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S.K. Mishra’s inspiring legacy: A life of service and resilience

I recently had the opportunity to meet S.K. Mishra, the distinguished bureaucrat and key figure in the development of Haryana, along with his sons D.S. Mishra and The Great S.K. Mishra. S.K. Mishra has had a illustrious career, having served as the Chief Secretary of Haryana during the tenures of three Chief Ministers – Bansi […]

I recently had the opportunity to meet S.K. Mishra, the distinguished bureaucrat and key figure in the development of Haryana, along with his sons D.S. Mishra and The Great S.K. Mishra. S.K. Mishra has had a illustrious career, having served as the Chief Secretary of Haryana during the tenures of three Chief Ministers – Bansi Lal, Devi Lal, and Bhajan Lal, as well as being the Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar. He is a 1956 batch IAS officer and has also been a member of the UPSC.
His remarkable contributions to public service have been recognized with prestigious awards such as the Padma Bhushan. Even at the age of 92, he remains active, fit, and engaged. During our meeting, which was part of an interview for a program on India News Haryana, we expected a 30-minute discussion as per the program format. However, the conversation turned out to be so engaging that it extended to almost 200 minutes. It felt as though our spirits were eager to connect.
S.K. Mishra’s exceptional personality shines through not just in his professional achievements but also in his daily routine. He wakes up at 4 am, engages in 90 minutes of yoga, takes a walk, and then proceeds with his work. Despite his busy schedule, he finds time for leisure, watching films and keeping up with current affairs through platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Netflix. His memory and mental agility are impressive.
During the interview, we discussed various aspects of his life, including his preferences for wine and Cognac-French Brandy. Interestingly, he used to drink whiskey earlier but gave it up when Bansi Lal became the Chief Minister in 1968. Mishra Ji shared that the most significant achievement of his career was the establishment of Rai Sports School, which once had a prominent reputation nationwide.
S.K. Mishra is not only admired by bureaucrats but also by military officers, with many expressing their respect and seeking his guidance. Meeting him was a memorable and enlightening experience. One valuable lesson learned from him is that greatness is not defined by one’s position but by the efforts made to alleviate the suffering of others.
What I learned from them is that greatness is not defined by holding a high position, but rather by the effort to liberate the small from suffering.
“We saw them as much as we could,
Yet, how much more could be seen with two eyes…”
To build a strong nation, we must prioritize and respect our teachers, who play a crucial role in shaping citizens and fostering unity. Unfortunately, in our country, education and teachers are not given the attention they deserve. Recent revelations in Haryana highlight the dire state of government schools, with issues ranging from the lack of basic facilities to vacant teaching positions. The government’s claims of prioritizing education are contradicted by these harsh realities. It’s time for those in power to take concrete steps to improve the education system and fulfill their responsibility towards building a better future for our nation. What can be said about this situation.
“Who are these people, lifting the banner of truth,
Silently walking on the path of sorrow, heads bowed.
The earth, which kisses a hundred times with passion,
They are clad in white, bathed in blood.
What is the rule of those whose hearts are sincere,
Who hide their wounds even after enduring countless scars.
What is the light that is with them every moment,
That even in blood, their faces shine.
They have found a belief in a lofty destination,
That after plundering homes, they walk with heads held high.”
In response to a journalist’s question about a Congress leader’s involvement in selling poisonous alcohol, Chief Minister Manohar Lal distanced himself from such actions, stating that it goes against their values. He emphasized that they do not engage in politics on such issues and appreciated the Congress for expelling the accused politician from the party. The Chief Minister emphasized their commitment to staying away from dirty politics.
“Do we notice something in ourselves ,
Mirror makes us wonder, why is it so strange?”
(The Author is a Consulting editor at ITV Network)

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