Asked how he would cope with the prime minister's diktat of an 18-hour workday, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, 42, flashed a sheepish smile on prime-time television a day after he was sworn in.
The main problem, Rijiju said, is that while Narendra Modi is up and running at 5.30 am even after working till well after 1 am, he, Rijiju, is a habitual late riser and, therefore, has to make a lot of adjustments.
That's a huge understatement since by the time he finishes his 18-hour workday, Rijiju would barely have time to jump in the shower and collapse into bed, before starting the whole routine all over again, about six hours later.
Another junior minister in Modi's Cabinet gave a glimpse of the prime minister's hectic pace.
Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said she got a call from Modi at 9 in the morning asking her to meet him in 10 minutes. "I left whatever I was doing and simply rushed because I know the PM doesn't like latecomers," she said in a TV interview.
Like most newly-appointed CEOs of a troubled company, Modi obviously has a lot to do and is in a race against time. But are 18-hour workdays and a permanently punishing schedule for himself and his colleagues the best way to go? The jury is out on that in the human resources fraternity.
Image Courtesy: Prime Minister's Office
Text: Shyamal Majumdar, Business Standard