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Dr. Hari Om is a 1997 batch UP cadre IAS officer. Presently posted as Secretary, Cultural Department in Uttar Pradesh government. A young and dynamic IAS officer, trained singer who has penned many ghazals and has also written some books. In his interview with NBSB Editor Durgesh Upadhyay, He has talked at length about his life during preparations for IAS exams, about his hobbies, singing and writing. Here are excerpts…
Durgesh Upadhyay– What prompted you to be an IAS officer? Tell us about those days when you were preparing for this prestigious exam?
Dr. Hari Om– The Civil Service is the top most career priority specially in the hindi heart land though, even students from the South India also prefers to become a civil servant as this is one of the most promising career for any bright student. So, hailing from UP (hindi heart land)this become normally a dream for any good student to be an IAS officer. Most of the parents also wanted us to opt this career. I hail from a village, Amethi District earlier it was Sultanpur, I Studied till 12th Standard in Village itself then I moved to Allahabad University which was considered as the Oxford University of eastern India and then moved to JNU, these are the two major academic institutions, supported me to gain confidence and give right direction to prepare myself for civil services and I started appearing in the examination and by the grace of god, I also succeeded.
Durgesh Upadhyay– How was your days when you were a student preparing for the exam as its very hard to crack and every boy & girl from north India wish to join this service.
Dr. Hari Om– As I said for any good student, good student means who likes studying syllabus not books of his or her choice because there is clear cut syllabus from high school intermediate, graduation, post graduation whatever is the area of education, I was one of the those luckiest student who enjoyed studying academic books so I was very clear, I got good marks in high school , intermediate, graduation whatever the examinations were there. So it’s clear that I had the basic competence for this examination, those were the days of fun we were not obsessed with the examination. We had all the fun living in the village, used to play a lot, participating, debating competition. Being music lover, I was singing also at that time in school and Colleges, I had also start writing poetry. So all these things were very much there but study was the main focus because like any student you want to be at the top, to come on top in the class and to get good result in any of the examinations. I also qualified UGC NET in masters only so, being meritorious student I had the capability and I had full fun also. I tried to develop myself in different ways & dimensions. I would like to say that the luck was also with me as there were many other students who worked very hard to crack this exam but they didn’t make it so I feel myself the luckiest and I have opted hindi medium to appear in this examination and I ranked top in the exam in 1997 so that was the story.
Durgesh Upadhyay– How has been your journey as an IAS officer, what was the toughest moment you faced in terms of decision making in your career ?
Dr. Hari Om– It has been the tough journey I would not say the road was easy to become an IAS, hailing from a typical rural background where you didn’t have the lights didn’t have good roads not very good books, no bright students company around to guide, no good teachers but its luck that I came out of the village and enjoyed the premier academic institutions like Allahabad University and staying in the Amarnath Jha Hostel which used to be a factory of IAS officers and then moving to JNU so I would say that was the luck behind. So, journey was very tough, there were some moments of dejection and despair, moments of failure as much as this exam is concerned. I failed twice, couldn’t clear it that disappointed me but as a fighter, I keep appearing in the exam and in the third attempt I succeeded.
Dr. Hari Om– There have been many such occasions, I have been District Magistrate to distinguished 11 Districts of UP like Kanpur, Allahabad, Saharanpur, Muradabad, Gorakhpur etc so there have been law & Order situations, time of elections, natural calamities where you expected to take quick actions & decisions in different issues so these are the moments which comes in every DM’s career for me also there were several occasions, but that is the part of the job.
Durgesh Upadhyay– Any toughest moment you remember?
Dr. Hari Om– No, I don’t remember any specific moment but there have been many.
Durgesh Upadhyay– Recently, BJP Government came into the power and Sh. Yogi Adityanath has become the Chief Minister of State, I remember you were the DM there when Yogi Aditynath Jee was active in Gorakhpur politics so, How was your journey there and any interaction with him?
Dr. Hari Om– I have been District Magistrate for more than two years in Gorakhpur. It was very fulfilling and satisfying tenure for me, Respected Yogi Aditynath Jee the present Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has been Member of Parliament through out he was in very respected position in BJP at that time and Samajwadi Party was in the power so as an opposition leader his duty was to oppose government policies, as a District Magistrate I was there to implement the government priorities, policies & Programmes meeting the law & order So, Respected Chief Minister knows me very well and I know him very well too. That time he was in opposition and now helms of the affairs and I am his subordinate that’s all I can say.
Durgesh Upadhyay– You have studied in JNU, and what are your ideological thoughts as a bureaucrat on communalism?
Dr. Hari Om– As an individual I might be having my personal thoughts and ideology of anything but as a civil servant, a bureaucrat we are here to serve the government, whichever government and political party comes into power. We obey the legal orders of the government or the ministers sitting in the command. So I have no personal ideas to express here on communalism, on Religion or on anything else but whatever duties are assigned to, we do that with hard work, sincerity and upmost righteousness. So, for me in communalism for any distress in the society is an issue of law & order it should be tactfully dealt with the people, having communication with the prominent people in the society involving different stakeholders and using your authority and power in a legal manner.
Durgesh Upadhyay– When did you realized that there is a singer in you and how much practice you do daily and find time for this hobby?
Dr. Hari Om – Like I always say that whenever you have priorities in life, you spare time so, music and writing are my priorities in life but as a civil servant, this is my profession this is my choice to career and I work hard as an officer but music and poetry are my passion that is my personal half, I spare time out of my official duties & engagements. Before coming to office, I wake early in the morning and do rhiyaz so music and writing is very close to my heart I have been taken many awards for writing and also made so many songs. I am into making original songs, writing ghazals, compositions and then singing and recording it. So I spare time and do rhiyaz of singing for two hours in the morning whenever I spare my time from official responsibilities either I think of writing or singing something.
Durgesh Upadhyay– Have you recently penned something?
Dr. Hari Om– So many things my latest book is ‘Khwabon Ki Hansi’ was released in October last year and I have just got an international award ‘International Vatayan Poetry Award 2017’ in London which has been given to literary persons like Javed Akhtar, Nida Fazil and Parson Vajpayi etc so I was there last week to receive that award. My famous recent writings are ‘Mein tere pyar ka mara hua hoon, Sikandar hoon magar hara hua hoon’ if I would like to express myself in poetic manner, I would say that ‘Ankhon me samaye hue manjar ki tarah hoon, Mein Boond hoon Aansoon ke samandar ki tarah hoon, Fitrat yeh meri khud mere kaboo mein kahan hai, Sheeshe ki tarah hoon kabhi Pathar ki tarah hoon.
The senior IAS officer has composed many ghazals so far.
Dr. Hari Om writes ‘Mai Tere Pyar Me Maara Hua Hoon, Sikandar Hoon Magar Haara Hua Hoon’, as one of his best ghazals.
Dr Hari Om has also penned books titled – ‘Dhoop Ka Parcham’, ‘America Meri Jaan’ ‘Kapaas Ke Agle Mausam Me’ and ‘Khwaabon Ki Hansi’
He has also released few albums— ‘Intisaab’ and ‘Roshni Ke Pankh’, Rang Pairahan, while single ‘Yaara ve’ is also available on the virtual platform.