was questioned in the House of the People.
A Member wanted to know whether it was in conformity with our honour and prestige to ask a foreigner – in this case an American citizen – to advise us on the administration of our country.
The habit of looking up to foreigners for advice on every aspect of our nation’s economy is to be deplored, especially since most of them are not aware of Indian conditions and our administrative background. At the same time, the touchiness exhibited by our MPs is not called for.
The Finance Minister, in his explanation, stated that the opinion of an Indian expert had also been solicited and recorded.
If an American consultant had also been asked to make his independent report, it was merely to get a more complete picture of the administration.
In a sense an outsider can see our problems in a better perspective and can, therefore, suggest remedies which are not apparent to us. It is often better to look at ourselves as others see us.
The Government of India, we hope, will take due cognisance of the opinion expressed by the Indian expert, especially since he is a man of considerable experience in administration himself.
But there is no need to be unduly touchy about inviting an outsider to look into our affairs. Strength lies in knowing our shortcomings.
(EDIT, May 7, 1953.)