R.K. Raghavan is the former Hiqh Commissioner of India to Cyprus. He has served as the Director, Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI). He is the recipient of the Indian Police Medal for Meritorious Service and the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service.
It is presumptuous on my part to write about a man who has captivated the hearts of a billion people across the globe. My problem is to decide where to start and where to end. I cannot do justice to a multidimensional personality who has made an indelible mark on every sphere of human activity.
There isn’t a field of human endeavour that Shri Narendra Modi has not touched. How can one man do so much in a space of less than two decades. How do you account for this? His extraordinary physical energy – he packs twenty eight hours in a twenty four-hour workday- is derived from spiritual energy built on discipline and determination.
Contrary to the belief of my friends and relations, I have had a face-to-face interaction with Shri Modi only twice. Both meetings left an indelible impression on me. I was struck by the manner in which he turns out to greet an official visitor. He is impeccably dressed but avoids expensive and flashy clothes. He looks into your eyes and gives the inescapable impression that he is interested in you and what you have to tell him. This is a rare quality in a public figure, something that must be emulated by most of us in public life.
When he talks, you know that he has done his homework. I met him on my way to Cyprus to take over as our High Commissioner. He spoke to me on the Eastern Mediterranean region with such precision and authority that his analysis would teach a point or two to a specialist!
My second meeting was equally impactful. His focus on what India’s role in the Mediterranean was to the point. It convinced me that he had no time to waste and his energies were channeled only to improving India’s image abroad.
What does Shri Modi’s life tell a young civil servant? The PM wants an effective tool to do good to the common man. He is impatient of red tape. He wants action and does not want to hear excuses, such as a lack of resources. There is no place in his team for malingerers, the sluggish, and for those who are bereft of zeal and enthusiasm. They need to be those who enjoy being creative. There is no place for those who seek only rewards all the time without doing work. The many reforms to civil service introduced by the present government are aimed at making the government machinery sleek and productive. This is the need of the hour if India is to foremost in the comity of nations.
Shri Modi is an epitome of all that a Karmayogi stands for. We are here not merely to praise him. He needs no adulation. What he demands from each citizen is patriotism and ungrudging service to the nation. We need to rise to a man to strengthen his hands and make India greater than ever before.