A flawed genius or hapless victim of an abrasive twist of fate, one will never know. But either way, former Patna district magistrate Gautam Goswami was nothing if not a bright spark of life, a spark that was stubbed out forever here on Tuesday.
Time Magazine’s ‘Young Asian Achiever Award’ winner Goswami died of pancreatic cancer at a private nursing home. Goswami is survived by his doctor wife Anuradha Goswami and two children. He was a MBBS gold medallist from Benaras Hindu University (BHU) and joined the IAS in 1991 after securing high ranks in the UPSC.
A media savvy bureaucrat, Goswami, in his first stint as Patna DM, earned laurels for his fair conduction of the 1999 Lok Sabha polls. In his second stint, he had a run in with former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani. Later his exemplary work in supervising the Bihar flood relief operations in 2004 won him the coveted Time Magazine award.
After a tiff with the election commission in 2004, Goswami resigned from the IAS to join Sahara group but found himself dragged into a multi-crore flood relief scam for which he had received laurels only months ago. As the scam got bigger, the administration zeroed in on him as became an absconder in the eyes of the law. After being on the run for over a month he surrendered on July 1, 2005 and was jailed. He was out on bail 18 months later and was writing a book.