• It would surely make very interesting reading. A senior Haryana bureaucrat, retired since long, has poured into a book launched on Saturday his experiences while working at various times under the famous three Lals of the state.

It would surely make very interesting reading. A senior Haryana bureaucrat, retired since long, has poured into a book launched on Saturday his experiences while working at various times under the famous three Lals of the state.

Writer Ram Varma (left), Harish Khare, SD Bhambri and DS Dhesi with the book launched on Saturday at UT Guest House

Photo By: Life in Chandigarh

The book “Life In The IAS – My Encounters With The Three Lals of Haryana”, penned by former Haryana chief secretary Ram Varma, was formally dedicated to the people in Chandigarh by a galaxy of luminaries – former Haryana chief secretary S.D. Bhambri, editor-in-chief of The Tribune Harish Khare and Haryana chief secretary D.S. Dhesi – at a simple ceremony organised by the Swarna Jayanti Celebrations Authority, Haryana, at UT Guest House.

Packed with interesting anecdotes, tongue-in-cheek observations, behind-the-scenes political happenings and personal recollections, “Life in the IAS.....”, published by Rupa Publications India, captures the extraordinary journey of Haryana, its famous three Lals - Bansi Lal, Devi Lal and Bhajan Lal - and author Ram Varma, who takes the ups and downs of his distinguished career in his rollicking stride, experiencing thrills and triumphs, trials and tribulations.

On 1 November 1966, India saw the birth of its 17th state, Haryana, carved out of Punjab. Two years prior, Ram Varma had graduated from the prestigious IAS Academy and was allocated to Punjab. He was then transferred to Haryana, which was a state in turmoil and had within a year infamously been stamped as a land of political infidelity - ‘Aya Rams and Gaya Rams’.

Having served in various capacities from sub-divisional magistrate to chief secretary, Ram Varma relives the history of Haryana in the first three formative decades. An ambitious work, it covers the whole range of the state’s history - its inception, the chief ministers at the helm, the bureaucracy, the infrastructure reconstruction programme, including the innovative lift-irrigation projects and much more - as captured against the nation’s history which too was crafting a resurgent identity.

The book pivots its central narrative around the portrayal of the three Lals of Haryana - Bansi Lal, Devi Lal and Bhajan Lal - who dominated the scene. Barring a few years, Haryana was ruled by the Lals, who chased each other in and out of office. The author has watched this fledgling state grow during their respective reigns, had keenly observed the workings of each chief minister and was a witness to the fascinating drama of its transformation from a poor, resource-less state to a progressive, front-ranking state during his tenure.