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Monday, October 22, 2012

Giants and Pygmies

Perhaps my blog may have been successful in conveying an impression that there is much to be desired from all those who occupy apex level positions in the railway system. Yet despite the rot, I have come across many who would not fit the general bill of today as they stood out as stalwarts both as officers as well as human beings. It is indeed unfortunate that most of us do not appreciate the basic truth that the foremost  prerequisite for being a good officer is to be a genuine human being and therefore generally display tendencies and behavior suited for human beings fairly low in the pecking order in so far as humanity is concerned.

Shailendra Kumar Budhalakoti the only man who literally adorned the chamber of the General Manager of the Northern Railways is one such man, the likes of whom one does not bump into these days. His tearful farewell was also perhaps the first farewell that was shorn of sycophantic connotations when a boss is poised to move upwards or utter disdain when a boss is about to move into oblivion. A highly courageous man who had the ability to stand up for his subordinates unlike many others who lick their superiors and kick their subordinates, Budhalakoti shall always be remembered and revered for his humanity, humility and above all guts.

Romesh Chandra Sethi who retired as the top honcho of the diesel locomotive works at varanasi has been another person who hardly exhibited any of those qualities that the railway brass is generally known for. A terrific leader of men, he deeply touched the lives of each one of us who worked with him. A man who had the courage of his convictions and could therefore take setbacks in his stride, Sethi, a terrific speaker who can keep even large mobs spell bound with his oratory, shall always remain family for me and many. 

Ravindra, the Chairman of the Railway Board in the late nineties is another such leader of men who shall always remain an icon of perfection for many. His humanity and humility have indeed given him a halo that is difficult to gloss over. Clarity of purpose and guts to take uncharted decisions were his strongest qualities as the chief executive of the railway system.  A legendary figure who made almost all his successors appear like pygmies, he shall also always be remembered as perhaps the finest example of a chief executive of the railways in recent times.

Gujral with whom I never worked earlier has also left his impact on the railways, with his farsightedness and the uncanny ability to take bold decisions in the interest of railway operations. Crossing 200 million tonne mark is his own personal achievement .

The four giants who left an indelible impression on the lives of the people they interacted with and the fleet of pygmies that one bumps into these days, that is what contrasts are all about.


1 comment:

  1. Sir, why it is difficult for the majority of people to understand this simple thing, as you have discussed in your blog.