India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy
A magisterial account of the pains, the struggles, the humiliations, and the glories of the world's largest and least likely democracy, Ramachandra Guha's India After Gandhi is a breathtaking chronicle of the brutal conflicts that have rocked a giant nation and the extraordinary factors that have held it together. An intricately researched and elegantly written epic histor...more
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— Terry Pratchett"
India is world's largest but least likely democracy. But how it still survives?
To me, Indian history always meant what happened till 1947 (year of Independence) or perhaps my knowledge expands one little year further till Gandhiji's death. I was kept in the d ...more
In 1959, the Atlantic Monthly pitied India for having a democracy, when it might be better off as a military dictatorship. In 1999, the same magazine thought this very democracy had been India's saving grace.It has often been said that India is a young nation, and a diverse one. We Indians have been told this in school and swallowed it without a question. On reading India after Gandhi, the depth of those adjectives sink in.
With all the surprises, the setbacks and, the pandemonium that is associated with Indian's freedom, we can surely say that democracy has not lost ...more
When I was in school, in the mid-90s, our history lesson on I ...more
The first half, covering the decades under PM Nehru and the drafting of the Indian Constitution, is really inspiring. Nehru was an idealist who believed in social change; he worked with B.R. Ambedkar, an Untouchable who was the primary draftsman of the constitution, to keep India as a secular state and to overturn the caste system. Nehru also worked to protect minority groups such as women and Muslims, to create an economic and so ...more
A book that takes you through the fight of a young nation against the veritable elements threatening secularism, its dangerous but nevertheless great gamble with democracy, its idealist argument against the more realist one for alignment, its parenthood falling from that of great men of integrity to mortals with vanity, and the rise of populism on the price of constitutional democr ...more
India After Gandhi is the book that bridges this gap by providing a first rate account of the various people that pa ...more
A reader may realize that how the lives of 1.2 billion people today have been affected by ...more
“Indians are better speakers than listeners, and Indian politicians especially so.”
There probably never will be a completely satisfying book about India but this one really far exceeded what I could have expected. In here is no talk about the ‘Hindu way of life’ (thank you Naipaul) or other vague expressions and generalizations like that. There is, in fact, the very opposite, a great diversity of voices looking at the subjects from different perspectives.
At a few times, I didn’t agree with au ...more
I am no scholar or intellec ...more
I have not read any other book that was so dense as this and yet so well-paced. The amount of information in each page is staggering. The only book I know that has more footnotes than this is, perhaps, the Inf ...more
Ramachandra Guha has written a straightforward narative of the experience of India since Independence in 1947. The focus is primarily on political events but not at the expense of trying to get a view of the bigger picture.
I wouldnt consider it a great book of analysis, but as an introduction to post independence India it is more than adequate. Many colourful characters populate this history, this most admirable being Nehru himself, unfortunately a Hindu extremist knocked ...more
My respect for some of the founding members has grown manifold, independent of whether I agree with their policies. Indian TV and cinema (which by the way, is also touched upon in the book!) has a reputation for dramatisation and sensationalism. I'm pretty sure that they are influenced by some of the amazing gift-o ...more
Crisply written, and at times quite scathing in its remarks, the book is a brilliant account of our history. The author has criticised and praised Nehru on different viewpoints, a trait not common in Indian literature.
This book is a m ...more
It tries to answer some ...more
The land had always been a land of empires and an attractive destination for migrant peoples and conquerors alike for as long as anybody could remember. For a hig ...more
The book deals with the positives as well as the negatives of the past y ...more
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|Read Runners: India After Gandhi||72||58||Jul 24, 2014 11:24PM|
After a peripatetic academic career, with ...more