Duty, Destiny and Glory – book review

415hp6f1cfl-_sx319_bo1204203200_Sir.C.P.Ramasamy Iyer was a man of dazzling brilliance, remarbable intellect and amazing charm and wealth, and he used all of these to get what he wanted. These and many more fascinating and awe-inspiring details are available in the book ‘Duty, Destiny and Glory’ by Raghu.

CP, as he was known among the legal, political and social circles, has led a life worthy of envy. But a man of such intellect and wealth can only hope to have such a life. His life from his early days to his death in England is covered in the to the most minute of detail in this book.

CP, as we see in the book, had initiated many path breaking reforms and infrastructure projects, had started many industrial projects in Kerala, and had, in the process, earned quite a few enemies as well, who would later attempt to assassinate him. CP, though he was convinced that the erstwhile Travancore State should join with India, argued with the Indian government to let Travancore alone as that was what the then King had wanted. But, sensing the overall situation and future security situation, he ensured the merger of Travancore with India. CP was the last Dewan of Travancore State.

CP had worked with Annie Besant on the Home Rule Movement and was rumored to have had a relationship with her, she not being the only European lady with whom he had had some relationship. His charm and intellect had led to the European ladies and even the Rani of Travancore, fall for him.

The book is written in an older English style that is convoluted which at times appears to be beating around the bush when some ideas could have been conveyed in more direct and forceful manner. Probably it has to do with the style of people of an earlier era who wrote such profound prose and reveled at the discomfiture of those who attempted to read those.The choice of certain words (eg – adumbrate ) reek of colonial era lingo and would not appeal to the new generation readers at all. The books tends to get repetitive at times.

Nevertheless the book takes you down a journey of the last 100 plus years, covering, in its way, the life and times of a great intellectual.

Worth a read.

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