Shri TN Seshan had gone to meet Paramacharya in the early 90s, after he was transferred from the post of Home Secretary to the post of Chief Election Commissioner – considered a sinecure among Indian civil servants in early 90s.
Paramacharya, who was 97 when a visibly disappointed Seshan came to meet Him, immediately sensed the cause of his disappointment and counseled him to treat the transfer as an opportunity granted by God to serve the Indian public. He had suggested that Seshan visit the Uthiramerur temple (~15 kms from Kanchi Sri Matam) and read through the details of electoral regulations prevalent in India about 1000 years ago, including qualifications of candidates that can contest elections.
In the words of Mr. Seshan, ‘The credit for Electoral reforms must go to Kanchi Mahaswami, but for who this would not have been possible. At 97, He had such clarity and described minute details of the electoral rules embossed on the northern walls of the Uthiramerur temple. And mentioned to me that even implementing a tenth of these reforms, would be a great service to India”.
The rest as we know is history. An inspired and reinvigorated Seshan went back to reform the Indian electoral system, ultimately resulting in the coinage – ‘Seshan vs Nation’3 A key takeaway for all next-gen managers from our Guru, is to develop a historical perspective in our respective fields of endeavor both to avoid repeating mistakes and to stay inspired.