Rich tributes paid to former Ambassador to the US at a condolence meeting
How did former Governor of Reserve Bank of India Y.V. Reddy locate his moorings in the IAS? On the day he joined the service as Assistant Collector of Visakhapatnam, his boss and district Collector Abid Hussain straightaway entrusted to him adjudication of a dispute in irrigation and left on an appointment. The order prepared by Mr. Reddy was later signed by Hussain.
That was not all on day one. Hussain that night asked Dr. Reddy to accompany him to a dinner in an elite circle. But, the latter turned down the offer saying he was not comfortable in such places. Hussain then warned Dr. Reddy ‘being anti-rich is as bad as being anti-poor’.
Such instances of Abid Hussain leaving his mark on peers through his long bureaucratic and diplomatic career came for handsome praise at a meeting here on Sunday to mourn his death in London last month. The meeting was held at Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) whose court of Governors he chaired.
Two of Hussain’s long time friends, former RBI Governor M. Narasimhan and former Chief Secretary B.P.R. Vithal, recalled his meteoric rise. Mr. Narasimhan said Hussain took over as Ambassador of US at a time when Indo-US relations were in a phase of transition after years of mutual suspicion. Mr. Vithal paid tributes to him saying he had the ability to spot talent. He added that they were classmates in Nizam College in 1942.
Former Planning Commission member Ch. Hanumantha Rao recalled an hour long lecture in Urdu delivered by Hussain at University of Hyderabad four months ago.
Chairman of GVK Group G.V. Krishna Reddy said he was mandated by Hussain as Ambassador of US to talk to North Carolina Senator who was a bitter critic of Indians. The mission was a big success as the Senator stopped slamming Indians after that.
A family friend said Hussain once went to exam hall in college to take English paper but it turned out to be law that day. He refreshed his mind talking to friends and topped the exam.