The author, who was inspired to serve people by his parents and Lord Jesus, got the befitting opportunity to do so by joining the IAS. The book records how he strived to achieve his aim in every post he held, including as the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu for 3 years, in Central Government in Delhi or UNICEF in New York. The book provides a detailed account of the author’s five eventful years as the Governor of Orissa. He began his tenure in a turbulent time when the State was reeling under the impact of an unprecedented supercyclone the like of which Orissa had never experienced before and the State Government itself became rudderless. He fulfilled the mandate given to him by the Prime Minister to proactively guide the State Government particularly in organizing relief and rehabilitation work. The author illustrates how a Governor, as Chancellor of the Universities, could modernize and insulate them from political interference. If this book, at least in a small way, makes it known to the people of the country and may be even to present Governors, how Governors can function effectively even within constitutional limits without just being figureheads, it would have more than served its purpose.
M.M. Rajendran, after a brilliant academic career, joined IAS in 1957 as the topper. He served with distinction in several key positions in Tamil Nadu, and subsequently as Joint Secretary in Government of India, developed the successful Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme which is now nationwide. He was on the UNICEF Executive Board and Vice-Chairman of its Programme Committee. Was Senior Adviser in the UNICEF Headquarters in New York. He has been widely lauded for his effectiveness and integrity in serving as Chief Secretary in Tamil Nadu when the State was under President's rule in 1988 for one year and later under an elected Government for 2 years. In recognition of his outstanding service, he was appointed Governor of Orissa in 1999 when the state was in deep distress after the Supercyclonc. The Prime Minister greatly valued his cyclone relief efforts and even disbanded the Cabinet Committee initially set up to supervise the work. As Chancellor of Orissa Universities, he insulated Universities from political interference and introduced merit-based appointment of Vice Chancellors. Rotary International conferred on him Honorary Lifetime Membership in recognition of “the exemplary contributions in the service of mankind.” He is the recipient of several national, international and Lifetime Achievement Awards.