V R KRISHNA Iyer is a distinguished jurist of our times, whose contributions in the fields of law and judicial reforms are quite well known. His superbly told autobiographical account Wandering in Many World, shows that there are many other interesting aspects to his eventful life. Born in a small village of south India in 1915, Iyer earned his law degree from Annamalai University. Like his father, he started his career as a pleader, in Tellicherry, got married to Sarada in 1941, and settled down in a beautifully built home. Soon after, he moved out into the larger world of politics, law, jurisprudence, and public service, to add richness and colour to the long journey of his life.
The book is an absorbing mix of the private and public in Iyer’s life. He writes about his life with his family, with his brothers, sisters, wife, and children, his wife’s fight against cancer and her death in the U.S. He also writes about his experiences as a lawyer, judge, and law-giver. During his brief stint as a minister in the first ever communist government in Kerala, he realised that the party had noble intentions and did good work for the people of the state. Quite revealingly, he writes how the ruling party at the Centre gave its tacit support to the unconstitutional activities of opportunistic gangs of political malcontents to overthrow the communist government by violent means.
The book is packed with interesting details of his work in various fields and his correspondence with people from various walks of life. As a minister, he reformed prisons and juvenile criminals, improved the welfare of police force, encouraged rural technology, and sponsored small and medium sized projects.
Iyer has been writing steadily for decades with forceful vigour, has authored more than fifty books, and has received several prestigious awards. Reading Wandering in Many Worlds is a rich and rewarding experience.
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