Collector Bro: The quixotic thallals of a civil servant

Collector Bro: The quixotic ‘thallals’*of a civil servant (*Thallal - exaggerated bragging in colloquial Malayalam )This is a true story. An untold one that played out in the district of Kozhikode when a young IAS officer took charge as the District Collector in 2015. Over the next two years, he led the district and transformed the very concept of public administration with the use of social media, public consultation, usage of technology, volunteerism and public participation in governance. The two year tenure of 'Collector Bro' in Kozhikode transformed the landscape and narrative of district administration and communication with the citizens forever. Within a couple of months, 'Collector Kozhikode' Facebook page became a trendsetter in Kerala, and the most followed district administration page in India. It still is. With initiatives like Compassionate Kozhikode, Operation Sulaimani, Savari Giri Giri, Kozhipedia, Freedom Café, Yo Appooppa and Tere Mere Beach Mein, IAS officer Prasanth Nair, who was the District Collector of Kozhikode at that time, ushered in a new language of governance that endeavoured to bridge the gap between the district administration and citizens through the optimal employment of social media. The District Collector descended from the colonial ivory towers and mingled as one amongst the common man, totally dismantling the hierarchical stereotypes that the society was used to. This book traces the story of how exactly this happened and how and why the public responded so overwhelmingly to such an initiative. It also chronicles how these experiences transformed the young officer also - from a hesitant public speaker to a crowd-puller, from an introvert to a seemingly extrovert energetic leader. For the first time, the emotional roller-coaster of events that re-shaped the attitude and language of engagement by District administration is narrated with all the inside-stories. Straight from the horse's mouth. The author however takes pains not to take centre-stage in the book and manages that somewhat with wit and self-deprecating humour. This book has got nothing to do with government; but it is all about governance, life and compassion. At one level it is a collection of case-studies, the most readable and engrossing ones, narrated with fun and illustrations. At another level it is a chronicle of a personal journey of a compassionate administrator. This is not a typical arrogant bureaucratic ‘I did this’ book, but an ‘I went through this’ book. Not a high-horsed motivational ‘you can do it’ book, but a book that makes you think and prioritise what you want to do in life. As Dr. Shashi Tharoor says in the foreword, a must read for all civil servants, civil-service aspirants, students of public administration and all citizens who dream for a better tomorrow.

Book Details

Book Title: Collector Bro: The quixotic thallals of a civil servant

Book Author: Prasanth Nair

Book Category: -