Thursday, June 4, 2009

Man in a great hurry

This small piece written by me was published in the Deccan Herald reporter’s dairy. What was nice in this small piece was that I wrote about a man who transformed the face of the electorate and also the fort which holds such electoral process. I think by now you would have taken a guess? Yes it was none other than T N Seshan the Chief Election Commissioner – CEC of the Election Commission of India.

Countdown has begun… that’s how Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan’s encounter begins with the press photographers in Delhi every time they come across the ebullient former civil servant.
Seshan, who has a penchant for publicity and would invariably like to see his pictures in newspapers, normally sets a time-limit for lensmen to ‘shoot’ him before every important meeting he attends.

On September 28, 1994 too, when he, along with the other two Election Commissioners, met the leaders of various political parties, the countdown… was repeated by Seshan as photographers jostled with each other to capture the rotund CEC in their cameras at the Nirvachan Sadan, the headquarters of the Election Commission. Looking at the battery of lensmen ready to ‘snipe’ at him in the small, clustered hall of the Sadan, Sehsna cried out at the cameramen “the countdown ha begun” and to no surprise of the photographers started counting: 1000, 999, 998, … 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 …” and yelled ‘Now get out all of you.’ “The meeting will start now.” As the CEC continues to be the prize catch, he was promptly there to meet all the newspapers the next morning.

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