New Delhi: Five years ago, when the country was going gung-ho about Satya Nadella’s journey to the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, US, as its chief executive officer, his 77-year-old father could just not understand the hype.
“Yes, I wish him well, but that’s all I have to say,” Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandhar had told reporters.
What could have seemed like arrogance was, however, Yugandhar’s characteristic modesty, which defined his over four-decade career as an IAS officer.
On Friday, as Yugandhar died at the age of 82, tributes poured in from across the spectrum — Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Union Steel Minister and BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan, the IAS Association, among others, expressed their condolences.
According to reports, the former bureaucrat died in Hyderabad after battling asthma for the past one year.
“Saddened by the demise of former bureaucrat Shri BN Yugandhar. He was an upright, committed officer. He worked for the upliftment of the marginalised sections of the society and to improve life in rural India. My heartfelt condolences to his family members. May his soul rest in peace,” said Naidu.
Pradhan said, “Pained by the demise of retired IAS officer Shri BN Yugandhar. A sincere, honest and upright officer, he was instrumental in the implementation of several schemes for the welfare of the poor and marginalised. My deepest condolences to his family, especially to his son Mr Satya Nadella.”
Never flaunted political connections
Throughout his career, the 1962-batch officer held an array of key positions, both at the Centre and in undivided Andhra Pradesh, and was acknowledged as an upright and honest officer, as “the bureaucrat who stood for values and principles”.
With little patience for red-tapism — a word almost synonymous with Indian bureaucracy — he was known to be a doer with Left leanings.
He worked as the top bureaucrat in the rural development ministry during P.V. Narasimha Rao’s government, was appointed director of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) and served as a member of the Planning Commission from 2004-2009.
In all his stints, he managed to keep a low profile, always avoiding the media glare. Even while he was at the centre of power as one of the top bureaucrats in the country, he did not bother too much in flaunting political connections as a way to climb up the professional ladder. When his son got married to his IAS batchmate’s daughter, he didn’t even invite then PM Rao to the wedding.
But Rao, who was keen to surprise one of his most efficient officers, showed up for the wedding in an ordinary ambassador car with no fanfare and minimum security.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.