Author – Ram Varma
Rating – 4.5/5 stars
Number of Pages – 342
Publisher – Rupa Publications
Life in the IAS…… My encounter with the three Lals of Haryana is a part memoir, part biography of Haryana, a North Indian state of India surrounding New Delhi on three sides, forming the northern, western and southern borders of Delhi. The State shares its capital city Chandigarh with Punjab and is one of the wealthiest states of India and has the third highest per capita income in the country.
Haryana was born on 1 November 1966, carved out of the former state of East Punjab on a linguistic basis. The author was then transferred to Haryana and watched this fledgling state grow from a poor resource less state to a progressive, front ranking one during his tenure in various capacities. The book pivots its central narrative around the portrayal of the three Lals of Haryana – Bansi Lal, Devi Lal and Bhajan Lal. He keenly observed the workings of each chief minister, monitored some ambitious projects which transformed the state.
The book has interesting anecdotes and encounters of the author while serving in various positions and performing his duties. He served for more than three decades and this book captures the extraordinary journey of Haryana in the first three formative decades. This book captures tongue-in-cheek observations, personal recollections and political ups and downs in the state make it a journey worth penning. A true account of his life in the IAS. A book worth a read and of your time.
Ram Varma was teaching English at the University of Jodhpur when in 1964 he was admitted to the Indian Administrative Service which catapulted him into the corridors of power. Initially allocated to the Punjab cadre, he was transferred to Haryana at its formation in 1966.
In the course of his illustrious career, Varma worked as Director of Public Relations and Tourism, Director of Agriculture and Deputy Commissioner, Bhiwani, during Bansi Lal’s rule till 1977. Later, he worked as Director of Public Relations and Tourism and State Transport Commissioner under Bhajan Lal. Under Devi Lal’s reign, he held the important portfolio of Chairman, Electricity Board. When Bansi Lal became chief minister again in 1996, he appointed Ram Varma his Principal Secretary.
Varma became Chief Secretary, Haryana, in 1997 and retired in August 2000.
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‘I received a copy from Publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’