'On 19 May 2007, I was summoned to the Prime Minister's house ... He thought I would be right for the job.'
In an illustrious career spanning over forty years in public service and culminating in the highest office in Indian bureaucracy - Union Cabinet Secretary - K.M. Chandrasekhar has seen, and done, it all. He is one of those rare IAS officers who has held a wide range of senior positions in State government, the Centre, and public sector undertakings.
In this autobiography, he paints an intimate picture of the UPA government during one of its toughest phases and his own, crucial, role in steering India through some of her most severe crises - the Great Recession of 2008, the oilmen's strike in 2009 and the 26/11 Mumbai attacks - and scams - the 2G Spectrum case and the 2010 Commonwealth Games corruption scandal. This book describes Chandrasekhar's experiments in public administration, cutting his teeth in trade diplomacy as the Indian ambassador to the World Trade Organization, his excellent working equation with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his run-ins with some prominent ministers of the time, and his reflections on Indian democracy, economy and defence.
As Good as My Word is the story of the successes and failures of a civil servant, who successfully navigated challenging areas of public life. Unsparingly honest and forthright, and packed with political gossip, the book offers a ringside view of Indian politics and bureaucracy during the UPA era.