Post Mortem

The little I know of the late AM Gokhale

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 4/28/2021 12:58:15 PM IST

 Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher and theologian is supposed to have said that we should not expect to meet more than one or two honest people in our life time. I think I met one in the late AM Gokhale IAS (retired), even though I cannot say I know him well. He was someone who made you feel good and comfortable in his presence. As he is gone now, I am remembering two encounters with him that made lasting memories for me. Here they are-

1. When he was the Chief Secretary of Nagaland, a decision was made to computerize the government offices in Nagaland starting from Kohima, the Capital. For this a few middle level officers from each of the Directorates were picked to be taught in the use of computer. I was also one from my department. We were taught by the late Mr. Hansing of Soil Conservation department who made a few simple modules for us to learn from. After our training, our respective departments were made to buy us Desktop computers to work with and most of us were very possessive about our Computers. Some took them home instead of using it to do departmental works in office. Thinking that it was wrong for anyone to take away government property home, we reported the matter to him. His reply amazed me and opened my eyes to see the kind of person he was. He simply said something like this “ That’s very good, I want everyone in Nagaland to be computer literate. If they take the computers home, their wives will learn, their children will learn and Nagaland will learn”. I doubt if any of the government departments ever got back those computers that were stolen to various homes, but I have no doubt that it played a huge role in fulfilling the vision of our late Chief Secretary in demystifying computers for our people.

2. On another occasion, I was called to his Residence office. There he took out a file that contained a proposal that had gone up to him from me through the bureaucratic channel and said “ Doctor, I have this proposal from you. Are you confident that the proposal is right for our people?” When I answered in affirmative he said “ I am not going to read it, but sign it at  your word”.  Saying that he attested his signature and handed over the file to me. I tell you that was something for me, an ordinary Government officer to remember!

Dr. Viu Meru, 

Depy Director, Admin, CIHSR, Dimapur

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