Bureaucratic power is a fact of life in the present political and administrative processes throughout the world. It is inherent in all administrative systems and so is the case in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Bureaucracy in J&K emerged as an offshoot of the British Colonial rule in India. The rule ended but the legacy still persists. Over-bureaucracy in the system led to the undue increase in the bureaucratic power. This excessive power became unacceptable to the common masses in J&K. The situation got aggravated due to the increasing inaccessibility of this bureaucracy and its recognition as elitism. The public in J&K, being vulnerable economically, socially and psychologically due to the past political turmoil of two decades and undue discrimination at the hands of the central government, portrayed a feeling and attitude of awe, fear, and disgust towards the rising bureaucratic structure. The bureaucracy in J&K needs to desist from rampantly using its power, which draws its vitality from the resources allocated to it. At the same time, it needs to make a judicious use of these resources. The present paper depicts the rise of bureaucratic power in J&K, with its inherent pitfalls, if used indiscriminately. This paper also portrays the probability of its decline in case the reins are taken over by the citizenry as a result of an administrative revolution.
Key words: Legal-rational authority, elitism, accountability, bureaucracy, bureaucratization, politicization, inaccessibility, popular control, sunshine laws, ombudsman, magic shield, performance indicators, government service, public service.