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T N Seshan no more

T.N.Seshan IAS (TN; 1955) passed away around 11 PM November 10. He was initially selected to the Indian Police Service and was keen to join the IPS. His elder brother  T.N. Lakshminarayanan IAS (TN: 1944) prevailed upon  him to write the exam again in 1954 when Seshan stood second in the topper being late  Sanjeevi Guhan who had distinguished himself in several economic ministries. Seshan made a mark as the first Director of State Transport Department when all the buses across the State of Tamil Nadu were known for their . Seshan used to spend the nights at bus depots  to ensure that the buses were in top condition. Several drivers were dismissed by Seshan on the spot and he had the full backing of the then Chief Minister  K.Kamaraj . Seshan was posted as the Collector of Madurai district when he had to arrest Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar which was bound to create serious law and order situation but he handled it superbly well by blocking vehicular traffic on the Vaigai river and nobody had the clue that Thevar had been arrested and taken away to  Palayamkottai jaill. When the Rameswaram island in the neighbouring district of Ramanathapuram was devastated by a cyclone in 1964 then Collector of Ramanathapuram  MM Rajendran IAS (TN:1957) did not know how to handle the situation. and could not cope with the job.   Kamaraj asked Seshan to take charge immediately and Seshan  again proved his mettle. He had to have several dogs killed before going anywhere the vast heap of dead bodies and restored normalcy within 48  hours. The bureaucracy in Tamil played the Brahmin and non Brahmin angle and tried to project Rajendran a backward class Christian as the victim.   Result -  Seshan left the State and  spent a large part of his  career in the Department  of Space as Joint and Additional Secretary when he established close rapport with  Vikram Sarabahai   and   Satish Dhawan. He worked closely with Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Seshan's tenure as the CEC is too well known. Seshan's wife Jaya Seshan  passed away in  March 2018. The couple had no children. The daughter of Shri Seshan's elder brother  late T.N.Lakshminarayanan IAS (TN;1944)  is married to Dr.Sitharam Gurumurthi IAS (TN 1972) who served as Member State Planning Commission after retiring as Additional Chief  Secretary to  Government of Tamil Nadu about 10 years ago.

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