Walking With Giants
"Events in history are outcomes of interactions between individuals, institutions and incentives. The role played by each one of these in the outcomes varies depending upon the issues and the context, but they invariably interact with each other to influence the course of history. The perspectives of individuals who participated in such events, are invaluable. They are especially valuable if the individual happens to be not only active participant but a true believer in the philosophy of Nishkama Karma (i.e. discharging duty without reference to rewards).
If such a person is endowed with qualities of perception, forgiveness and objectivity, the narration becomes immensely credible. This book by Mr. G. Ramachandran (GR) reflects all these and more; it is a touching, enlightening and candid account of events and behind the scenes happenings in public policy in India Over three decades after independence.
As one reads about his journey from a village to the IAS in 1949, one cannot but compare and contrast the opportunities for education and scope for vertical mobillity available to the youth today. In his days, the teaching community was more paternalistic and, in a way, fully devoted to their calling. Today, the teaching profession is, perhaps, in need of incentives to excel, Back then, the choices for the educated youth were limited, but there was clarity on what was expected in public employment. currently, there are vastly diversified opportunities for both education and employment, but, there is, perhaps, a greater chasm between the elite institutions and others. There is a far greater commercialization of eduation, and there are considerably enhanced opportunities for employment and self employment in the private sector, relative to the public sector.
The book is, indeed, a retrospect some of the happenings in the corridors of power in India. More importantly, however, it provokes thinking on what has happened since then and speculation on where public policy in India is potentially headed."
- Dr. Y V Reddy
chairman, 14 th Finance Commission Former Governor, Reserve Bank Of India.