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.
A not so comprehensive but somewhat interesting.
21 Apr, 2013
The honest Always stand alone!
Certified Buyer, Mumbai
22 Jun, 2014
Certified Buyer, Lunglei
31 Aug, 2017
....not about honesty
Certified Buyer, Meerut
21 Sep, 2014
A nice read.....
Certified Buyer, Vadodara
4 Sep, 2013
Certified Buyer, Pasighat
11 Jan, 2019
Certified Buyer, Muzaffarpur
3 Feb, 2018
Ritesh Kumar Vishwakarma
Certified Buyer, Jabalpur
16 Sep, 2017
Adventure profession and family
Certified Buyer, Chandigarh
18 Aug, 2017