Author: T S R Subramanian
ISBN/UPC (if available): 812910587X
In India, the land of netas and babus, reality seems almost surreal, like the dream that took Alice through Wonderland.
TSR Subramanian’s book is anecdotal, combining wit with irony. It incisively pieces together the gradual decay in public administration in post-British India. The growing subservience of the bureaucracy to the political system unravels step by step. A self-serving elite is formed that is preoccupied with its vested interests. The entire administration, its infrastructure and its development programmes become the terrain for serving the personal and political interests of the neta and babu. The voice of the common man in India goes unheard. The poor continue to remain in poverty. The humour and crispness of the narrative barely conceal this underlying theme which is the central focus of the book – it is not a memoir, nor gossip chatter.
TSR based his book on his rich repertoire of experience and a prodigious memory for detail. The book documents, through a personal narrative, forty years of politics and bureaucracy. However, as a portrayal essentially of the human condition, It has timeless value with universal appeal.
The book starts with the young officer in idyllic field postings in Uttar Pradesh. He gradually learn the ropes before moving into the corridors of the Secretariat in Lucknow, and then Delhi. The transition from the lilting and unhurried pace of rural India to the rough and tumble of central administration is seamlessly developed. The narrative has a comprehensive sweep, including anecdotes and analysis covering agriculture and rural development, industrial policy, the license Raj and privatization; India’s trade, trade policy and GATT; the Emergency and rule of law, public policy and administrative reforms.
Moradabad - First Post
Ranikhet - Field Positing in the Queen of the Hills
Ghazipur-on-Ganga - A Young collector’s Diary
Leather Export Council, Madras - Relaxed Interlude
Kanpur - Portfolios in Industry and Exports
Lucknow - In the Corridors of the Secretariat
Tourism in Uttar Pradesh
New Delhi - Union Ministry of Commerce
India’s Trace Policy
Geneva - The International Development Circuit
Public Enterprises and Privatisation
Agriculture and Rural Development in Uttar Pradesh
New Delhi- Union Ministry of Textiles
President’s Rule in Uttar Pradesh - Chief Secretary after Babri Masjid
Lucknow - Chief Secretary, after the Elections
Cabinet Secretary - Reforms in Infrastructure
Cabinet Secretary - Administrative Reforms
LIST OF ACRONYMS