Book Review: Making a difference
I read this book in tenth standard a few months before the stress of the Board exams began. I am quite surprised that this book isn’t that well known, considering it was quite well written and inspired me (fleetingly) to consider taking up a career in the Civil Services. Ultimately I chose the path of least resistance (with respect to my education), i.e. engineering + MBA, but I still do envy men like Alphons who got a chance to work in government. (Sanjaya Baru has, of course, used his leverage to great effect by now.)
Making a difference is the autobiographical story of K. J. Alphons, an honest IAS officer, who chronicled his experience in the Services – straight from training to his posting to his inevitable brush with transfers and violence. The book had a linear and quite interesting narrative, throwing light on the kind of life a young IAS officer lives.
I was reminded of this book when I saw Alphons on TV recently, as a spokesperson for the BJP. Unfortunately he did not really hold his own in the debate and I haven’t really seen him since. But BJP could certainly use a man like him – with his experience in grassroots bureaucracy.
I do not think this book is even available for sale anymore but seeing Alphons’ face on TV again reminded me of the time when I was young and impressionable and so unreasonably fearful that something as inconsequential as the Board exams could change my life. On the contrary, I think this book definitely did have a consequence – inspiring several men (hopefully) to join the services and stay honest.
This review was first published on www.makingrain.blogspot.in.
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