Life in the IAS-My encounters with the three lals of Haryana by Ram Varma- Review


Book Name          - Life in the IAS- My encounters with the three Lals of Haryana
 Author                 - Ram Varma
 Publisher              - Rupa Publications
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My Review
Rating : 5.0


A state that shares the capital with its rival state, from which it was separated, a state with a farmer community and majority of the land barren, a state where the politicians are interested only in pulling each other down, a state where the government changes time and again so fast that it took thirty years for a ministry to complete five year- to work in such a state as a civil servant is a herculean task. More so if you are straight forward and righteous. Ram Varma, through his book Three lals of Haryana lays bare the story of such an officer who worked in Haryana, which is the inconsistent state mentioned before. The civil servant is none other than the author himself. He gives us the first hand experiences with Devi Lal,Bhansi Lal and Bhajan Lal,who had been chief ministers of Haryana and played a major role in forming the state as it is right now.

The book starts with the enrolment to IAS, training of the author and the circumstances that led to the formation of Haryana. The story of Haryana is never reserved to the state level politics alone. Haryana is such a state whose politicians have a major role in the central government. From the first posting to the last, author has systematically pointed out each instance. His first experience is with Devilal which is not a smooth one. Author has depicted each incident without prejudice and has tried to point out the other person’s perspective. As a parallel plot, the happenings of the central government from the reign of Nehru to the demise of Rajiv Gandhi has also been portrayed with the deserving priority. Since the scenario is directly or indirectly connected to Haryana, readers would not feel the shift from one scenario to the other. Before explaining any incident involving himself author has given a backstory beforehand, which again increases the interest of the readers.

Author has sketched the characters of the three Lals without implicitly glorifying or criticizing anyone. Nevertheless the message is not lost on the readers. The book will surely be a sensation since some of the allegations like the appointment scam are exposed. The style of narration is the highlight of the book. Author has successfully added the requisite suspense. It was difficult to put down the book, which is a rarity with non-fiction. The forward by S.K.Misra is a review in itself. It has given an overall view of the book in abstract.
Another important aspect of the book is the style with which author has incorporated his personal life along with the professional and political tale. His marriage with Savitri, and their little beautiful world of love and compassion, Bharat Darshan, Daughters, their studies- Author has subtly spread the message of how much his family means to him.

Overall it is difficult to define the book in a single sentence. But still I would like to call the book a non-fiction cliff-hanger.

This review is in return of a free book from the publisher  



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