By Narendra PuppalaHyderabad, Feb 21 : Barely a year after superannuating as the fourth Chief Secretary of India’s youngest state, Shailendra Kumar Joshi has come out with his first Hindi book titled ‘Ek Pratidhwani Jan Kendrit Shaasan ki Ore’.The book offers his reflections on governance gleaned from his years as a civil servant in the government of India, the state of Andhra Pradesh and finally, Telangana.
Curiously, Joshi’s association with the Telugu states goes back to his childhood days in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, when a career in the Indian Civil Services was a far-fetched idea.Offered the choice of Urdu, Sanskrit and Telugu as his third language in junior high school, he opted for Telugu.
His childhood tryst with the language stood him in good stead when he was selected as an IAS officer and got allotted the Andhra Pradesh cadre.Upon bifurcation of the state, he went on to serve in the fledgling state of Telangana, retiring as its Chief Secretary in 2019.
Through the book, to be launched soon, the author aims to bring the focus of governance firmly onto people’s problems and issues.Speaking to IANS, Joshi said that the idea behind the book is to encourage discourse among the stakeholders at all levels.By leveraging his experiences as a civil servant, the author dwells upon a multitude of issues and problems that weigh upon the minds of both – the people who rule and those they rule.
“The gap between rulers and ruled is increasing over a period of time.Basically, I have selected several topics, and relevant issues are raised…like for example, cooperatives.Once upon a time it was very successful movement.
Then, since last 2 decades nobody talks about them.The cooperative movement per se is a robust model of development.
But its impact gradually diminished the way it was implemented.In order to revive cooperatives, we have to correct implementation model.It’s again going to become a powerful tool for development.Similarly, education, health policy, water…different topics, have been briefly touched upon to raise the curiosity of the readers and encourage debate and discussion on the topic,” Joshi says.
Interestingly, the book also contains a chapter penned by the author’s wife Anuradha Joshi.Titled ‘Mere Nazariye Se’, the article describes the journey of an IAS officer from a spouse’s perspective.
Comprising around 90 articles in all, ‘Ek Pratidhwani Jan Kendrit Shaasan ki Ore’ explores the idea of establishing good governance from three perspectives – individuals, institutions, and processes.Joshi postulates that all these three factors are essential building blocks in a robust good governance framework.
“Whichever institution good individuals go to, they will enrich those institutions.Similarly, good people would also prefer to go to good institutions as can be seen from the craze for entry to reputed institutions like the IITs, AIMS, Nalsar etc.So those institutions have built their brand value.But if a bad individual joins a good institute, they can finish it off.Similarly, processes also are important along with individuals and institutions.A good institution with good individuals is supposed to have robust processes, whether oral or writing.
Otherwise, what happens, in the name of process, we follow the process but forget the substance.around that theory the entire canvas is built, institutions, individuals, processes,” he explains.
Joshi’s previous publications include ‘Management of of Transboundary Water Resources’ and ‘Echo T Calling’.‘Ek Pratidhwani Jan Kendrit Shaasan ki Ore’ is the first book he has authored in Hindi.Dipping into his experiences as a bureaucrat in the two Telugu states and at the Centre, the author attempts to get the readers to don their thinking caps and try to unravel many of the issues and problems that vex us as a society and a nation.Joshi is firm in his belief that modern-day conveniences like social media are not effective replacements for solid public grievance redressal systems that seem to have taken a back seat for some time now.
“Point is very clear.Social media interaction is like an off-the-cuff kind of interaction.
If you send hundreds or thousands of tweets, one tweet will be picked up by the people and relevant action will be taken by the relevant authorities.When I joined the service, public grievance system was much stronger and robust then without social media.
After 4 decades, I mean media spread is there, you can raise your concerns.But the solution, the systematic resolution of problems, I’m yet to see.Resolution of problems are not commensurate with the kind of issues which common man deliberates.So, we have to come out with a system which is responsive to the needs of the people, their requirements, their complaints.That is missing.Despite your social media revolution and whatever you call it.”
‘Ek Pratidhwani Jan Kendrit Shaasan ki Ore’ – published in Hindi, will soon have a Telugu version released too.