An interview with Jija Madhavan Harisingh
IPS, Director General of Home Guards, Karnataka
” Woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
Miles to go before I sleep.”
These are the lines by the famous poet Williams Wordsworth that have kept on motivating people for decades. Duty comes first is the motto for all the people in the uniform serving the country. ISBR Voice got a wonderful opportunity to interact with one such person who with her hard work, vision and courage has been working to improve the outlook of our society.
Mrs Jija Madhavan Hari Singh, IPS is the Director General of Home Guards, Karnataka. In spite of her busy schedule, she gave us her precious time to know more about her life.
When asked about her journey so far she told us that when she was a child, she was highly fascinated by trains and airplanes. She wanted to be a pilot or an engine driver. Just like every ordinary child she was thrilled by speed but as she grew up she felt a need to serve the society. She enjoyed reading a lot of biographies by some known writers like Albert Schweitzer, Father Diemen etc and got further motivated. She was fascinated by Hellen Keller who in spite of being handicapped achieved a lot.
When asked about career, she told us that she wanted to be a doctor but her father saw her inclination towards fine arts, dancing, writing poetry, English literature etc and felt she was delicate. Her father thought she was delicate for a profession like doctor but Mrs. Jija Madhavan wanted to do something unusual and this led her to join IPS as it’s unusual.
After clearing her UPSC exam she was called for the interview for the Central Services. She again felt Police Department is unusual for a woman. However, she convinced the interviewer by saying that, she was keen to know how cruel it can be for a woman and would like to contribute something for the society..
When asked about her achievements she fondly remembered the time when she was Deputy Commissioner Police Traffic inBangalore, she introduced the computerized traffic lights in the city which had the facility of being programmed to work on its own.
During her tenure at the Airport Authority of India as the Incharge of Ethics Management, the value she added was remarkable.
As per her, ethics plays a very important role in governance. If the rules are not followed then it becomes difficult to maintain law and order, be it at the government level or be it in business or other aspects. In lieu with the same she conducted more than 150 programs across the country in places like Kargil, Tutticorin,Bhopal, Bangalore etc. She believes that when a person pockets a 100 rupee note, he/she should know whether it’s a clean note or not…
According to her corruption starts at home, when needs are not fulfilled by the man of the house. His wife may pressure him to give her money, jewelry etc which might lead him towards unfair means to gather money. She had sessions with General Managers of various companies to abolish the unethical means of making money.
Counting on her achievements she encountered a situation where there were two cloth manufacturing companies. One had workers and no technology and the other had technology but no workers. Mrs. Jija Madhavan played an important role in collaboration of these two companies and got them back into business.
When asked about her personal life as her husband is also an IAS officer – she laughs and says that the professional lives of the two are limited to the offices only. They don’t bring issues home. On weekends they love to play golf and spend time together.
Apart from work she has tried her hand on writing too. She has been a poet and also has authored a book on Bal Ramayan in Hindi.
Finally, as we came to an end of the discussion we requested her for a message for the management students and she quoted in her own words:
” Management is all about innovation and creativity.
All those who can keep up with their innovativeness and creativity
and continue to work hard with good ethics…”