Two mates, two autobiographies – The Sunday Guardian Dwell

Right now I’m writing about autobiographies of two mates. Each have been printed not too long ago and posthumously.
“Motivated by Life and Undaunted by Strife” is authored by M.M.Okay. Wali. He handed away in 2019 on the age of 92 in New Delhi.
He and I certified for the IAS/IFS in 1953. I opted for the IFS, Wali for the IAS for household causes.
In these far off days the probationers of those extremely coveted providers had their coaching in Metcalfe Home located on the banks of Jamuna, which was removed from dry in these instances.
The IFS batch consisted seven and IAS of 32 probationers.
Our wage was practically Rs 400. One didn’t know the way to spend it. Petrol was 12 annas a gallon.
Wali was born in Sailkot in 1927. He excelled at college, school and Allahabad College. He was fluent in half a dozen languages together with Persian. Wali was allotted the Rajasthan cadre, ending up as Chief Secretary.

The guide by Ajay Singh

His first Chief Minister was Jagannath Pahadia. He got here from my hometown, Bharatpur. Everybody in Rajasthan was appalled at his appointment. He was Sanjay Gandhi’s alternative. Pahadia was less than the job and was quickly eased out. He was endowed with a really thick pores and skin. Let me quote Wali. “As late as 2016, many years after he had been changed because the Chief Minister, Pahadia continued to occupy an virtually lease free authorities bungalow within the posh Civil Traces in Jaipur. For a decade he additionally continued to occupy an condo in Bikaner Home in New Delhi, lease free. Rajiv Gandhi appointed Pahadia, Governor of Bihar!!”
Probably the most gripping elements of the guide are in regards to the statue of Lord Mahavira being put in in Badabari close to Mehruali. Wali was Lt Governor of Delhi on the time. Indira Gandhi had no objection to the erection of the statue. So did Wali, as all involved businesses had authorised the constructing of Mahavira statue.
Sonia Gandhi disapproved of the statue. She spoke to Rajiv, who needed the statue to be eliminated. This message was conveyed to Wali by M.L. Fotedar. Wali identified that critical issues can be created if the statue was eliminated. Rajiv would have none of it. Wali was requested to resign. This does no credit score to Rajiv Gandhi or his spouse.
“Motivated by Life and Undaunted by Strife” is a splendid and engrossing guide. It’s co-edited by his daughter, Charu WaliKhanna. Wali departed earlier than the guide was printed.
“Fiji A Love Story: Memoirs of an Unconventional Diplomat” by Ajay Singh is a gem of a guide. I learn it at one go. Ajay’s ancestors had been farmers. They had been inhabitants of a small village positioned between Agra and Bharatputr state, the place my household lived. His nice grandfather was taken to Fiji as an indentured labourer within the Eighteen Eighties.
Ajay’s father Captain Bhagwan Singh was born in 1916. He was educated at Agra Faculty. In 1941, he joined the Military. When India turned impartial Capt Bhagwan Singh was inducted into the IAS. He additionally served as India’s first Excessive Commissioner to Fiji.
Ajay Singh was born in 1950, educated at Trendy Faculty, St. Stephen’s Faculty and Canterbury College in New Zealand. For some time he was a journalist. Had a short stint with India Right now. He joined politics, labored below Chaudhary Charan Singh. He was elected to the Lok Sabha, turned a junior minister in Prime Minister V.P. Singh’s authorities in 1991. He was president of the All India Jat Sabha from 2013 to his passing away in 2020.
The guide just isn’t solely a historical past of his household but additionally of brutal British rule in Fiji.
Ajay has devoted his memoirs to his late spouse, Shiromani, who belonged to a outstanding Brahmin household in Suva, the capital of Fiji.
Some months after I turned Exterior Affairs Minister in 2004, I used to be advised that we had been to have a emptiness in our mission in Suva. I despatched for Ajay, telling him that I used to be posting him to Fiji. He was naturally bowled over. “Me, what for? What would you want me to do there?” I knowledgeable him that he can be India’s Excessive Commissioner.
When he advised Shiromani, she mentioned to Ajay, “Did I hear proper? Excessive Commissioner! Are you sitting within the Press Membership once more, boozing with your pals whereas I slog my again off on this workplace? Who the hell would appoint you Excessive Commissioner?” Ajay: “Chacha Natwar”.
Ajay Singh made a mark as Head of Mission, Shiromani proved to be a wonderful hostess and helped Ajay in attending to know all elements of Fijian life higher.
In the course of Might 2020 Ajay and Mahavir Singh (he labored with Ajay in Suva) got here to fulfill my spouse, Hem and me. I requested how the autobiography was getting on. He had written just a few chapters. That’s the final time I noticed him. He handed away just a few weeks later. We had been deeply distressed.
It is a most readable guide, will preserve Ajay’s reminiscence alive.
I would add that the guide was completed by Mahavir Singh with the assistance of voluminous notes left by Ajay Singh.

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