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Nirmala Sitharaman pays tributes to BS Raghavan


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman paid rich tributes to the

memory of the late B S Raghavan, a former resident of Norton First

Street in Mandaveli and a top class civil servant who had served in

various capacities in the government. He passed away recently.

At a meeting “Celebrating the life of a formidable intellect: Memorial in

honour of Late BS Raghavan” held here last week, she said her

interactions with him were always helpful and he would offer his advice

on matters affecting the nation.

B S Raghavan belonged to the West Bengal IAS cadre of 1952 and had

held senior positions in the Government of West Bengal and Tripura

and retired as Chief Secretary of West Bengal.

“When I became Defence Minister he advised me and told me that it

was a Ministry that had lot of challenges not just mere border issues

but maintaining the harmony between the uniformed and the civil

arms,” she said.

The Minister also recalled how most political parties in Tamil Nadu had

reached out to him for advice on various issues. “This shows how

versatile he was. There was no element of prejudice no element of

subjectivity and no element of playing one against the other, Ms

Sitharaman added.

Ms Sitharaman said she benefited from Raghavan’s direct insights and

suggestions because Raghavan’s many pieces of advice came from “a

wise head and a heart that felt for India to move fast towards

development, they were sought by many people, regardless of the

political dispensation.”

Ms Sitharaman also recalled Raghavan’s political whiffs when he wrote

in 2016 that “India should make lot more efforts to rid itself of its

colonial baggage.” She added that “he (Raghavan) felt that it was an

opportunity missed out since the first prime minister” and that “we did

not do enough to remove the colonial hangover that is still bothering

out administration, our systems, our laws and our bureaucracy.”  

The Minister said she has immensely benefitted from the articles

written by him in business publications. She recalled her discussions

with him on the importance of technology and how it was necessary to

bring in efficiency with technology.

S Gurumurthy, political ideologue and editor of Thuglak, said Raghavan

was one of the finest officers the country had seen and a towering

personality. He recalled his long years of association with him.

N L Rajah, senior advocate, shared a presentation that had some rare

pictures of Raghavan. Former Chief Election Commissioners T S

Krishnamurthy and N Gopalaswami, Arvind Datar, senior advocate, KVS

Gopalakrishnan, retired Director of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and finance

professionals V Ranganathan and R Anand, many senior advocates,

retired government officials were present at the event.

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