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Rajiv Gandhi and Morality in Public Affairs

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About the Book

The book attempts a brief discussion on a burning topic of the day: morality in public affairs in India. Indeed, morality, as related to the whole structure and process of public affairs, politics and society, constitutes a problem of the profoundest social concern in a democratic society. It covers a wide spectrum of significant issues relating to morality which are of utmost concern to public men, the premier national party, viz., the Indian National Congress, and its leaders. The analysis, which is empirical in nature, is concerned with the ethical, conceptual and historical perspectives of the Congress culture and of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. These are of singular relevance to an understanding of Rajiv Gandhi’s anxious endeavour to restore moral and social values to the politics of the country. The book which emerges out of long years of involvement in public affairs on the part of the author, seeks to highlight Rajiv Gandhi’s emphasis on ethical norms in the conduct of public affairs in the country. At a time when efforts are being made by some people to poison the society’s mind and to enervate it with trivial and debilitating ideas and schemes, this book is of topical importance. It administers a singular corrective to these distortions by providing a masterly exposition of the positive ethical and ennobling principles which Rajiv Gandhi is striving to bring into the conduct of the public affairs to the country. The book is thus an attempt to save the countrymen, and even outsiders from the danger of poisonsous inhabitation of mere political garbage and politically disease men’s worst thoughts now being maliciously propagated.


Dr. Umeswar Prasad Varma, M.A., D. Litt. (b. 1924) began his career as a lecturer in R.D. & D.J. College, Monghyr, (Bihar), one of the premier institutions of Bihar, founded in 1989. ‘He became Head of Department and Reader and was later Principal of the college and finally Professor. Dr. Varma obtained the D.Litt. degree for his research work Public Regulation and Control of Private Enterprise in India. In 1970 he was elected to the Bihar Legislative Council from the teachers’ constituency and re-elected in 1976. He was Cabinet Minister, Bihar, 1980-85, and held portfolios of Health, Irrigation, Law, Forest and Excise. As a Minister he was instrumental in strengthening the Rural Health Services and in rejuvenating the Irrigation Department with his bold and imaginative measures to check and eradicate corruption and malpractices. A report of the Irrigation department, Govt. of Bihar (April 1982- June 1983) highlights some of these measures: nearly 123 officers were suspended; criminal cases were started against 76; departmental enquiries were initiated against 172 and punishments of various kinds were given to 117. The report and speaks of criminal cases against 150 contractors of whom 73 were black-listed. The Excise and Forest Department too benefited by his energetic anti-corruption drive. Dr. Varma carried out these measures, undaunted by threats and at great risk to his person and public career. These measures were the subject of long, appreciative comments by the leading national dailies of India. A man of humble beginnings Dr. Varma continues his public activities with a vigour and sense of commitment, all his own. He is at present Acting Chairman, Bihar Legislative Council.

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