Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Dollar Seshadri is no more

  • He guided Presidents, Prime Minister and Chief Ministers
  • He was close to top industrialists in the country
  • He was the face of Tirumala temple

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Officer on Special Dury (OSD) Seshadri passed away at Visakhapatnam on Monday morning. Popularly known as Dollar Seshadri for a particular reason, he was a dynamic person on the hills where he is omnipresent and omnipotent. Whenever a VIP visits the shrine, Seshadri should be on his or her side. Right from the president of India to ministers in Southern States, he is prominently seen helping them perform pujas and talking to them about Balaji and his miracles. He acted as a guide to prime ministers such as PV Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi and all the chief ministers of major states whenever they visited Tirumala. He accompanied President Ram Nath Kovind when he visited Tirumala last.

seshadri presenting a photo of the Lord to President Ram Nath Kovind (file photo)

Seshadri did not like the nick name ‘Dollar Seshadri’ since it reminds him of his bad experience. While he was working with the treasure of the TTD, there was a dollar scam and Seshadri was a prominent suspect. Since then the name ‘Dollar Seshadri’ stuck to him. Even those who like him and take his help call him Dollar Seshadri without meaning anything bad. Case against him was dropped after eight years of inquiry. He was exonerated by the court. He did not attend duty for some months because of the allegations. But the nick name continued till the end.

Seshadri with Chief Justice of India Justice NV Ramana and his wife

Seshadri went to Visakhapatnam on official work. He was at the port city to attend the TTD organized Kartika Depotsavam. He joined the TTD in 1978 and served there in various capacities. He retired in 2007 but his services have been continued as OSD since then. Whoever is the chief priest, only Seshadri remained the face of Balaji temple and he was known to all the politicians and top industrialists in the country. He used to carry Balaji’s prasadam (laddu) to very important persons on their birthdays. He used to talk about the hills and their history  for hours.

Seshadri with Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his wife Sobha at Tirumala.

Seshadri was very knowledgeable about different services done at Tirumala. During NTR’s rule there was a situation when the TTD employees went on strike bringing the activities on the hill to a grinding  halt. It was Seshadri’s initiative that had saved the situation at that time and made the employees to resume duties. He played a key role after the archakas mirasidar system was done away with. A Congress leader went to High Court against him and the case went on for some years taking different turns and twists. Ultimately the case was struck off.  In 2011 the united Andhra Pradesh High Court had dismissed him as OSD. He went to the Supreme Court and got a favorable orders.  He was 74. He reportedly suffered cardiac arrest at 4 am and died on his way to Apollo Hospital. His body was taken to Tirupati and the last rites would be performed at Govinda Dhamam tomorrow, November 30.

The last rites of Seshadri were performed Tuesday afternoon at Harischandra cremation ground in Tirupati. CJI NV Ramana came all the way from Delhi to pay his respects to Seshadri swamy. Former EO of the TDP LV Subrahmanyam also visited Tirupati for bidding farewell to his old colleague. As Seshadri had no children, his younger brother Ramanujan had lit the pyre. TTD Chairman YV Subba Reddy said Lord Venkateswara had blessed Seshadri to have his desire to serve Him till the end of his life fulfilled.

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor


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