As far as understanding where the seeds were sown for the decline of the Maratha Empire, and even the roots of the eventual confederate nature of theAs far as understanding where the seeds were sown for the decline of the Maratha Empire, and even the roots of the eventual confederate nature of the Marathas, this is a wonderful book.
I couldn’t help thinking, however, that Decline And Fall Of The Maratha Empire does an unintentional disservice to the achievements of the Marathas after the Shivaji era. And I say unintentional with much seriousness. As may be obvious from the title of the book, this book is an analysis of the decline and the fall. It assumes, but not explicitly, that the reader has more than a general awareness of the history of the period between the mid 1600s to 1818. If you pick up this book, without the background to this period, this book will come across as grossly critical, negative, and utterly depressing. Needless to say, that is not the author's intention.
It perhaps needs pre-reading; on the lines of Rise of the Maratha Power, by Justice MG Ranade, or a similar book that describes this period's history that is comprehensive and well-rounded.
While it is clear that the intention of the book is not to specifically shine light on the darker side of this history, it is a topical book. The reader should bear that in mind.
The analysis itself, is very well done. It is clear and well referenced. It is not a very long book, and the references are a treasure trove, if you are history nerd. Dr. M. S. Naravane writes clearly, unambiguously, with a good sense of the chronology of the start of the decline, and covers some of the not-so-obvious aspects of the issue.
Highly recommended if you are a student of Maratha history. One star removed, for some references which felt gossipy....more
There's much commotion these days of books being banned and such. While this is not abook in the true sense of the word (it is a statement by NathuramThere's much commotion these days of books being banned and such. While this is not a book in the true sense of the word (it is a statement by Nathuram Godse, given in court as he stood accused of assassinating Mahatma Gandhi), it is perhaps one of the earliest documents that was banned by the government, from being published. (The ban was lifted in 1968).
It has been converted to a book form by his younger brother, who was also imprisoned as a co-conspirator for abetment and was imprisoned for life (released in 1964 after serving 16 years). While the statement of Nathuram Godse is the meat of the book — 102 of the 208 pages — has now been released with context, by his brother, Gopal Godse.
Like most medium-sized Indian publications, the book suffers heavily from a lack of editorial and design intervention. All the more unfortunate for this specific and critical episode in our history. Needless to say, the controversial nature of the content, even after six decades, is perhaps the reason why no major publisher in India will ever seek to acquire such a title. It, then, automatically falls to the small-and-medium sized publishers.I'd like to congratulate Farsight Publishers for that.
Irrespective of your own beliefs of the role, contribution, and the impact of various leaders in the Indian Freedom Struggle, this book is worth a read. That this man assassinated the most popular figure in the history of Indian independence cannot be a reason not to read the book; in fact it is the reason, why this book needs to be read. The statement by Nathuram Godse is an articulate statement of his reason. And this being a court record, there is little scope for a fiction-creep, and perhaps, therefore, less easy to dismiss as fiction.
It matters less whether your reasons are right or wrong, and which prism they are viewed from. It matters more how convinced you are in your purpose and how well you can rationally defend and articulate that purpose. Nathuram Godse did that with great skill and art.
For that one reason, at least, this is a definite read....more
Given my interest in education and generally the paradox that the Right to Education Act is all about, this seemed to be a good book to pick up. Being shrink-wrapped, when I saw it in the book store, I was left to judge the book only by its cover - and the author bios on the back cover.
I am terribly disappointed by this book.
For one, it seems that this was supposed to be primarily to be just a paper and few thoughts that have been converted to a book. There is significant repetition of nay, not just paragraphs, but pages altogether. Many sentences find their way back into the text matter shamelessly, with unfailing regularity. The editor has done a shoddy job, ("short of human capital by 17 millions"), and Indian words like "melas" are not marked out in any way.
As far as the core content of the book, it does not provide any fresh perspective on the Act - the challenges and the solutions mentioned in the book have been argued ad nauseam. The research material from which certain assumptions are derived are very limited, and are repeatedly referred in the book. There is a vast amount of literature out there from organisations like NEUPA and UNESCO and the MHRD site, which does not find any mention in the book.
At the end of the book, I felt that this book was not written by the authors; they have just lent their name to it. Further, for such a low-quality publication to come out of and be endorsed by ASSOCHAM's President, Dr. Swati Piramal, was equally disappointing.
Finally, since this book did not show up in the GoodReads library, I had to add it to the library. As I filled in the details, I was very surprised to note that the blurb on jacket flaps was taken from an article by India Today.
A serious case of plagiarism, if you ask me. And a serious case of dismay....more