Gulzari Lal Nanda – 2 times acting Prime Minister (after Nehru and after Shastri). No flat/plot/home in
Many years home minister. After leaving
the government, he stayed in a barsathi (flat in the upper floor). He could not
pay rent for a few months. The owner
took his belongings and threw out in the street. His daughter came from Delhi and took him home. Bombay
When Mr. K. Kamraj was Chief Minister of
, a senior minister
and a senior IAS officer got into a big argument/fight over an important
subject. This happened in front of
him. Mr. Kamraj listened patiently and
then told the minister: He (IAS Officer)
can enter politics and become a minister like you. Can you become an IAS Officer? The minister said NO. Mr. Kamraj said: Then shut up and listen and
do what this IAS Officer is saying. Madras
Lal Bahadur Shastri. In the 1930s he was working for the Congress Party. One day a relative came to his home and asked Mrs. Lalitha Shastri for a loan. She immediately gave him the loan. Mr. Shastri was watching this. He asked his wife, after the relative left, how she was able to give him loan when he earned only Rs.10 per month. She replied that the monthly expenses comes to only Rs.7 and she was saving Rs.3 a month. The next day Mr. Shastri went to the Congress Party office and told them to reduce his monthly salary from Rs.10 to Rs.7.
When Mr. Annadurai became Chief Minister of
, the government
procured modern furniture to be placed in his own home. (He had earlier refused
to move into the Chief Minister’s Official Residence.) He told the concerned department he does not
need any new furniture. His wife was
disappointed and asked him for the reason.
He told her: Chief Ministership is not a permanent job. Any day I may
lose this job. If that happens, I will
have to return this furniture the same day.
Therefore, it is better not to develop any affinity to this new furniture. Madras
Pratap Singh Kairon (1905 to 1965) – Chief Minister of
1956-1964. I like him. He went to school at ,
Berkeley (my alumni) and earned a Masters degree in Economics in the 1920s. He turned University of California Punjab
into an economic power house. He was
very strict in dealing with those who “strike” and inconvenience the public –
be it the village Patwaris or the long distance truck drivers. I would call him ’s Ronald Reagan. Since Mr. Kairon was senior to him, I would
call President Reagan as India ’s
Kairon. (Remember the Air Traffic Controllers’ Strike in USA during Reagan
Of course, there are a few good modern day leaders:
Manik Sarkar, Chief Minister of Tripura since 1998. He has no home and no car. His wife takes public transportation to go around.
N, Rangaswamy, Chief Minister of
He goes to his office in a bicycle. No security. Not even a single constable.
Anyone can walk into his office without an appointment. Pondicherry