stylish secretary-level bureaucrat then. Sinha, the then food processing industries secretary, looked stylish thanks to his shaved head and French cut beard. Is Dewan the most stylish among the current lot?
Those who track Delhi’s power lanes closely will tell you that Dewan is not the only babu following the style of corporate honchos. Industry secretary Amitabh Kant, for example, is more a CEO than a bureaucrat in every sense of the term. You won’t find heaps of files with red tapes on his table. Not just that, Kant like a CEO in a corner room, decides the colours of his sofa set, and the kind of wall hangings, paintings and sculptures dotting his cabin.
Among the earlier batches, former finance secretary Ashok Jha and ex-industry secretary Ajay Dua were the two bureaucrats known for their style statements. And years after their retirement, they are still regularly spotted in Delhi’s golf circuit.
By the way, many in the corridors may find principal secretary to PM Pulok Chatterji a confirmed workaholic and introvert to the core, but don’t underestimate him on style. After all, some of his colleagues have spotted him smoking pipes!
And, was there any occasion when a serving bureaucrat found a place in an outdoor advertisement? Yes. After the Union Budget was presented four years ago, 1973 batch IAS and the then finance secretary Ashok Chawla figured in an advertisement of a post-Budget debate making a precedence of a senior bureaucrat finding a place in large billboards in many busy roads of Delhi and Mumbai. As BoI had reported then, Einstein look alike Chawla’s image was a perfect fit to the outdoor advertisement for the event held in Mumbai.
And here is one more style statement of a bureaucrat. Former urban development secretary M Ramachandran who invariably wore formal suits, was once spotted wearing a smart casual red and black half shirt! The reason? The bearded babu was to present the Man-of-the-Match award in an IPL match held in Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.