Selected Tributes to LALIT DOSHI

Dr Rafiq Zakaria

In the sudden, premature death of Mr Lalit Doshi, India has lost one of its finest civil servants. As a cabinet minister in Maharashtra for more than 15 years, I came in contact with him at different levels and found him not only competent and hardworking, but also honest and incorruptible. Unassuming and quiet, he had a helpful nature. He adhered to rules and regulations but did not allow these to obstruct his constructive approach to men and matters. He was one of the few officers who was both loved and respected. Had he not been so suddenly snatched away in the prime of life, I am sure he would have risen to the position of cabinet secretary.

Source: Times of India, Mumbai, 3 February 1994

Fr. Emil D�Cruz,S.J.

Lalit was one of our brightest students and it was no surprise that he made it to the I.A.S. and reached such an eminent position as Secretary, Industries Department, Government of Maharashtra. If Divine Providence had given him a longer lease of life, he would have reached even higher positions in the echelons of the Civil Service of our Country.

He deserves all the encomiums lavished on him from the Chief Minister to other officials, who came in contact with him. I was personally impressed by his simplicity, sincerity, and unassuming ways, when I met him as Chief Guest on our Founder's Day. He spoke with great unction about his association with his alma mater and the Staff members he came in contact with during his College Days. He was definitely, one of our finest and ablest administrators, honest to the core and genuinely interested in the development of our Country.

Excerpts from letter dated 4th February 1994 from Fr. Emil D�Cruz,S.J., then Principal, St. Xavier�s College, Bombay.

Mr. Keshub Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group

Here�s a Man who had a brilliant academic career, he could have done anything he desired to do. But there was elm and innate drive to do public service. You always saw him with a smile, a the same time no one was fooled by the smile because he had with it a degree of candour and frankness and he spoke without fear and with great conviction in what he believed in. The other striking characteristic of Lalit was � that he was a simple man, a man with rare intelligence who showed great humility. He was unassuming and I always felt that lucky were those who were touched by his friendship and his kindness.

(Excerpts from introductory remarks � 4 August 1995)

Mr. Arun Shourie, Minister of State, Government of India

Everybody who has written about him at the time of his death, similarly every body whom in Delhi I have met who knew him, the distinguished seniors who knew him personally, Mr. Pradhan who selected him, they have all spoken the same sorts of words about him. His goodness, his reaching out to help others, his nobility, this word nobility has been used repeatedly to me by persons who worked with him in the Ministry in Delhi and that such a person should survive in our system, is one of the tributes to many senior people who select and promote such persons.

It is also something that is a reason for residual faith in our state structure and it is by such persons that administration and other things are known today. The phrase that came to my mind, when I read about Lalit and heard about him, was this phrase, it�s almost a highest compliment that can be paid, it was a phrase about Goswami Tulsidas. It was said that Goswami Tulsidas is not famous because he is a poet, but the poetry is famous because Goswami Tulsidas writes it. Similarly, that such a person is not famous, not remembered today, because he was Secretary, Industries or he established and furthered an important institution or he was Joint Secretary in Delhi, or he helped craft a vision for the industrialisation of one of the most progressive States of our Country. But those posts are valued today because such a good person occupied them. That itself is a mark of some distinction in our country today, and I will tell you the contrast by recalling to you what in one of the things that was given to me, an article that was written by Mr. S. Shankar Menon, who was then the principal secretary of the Government of Maharashtra. He wrote that �since Lalit was both efficient and honest, he had no enemies�. That is a very surprising statement. There must have been a sterling third quality; that an honest and efficient man should have no enemies must be because of another endearing quality. Because it is in India so difficult to do good work today, to do simple good work. I know persons, who try to do no more than merely try and help the handicapped and the enormous difficulties that they have to wade through.

(Excerpts from 6th Lalit Doshi Memorial Lecture � 5 August 2000)

Mr. N. Vittal, Central Vigilance Commissioner

�Those whom Gods love, die young�, says the Greeks. Lalit Doshi was so full of life. What is more, he was always radiating a sense of cheer and was invariably pleasant. I still remember his active participation in the retreat which was organised in the Administrative Staff College at Hyderabad in January 1994 in which I also participated. This was in the first flush of the reforms of economic liberalisation process that has been introduced and Doshi was so full of ideas and perceptions. His valuable contribution made the entire retreat very memorable. Doshi, as an IAS officer, was connected with different aspects of administration and especially with economic administration where he made a valuable contribution.

(Excerpts from 7th Lalit Doshi Memorial Lecture � 6 August 2001)

Ambassador Vijay K Nambiar, Chef De Cabinet of The Secretary General Of The United Nations

For many years I have shared with Lalit the same desk and bench at College. Then, as now, I was struck by the unobtrusive seriousness of his demeanour, the fire of devotion to duty that burned so steadily within him as well as the gentleness and compassion with which he engaged his friends and colleagues. These qualities resonated strongly with us, his friends. Over the years I have preserved the memory of Lalit Doshi as a person of deep inner spiritual integrity as well as of strong practical wisdom. Adi Shankaracharya�s Viveka Chudamani has a reference that goes something like this:
(There are peaceful and magnanimous saints who live� like the spring season� for the good of humanity. They have crossed the dreadful ocean of finitude through their own efforts and with no ulterior motives they also help others to cross it.)

(Excerpts from 13th Lalit Doshi Memorial Lecture � 3 August 2007)

Dr. D. Subbarao, Governor, Reserve Bank of India.

July 27, 2010

�I have very fond memories of my association, brief as it was, with late Shri Lalit Doshi. I recall we were both on a World Bank loan negotiating team in the late 1980s. He was a competent officer, a very pleasant person and above all a wonderful human being�

Mr. Vinod Rai, IAS [Retd]

I was then serving in the Ministry of Defence and his batch mates and cadre mates talked of him in glowing terms. A self-effacing personality, possessing excellent qualities of head and heart, he was never known to be pursuing personal agenda but was never found wanting in pushing his convictions and empathising with the public he had sworn to serve. The civil service stands on foundations fashioned by the likes of Lalit Doshi. I feel honoured to stand before all of you today to pay tribute to a colleague who negated all the attributes ascribed to us and makes us proud of the service that we belong to. It is very befitting that we honour him every year. He deserves it and we need to remember such outstanding personalities to enthuse others in public service.

Excerpts from 22nd Lalit Doshi Memorial Lecture by Mr. Vinod Rai, I.A.S. [Retd.] Eleventh Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) - 4 August 2016

Mr. K. V. Seshadri, IAS [Retd.]

Lalit was a particularly good friend of mine in the IAS, no doubt much junior by many batches. He was small built and quiet, simple in talk and warm in friendship, utterly honest and beyond all temptations, decent and noteworthy bureaucrat, a role model to anyone in the IAS. A pity the Almighty took him away young in years.

Excerpts from email dated 22-07-2020 (kvseshadri@gmail.com) from Mr. K. V. Seshadri, IAS (1951 direct recruit to the IAS.)


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