A former cabinet secretary has said that a retired civil servant deciding to write a book is a healthy practice but this should be done while keeping in mind the trust and the confidence that has been bestowed on him while in service.
"I would describe as first rate, a former civil servant writing a book. This is a healthy practice and there is no problem in that. The problem, however, arises when a bureaucrat does not honour the trust or the confidence that has been conferred on him. If something has been said in confidence or trust, it should be honoured. That is the duty of a civil servant and it describes the traits of a good civil servant," said B K Chaturvedi, former cabinet secretary.
Chaturvedi was the cabinet secretary at the time P C Parakh was the coal secretary. Parakh's book Crusader or Conspirator? Coalgate and other Truths, released on Monday has created political ripples.
"Also, if a civil servant feels that there is something wrong, he should take a strong objection to it, while in service," Chaturvedi said.
Meanwhile Parakh defended the timing of the release of his book saying: "I was working on the book for more than two years and when I was writing ,the CAG report came out . It got completed last month and so I decided to release it. " Asked on should he have not waited till the elections got over he said: " Why should I have?"
"I have not targetted any political party, nor have I targetted any individual. My idea was to create a public awareness and debate on the functioning of the entire political system and the government. "
The book, he said, does not have just one incident to refer to. "There are more than 40 incidents that span through my entire career as a civil servant. My service has been extremely rewarding and satisfying. There had been moments of conflicts, moments of frustration but this is all a part of civil servant's job profile," he said.
"My book is not an outcome of my frustrations. It was written with the idea of inspiring the young civil servants.
There is an entire gamut of issues that speaks of the relation between a civil servant and the elected representatives. I wanted to bring this out for the younger bureaucrats."
On being asked whether he had flouted any rules by speaking against the government, he replied : ' No I have not."
Another book by Sanjaya Baru, a former aide of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier created a controversy . "I would rather discuss the contents of the book. I don't owe anyone any explanation on the timing," Baru had told HT.