During his nearly forty years of career in civil service, the author had the taste of melodramatic events and experienced various ups and downs in the course of working and handled the storms and straits successfully. Apart from giving a graphic account of his life’s journey from childhood to old age, the author delves into each phase of his career in administrative service in State and Central Governments with truthful narration of his encounter with some corrupt or eccentric ministers and senior bureaucrats. Policy, laws and programme implementation, oversight and formulation in ‘public interest’ have been the sum total of the job assignments in the middle and senior levels of bureaucracy.
The author has been Secretary to Government in Health, Finance, Mines, Power and Odisha Chief Minister’s office, among others, he has given inside and exciting stories of the Naxalite movement, the Emergency of 1975-76, Chief Minister’s office, the Mining lease, India’s first Power Sector Reform, the Foreign Investment imbroglio and the National Population Policy formulation. His succinct account of the Civil Society activism on issues of population and development and related gender and human rights concerns is based on his sensitive perceptions in Government service as well as part of running and founding Civil Society organizations for over half-a-century.
At places, some incidents have been included to give the reader a view of the reality of government functioning. The book is, thus, expected to be relevant and useful to a wider readership in quest of higher Truths, apart from political and administrative leaders as well as Civil Society activists, academia and research community.