Even the media knows that Modi works very hard and it is often reported that he has not taken a single day off in two years. That by any yardstick is practically unknown of for the head of a country. Even Obama has his golf holidays and the presumptive heir to India’s throne has been known to take off for over 50 days with the media playing guessing games to exactly which countries he visited.
We all heard that when the PM took over he established some basic rules for the people working on his team including all the bureaucrats. They had to clock in on time and no golf lunches.
I personally knew someone, who after a year’s punishing schedule was given a posting as the rules dictated it. From his packed schedule and not much time to socialize one realized how busy he was. From my yoga teacher I heard that many of his clients who were government officials and went leisurely to office during the UPA era had now wanted an early morning time for yoga as they had to get to office on time.
I just got to know just what a grueling schedule Modi himself keeps. I received an email from a friend who would not identify the bureaucrat but said he was a close relative. We can call the bureaucrat Mr A for this article but if the mainstream media is interested they can very easily find out.
This is what Mr. A told him.
Mr A had retired in 2014. He had worked mostly under the Congress regime and when his daughter got married many ministers attended the wedding. Kapil Sibal and Ashwini Kumar are family friends. He was not particularly a fan of Modi or the BJP. He was happily thinking of plans after retirement when Modi fell short of some very senior bureaucrats due to the reshuffle when he was made PM. So he recalled seven officers who had retired recently based on their excellent track record. Mr A was one of them. At first he was not too keen as he had post-retirement plans. However, he agreed to try it out for a year.
Then began the mad drill. Life turned upside down. Even on Holi and Diwali days he and the entire team were with Modi. On one such holiday he came home at 11pm. One would have thought he would give up after the one year was up but something or someone inspired him and he agreed to extend his contract by another year.
Mr A said that in the last 44 years in government he has never worked so hard and so much. He also said me that he is worried the way Modi is working he may be harming his own health. Apparently many times he skips regular meals to accommodate some requests. The PM he says works an average of 18 to 20 hours a day. This is not from hearsay; he knows it as a fact.
Every meeting they have, he runs through all the objectives and deadlines in 30 minutes and then he always ask the same question to everyone in every meeting:
“What more can we do to make India better.” To Mr A he seems to be on a 24/7 overdrive working for just this.
He gave a recent example where he and his group finished a meeting at 12 midnight and as they were walking out there were 3 groups of people waiting for him.
Coincidentally he had a meeting on another topic at 8am the very next morning. When they were walking in at 8am, the 3rd group from the previous night was walking out. And later he came to know from the secretary that the PM had not slept for 36 hours! And this is when it is business as usual and not a national emergency.
Mr. A said he does not know whether Modi’s health will survive this self-inflicted tough schedule or if he will even win the next election.
However he is clear about one thing: In these five years he will leave a lasting legacy.
Source: TOI Blog