Beyond The Trappings of Office: A Civil Servant's Journey In Punjab

Paper Type: Book Print Paper | Size: 216mm x 140mm, 468pp
Black and white, 8 photographs
ISBN-13: 978-93-91125-58-5


Travel with the author, a former civil servant, on a fascinating journey from a childhood spent in the infancy of free India, growing up in a former princely state, to traipsing into the Indian Administrative Service with childlike optimism. Enjoy a renaissance in the University of Cambridge, and a mellow cadence of a fruitful life in a modern Indian city, juxtaposed with a view of the transforming rural economy in Punjab, a state at the heart of India’s Green Revolution.

In Beyond the Trappings of Office the author offers colourful vignettes of events behind the drab doors of officialdom. He depicts the successes and failures of governments and individual protagonists in attaining power and sustaining it. While being part of the system, he chose not to succumb to the temporal power that goes with it. He describes members of the community of bureaucrats as well as politicians, and their foibles, with a gentle, disarming irony.

The way and the extent to which they, and myriad other characters, shaped the author’s personality is shared in his selfeffacing, yet charming, writing. His interests ranging from tennis to classical music, yoga to civil society organizations, make for delightful reading. Personal memories, accomplishments, heartache, and battles are woven into key historical events, as the author’s path crossed that of ordinary, unknown people he was employed to serve, whilst encountering the dignified, the famous and the powerful.

Rajan  Kashyap
Rajan Kashyap

Rajan Kashyap, a member of the Indian Administrative Service, served the government, mainly in the state of Punjab, for 38 years, retiring as Chief Secretary. He studied Mathematics and English literature in India, and Development Economics (MPhil, Cambridge University, UK) and had a two-year stint as a university teacher.

This book recounts his days as a district officer, as a unraveller of red tape, as head of an agricultural cooperative and as a handler of crucial service assignments. Post-retirement, he was Punjab’s first Chief Information Commissioner. He also worked for the voluntary blood donation movement and continued his association with tennis. He lives in Chandigarh with his wife, Meena, a former Professor of Botany.

His daughter, Bini, and his son, Anurag, observe indulgently his undiminished passion for physical fitness, English and Urdu poetry, and worthy causes.