Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gopalaswami, former Chief Election Commissioner of India - a 'role model' in the Indian Civil Service

N Gopalaswami, former Chief Election Commissioner of IndiaPodUniversal Edition 76

Mr N Gopalaswami, retired as Chief Election Commissioner of India on 20th April 2009. A 1966 batch IAS Officer of Gujarat cadre, hails from a small village in Tamilnadu and through his hard work and dedication, he reached the level of Chief Election Commissioner of India. He has also held very high positions in the Government of India, including the Secretary of Home Ministry during critical days.

In the last few weeks, he was more spoken in the media for his upright and frank recommendations on Mr Navin Chawla, the Election Commissioner and also on the case of Ms Sonia Gandhi. On one side, though some of the political parties criticise him for his stern actions, on the other side, many of the youngsters hail him as a 'role model' or as a 'hero' in their blogs for his courageous actions. He is considered as one of the upright and most honest officer in his own bureaucratic circles.

Today (28 April 2009) morning, I spoke to Mr Gopalaswami over phone to record his podcast interview. In a free wheeling conversation, he spoke on his source of inspiration, his spiritual beliefs, usage of technology in governance, his achievement, his disappointment, role of youth, etc.

When I asked him who was the source of his inspiration for his uprightness in his career, spanning forty years in civil service, he told me that before joining IAS, he prostrated before his grand father and sought his blessings. His grand father, a man of high integrity, advised him in Tamil, "Nermaiyaha iru". That means, his grand father advised him to be utmost honest with integrity in civil service. Mr Gopalswami was wondering as to what prompted his grand father to advise him like that. Later, he came to know about the bad experience of his grand father in Government offices due to corruption and lethargy, which prompted him to advise. Mr Gopalswami told me that till date, he was keeping up the advise given by his grand father.

In the post-retirement period, he wants to study Vaishnavism through contact classes. He will be attending classes on Saturdays and Sundays. He has already completed one semester. He plans to complete the remaining three semesters of this course, by attending classes.

Please listen to the interesting and freewheeling conversation in full by clicking 'play' button in the flash player. The audio streaming will be smooth in broadband connections. If the streaming is not smooth, right click this link and save the mp3 file to your desktop and listen through mp3 player. (18 m 21 s). Please bear with us for the quality of audio, as it was recorded over phone.

This podcast may also be listened from the following link


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