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The Honest Always Stand Alone is an autobiography by a former member of the Indian Administrative Service, who has had a distinguished and long career.
Summary Of The Book
C. G. Somiah began his career with the IAS in the early 1950s, and retired in 1996. He lived through most of the major political and social upheavals in the country, during the post-independence era.
The Honest Always Stand Alone is a candid memoir, in which he recalls many interesting incidents during his long career. He has worked alongside many powerful personalities in the political arena, and has encountered many other luminaries in other fields.
He has also witnessed the corruption that crept into all aspects of governance in the country, in the decades since he began his career. He recalls how hard it can be for a civil service official to preserve their integrity, in the face of immense political pressure. Many succumb, but he remained one of the few who were strong enough to hold true to their high principles.
He talks about his father, and his sense of simple honesty in everything he did. This had a great influence on him. He also proudly records his Kodava heritage, and the characteristics of these people, that helped him in his own life.
He also recalls many interesting incidents, encounters with the famous, the rich, and the powerful. Once, in the early stages of his career, he visited General Cariappa at his residence, dressed in informal attire. The general asked him to wait outside, and then returned with a tie, which he asked Somiah to wear. The general himself was dressed in full formal clothing. He then invited Somiah inside and they had a three-course lunch, with a butler in attendance.
He also tells of a campaign by Keralites residing in Coorg, to withdraw the concession that allows Kodavas to carry guns without a license. When the papers regarding this campaign finally landed on his table, Somiah explained that the gun was a symbol, it had cultural significance, like the Kirpan to the Sikhs, and succeeded in preserving the rights of the Kodavas.
The Honest Always Stand Alone is full of many such interesting episodes and anecdotes. It is a riveting account of a life and career, that has taken him to different places across the country, holding many high posts, including the posts of Home Secretary.
About C. G. Somiah
C. G. Somiah was a former Home Secretary, Comptroller, and Auditor General.
C. G. Somiah was born in 1931 in Kodagu, Karnataka. He began his professional life as an Orissa-cadre IAS officer, and rose steadily to hold many high positions in the administrative service. He was also a sportsman who won the All Orissa Badminton Championship, and the South India Junior Tennis Championship. He has also been Secretary of the Planning Commission. Somiah died in 2010 in Bangalore.
|Publisher||NIYOGI BOOKS, NEW DELHI|
|Number of Pages||276 Pages|
|Author||C G Somiahh|
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Apr 21, 2013
A not so comprehensive but somewhat interesting.Author was well placed and few men could match the kind of experience author had while working as civil servent.
Jun 22, 2014
The honest Always stand alone!Easy reading . Vindicates that integrity and courage of conviction in administrators benefit
Sep 4, 2013
A nice read.....The author has candidly presented a number of details which are an amazing read for someone who has not been close to any civil services. The truth presented in the book at times surprises you and shows how bureaucracy works even at the topmost levels. Its amazing and at times laughable to see how fights between senior officers happen for petty reasons. Lastly it’s sad to see how the impenetrable structure setup by Sardar Patel where a distinguished qualified person (IAS,IPS,IFS) would guide the people elected representative (Minister) to guide India to an amazing future has fallen apart.
Sep 21, 2014
....not about honestyits more of an auto-biography of the author....with first few chapters dedicated to his personal childhood and youth anecdotes. I have lost interest, but I am still waiting some chapter to get started with what it takes to be an honest officer in India!!!
Feb 3, 2015
A true person with grit and determination..Nice book to lift yourself up from your comfort zone and lead the world peacefully. His life shows how to be honest with the work and family. People say honesty doesnt work. This man practiced it. A true Man of Principles.
Jun 25, 2014
BEST Autobiography I have ever readThis book is fascinating is all aspects. CG Somiah walks every civil service aspirant/civil servant through all the ups and downs in his life. It takes you behind every closed door conversation that decided the fate of much of the second half of the twentieth century Indian history. The best autobiography book in its genre, "The Honest Always Stand Alone" will satisfy you to the fullest when you are finished reading.