Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, TN Seshan breathed his last in Chennai on Sunday, 10th November following a cardiac arrest. He was 86 years old.

Source: manorama online

Born in the Palakkad district of Kerala, Seshan was an IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre. He held the top positions of the Cabinet Secretary of India and the administrative head of ISRO before being appointed as the CEC in 1990.

Source: The Hindu

At a time when the Indian electoral system wasn't doing great, he earned the reputation of bringing in pathbreaking reforms.

Before he took over as the CEC, it was quite normal for political parties to ferry people to the polling booths. But, he ensured that the model code of conduct was enforced seriously.

Source: livemint

He played a crucial role in transforming the Indian democracy. With the enforcement of the model code of conduct, Seshan helped fight the evils of booth capturing and bogus voting, that had been plaguing the Indian electoral system.

Source: New Indian Express

Seshan's stint as the CEC was also important because that was the phase when Indian politics was undergoing a major change. Coalition governments were coming into the picture and this required strict rules and regulations.

He was the one who courageously brought the much-needed discipline in the electoral system of India during that time.

Source: The Print

Some of the most popular reforms introduced by him include, introduction of voter ID cards and enforcing limits on poll expenses. He also introduced the concept of election observers to ensure free and fair polls in the country.

His personality was such that even the politicians feared and respected him. This was because he wielded a big stick while enforcing the electoral reforms in both, letter and spirit.

Source: The Print

He was also awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1996 for playing a crucial role in transforming the Indian democracy. In his acceptance speech, he said:

I deemed this award a tribute to the process of democracy throughout the free world, to the wisdom of millions of India’s electorate not always necessarily formally educated, to the millions of Indian voters who have overcome disabilities of economic status, social disability, poverty, and prejudice to walk into the ballot booth and use that little marking stamp to decidedly say who they want to rule over them.
Source: DNA India

A mentor and icon for every administrator in India, he was also a torchbearer for all other election commissioners who succeeded him.

Remembering the bold administrator, SY Quraishi, Former CEC of India, wrote for Indian Express:

I have no hesitation in saying that all of his successor CECs basked in his glory, though we always carried the burden of being compared with him all the time.

After his demise, people from all walks of life remembered him for being the courageous personality that he was.

With his demise, the nation has lost a highly educated and rare personality. India hasn't had any other administrator like him, but we hope that we get to see his successors follow the path carved by him.