Kameswar Laskar passed away inside an aircraft en route to Delhi from Hong Kong on April 16. A sprightly good-looking man even at 81 years of age, conscious of his health and posture, he stuck to a dignified regime of physical activity every single day.
I met him for the first time when I joined in my then bureaucratic posting in 1991 at Dispur when he was posted as Secretary, Law department. Well dressed, polite, with a black official satchel in his hand as he walked in through the main gate he would greet his subordinates affably yet maintaining a discreet distance that added to his overall composed deportment. But more than this, what led me to admire him was his competence in legal matters and his sheer integrity in his work place.
Having completed his LLB, Laskar Sir had joined the Assam Civil Service in 1968 but soon after relinquished this and instead joined the Law department, starting as Under Secretary and finally retiring in 1995 as Secretary. He was later assigned first as a Member of the Assam Administrative Tribunal and later as its Chairman, the entire tenure running to more than six years. Still later, he devoted his time as lecturer of the Dispur Law College as well as its Secretary besides being nominated as a Member of the Assam State Consumer Commission. Besides these, he was also a Member of the Assam State Consumer Commission as well as of the Pay Commission.
There were many other feathers to his official cap but despite it all he maintained a humility that was endearing. His first concern was always for his family comprising his wife Basanti Laskar and their two children, daughter-in-law and grandsons. He was a quiet man often given to prolonged thoughtful conversation with his post retirement colleagues, a well read man who had the selfless gift of being a patient listener.
On this day, on his Adya Shraddha, I pray for the eternal rest of his noble soul. May his family have the strength to bear this loss; may his legacy continue to shine upon them.
Dhruba Hazarika