Former Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramanian’s book released

The long-drawn turf war between the bureaucracy and its political masters, and the related issue of the state of our present-day polity, came to centre stage at a high-profile book launch here on Wednesday.

The book titled “India at Turning Point: The Road to Good Governance” (Rupa), by retired  Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramanian, saw an eminent panel of speakers addressing the issue with some blaming the politicians and others civil servants for “losing their values” and driving the country to a situation where “it is at a breaking point.”

Addressing the gathering at the India International Centre, former Comptroller and Auditor-General of India Vinod Rai congratulated the author for his no-holds-barred narrative where “he called a spade a spade.” Mr. Rai said: “The architecture” of the policies was right but “delivering them is not,” yet again hinting at the wrongs that have cobwebbed the polity.

Taking the debate further from Mr. Rai, another panellist, former Solicitor-General of India Gopal Subramaniam said: “India is indeed at a turning point but it is also at a breaking point.” If we did not address the fundamental issues, there would be a “moral upsurge” and “history is witness to what an angry public can do.” He called for introspection, saying “Do you expect the administrators to ever forget the dividing line between them and their political masters?”

 T.S.R. Subramanian said: “The book is neither about the bureaucracy nor about politicians. I have the highest regard for the PM of the day. It is not a diatribe against any tribe. The book is about how 70 years after Independence, we have not been able to reach the poorest, give them a reasonable chance to get education and work.”

The gathering was also addressed by well-known industrialist Shiv Nadar.

Keywords: bureaucracypolitics

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