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Nehru: La invención de India

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  545 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
An incisive new biography of the great secularist whoalongside his spiritual father, Mahatma Gandhiled the movement for Indias independence from British rule and ushered his newly independent country into the modern world. An incisive new biography of the great secularist whoalongside his spiritual father, Mahatma Gandhiled the movement for Indias independence from British ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by TusQuets (first published January 2003)
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Sukanta Hazra
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
Another well written book on Nehru. A man about whom there is much misunderstanding in India, or at least an attempt is being made (unfairly) at present to show him in worse light than he deserves. Surely he made some blunders, but his passion and achievements to keep India united and to modernise it can't and shouldn't be overlooked.
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2015

The Pandit

Just how shall we define a Pandit?
It’s not a panda, nor a bandit.
But rather a Pandora’s box
Of sophistry and paradox.
Though Oxford [sic] gave it a degree
It maintains its neutrality
By quietly hating General Clive
As hard as if he were alive.
On weighty international questions
It’s far more Christian than most Christians;
It’s ever eager, being meek
To turn someone else’s cheek.
Oft has it said all men are brothers,
And set that standard up for others,
Yet as it spoke it gerrymandered
Bharath Kumar
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Great book which takes you through the life of a person known for his diplomacy written by an equally matched diplomat,who writes a sentence as long as a page and still you will be able to read it with excellent fluency.
Mar 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is not easy to write a biography of a towering and complex personality like Nehru and not end up short. Everyone interested in India and its history has an opinion on Nehru and often they are diametrically opposite to one another. Tharoor, like me, is an admirer of Nehru and believes that his contribution to India is immense. This naturally, has its effect on his portrayal of Nehru and so this book should not be viewed as a comprehensive study of the man or of all his achievements and failure ...more
Muthu Raj
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars. A third entry to the classy shelf.

TLDR; A must read that puts the people involved in Nationalist movement and Nehru's role in it as well as the feelings and ideals of Nehru in perspective. Excellent language.

This is a magisterial work on Nehru. I was squirming in shame at some points in the book that I didn't know some very basic things about the architects of my country. I am not going to attempt to comment about Nehru himself. I know too little and have too much adulation for him, t
Palahalli Rajesh
Jun 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a fascinating journey through the life of Pt. Nehru, without being in any sort of biased bigots. It is an honest approach to bring into light Nehru’s legacies; there are good, bad, and ugly sides of it. One needs to accept Nehru with all his glaring failures, which will no doubt torment his soul, not only till his death; but continues even today. Along with it comes his stupendous success too! In a Hindu majority India he established a secular state which stood the storms of religiou ...more
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even the harshest critic has to admit that Dr. Tharoor in spite of his fair share of controversies is an impeccable painter with words. The short & witty biography of literally a legacy is by no means an easy task. There is always a risk of misrepresentation or even worst omission of certain facts.

But, this book like a river once starts flowing, only gains speed. In our country almost everyone has an opinion about chacha nehru, but the way Dr. Tharoor has articulated his entire journey of l
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read, a thoughtful appraisal of Nehru.
Darshan Markandaiah
Shashi Tharoor is well articulated and here, he writes coherently about Nehru's life in an easy to follow along manner. He gives an objective view of his successes, his shortcomings and also touches on the relationship that he shared with Gandhi. This books acts as a good backbone to understanding how the Gandhi family continues in Indian politics.
Razi Shaikh
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not so much a biography as a timely reflection on Pandit Nehru, the country's first Prime Minister, indeed the man who made his countrymen realize what it meant to be Indians. Shashi Tharoor does full justice to the man, in his crowning glories, in all his tarnishing flaws. It's a humanistic picture, neither overly critical nor degenerating into flattery. Nehru comes across as a man both bound by destiny and enamoured of it, a man of deep contemplation and a man in perennial hurry, a per ...more
Anil Saini
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a short biography on Jawaharlal Nehru. It is not a scholarly work, just the reinterpretation of everything available about Nehru. It is both the mixture of admiration and criticism of the towering figure of twentieth century India; admiration of the qualities possessed by Nehru and criticism of his policies.
In the earlier years of his life, Nehru showed no signs of potential greatness. After studying for seven years in England, he was almost a half-Englishman when returned to India.
Naveen Sivadasan
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A concise yet comprehensive Biography on Jawaharlal Nehru is the first impression on completing this work.It essentially makes the reader enamoured to the charisma & conviction of Nehru.

Tharoor, the author attempts to explain the logic behind many critical decisions by Nehru Eg. Internationalization of J&K issue.Lookout for the last chapter where Tharoor puts up a brilliant analysis of the Nehruvian Legacy, especially his four pillars to discern how far they have lived up to Panditji's e
Jasmeet Dang
My view of Nehru has been changed, of course there are issues like that of Kashmir and 1962 Indo- China war which tarnish his image, but if we look at his entire characteristics, we will see the intentions of the man were never bad. 4 Pillars that constituted his style were Socialism, Democracy, Secularism and Non Alignment.
His abhorrence to imperialism and love for Self Reliance kept him at bay with FDI which is understandable for he was the product of British Colonialism days of his youth.
The movie Gandhi introduced me to many of the key figures in India’s independence movement and early political leadership, and beyond Gandhi no man interested me more than the Mahatma’s right hand, Jawaharlal Nehru. Gandhi’s commitment to nonviolence stemmed from his near-mystic religious beliefs, but Nehru held fast to those convictions without religious training. The close relationship between the two men in light of their differing religious convictions fascinated me, so I decided to read a b ...more
Jyotsna Batra
Nehru has been an exceptionally important figure in Indian History, and he has been seen as a controversial figure as well. I had the curiosity to know more about his life and thoughts that I began reading this book. It is a well-written insight into the life of Nehru. The description of his father's influence on him, his relationship with his daughter, Indira, and his reverence towards Mahatma Gandhi are quite interesting. Also, his moderation, handling of differences of opinions, his foreign p ...more
Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, politics
Un tanto a la sombre de Gandhi (y no por culpa suya, sino de la historia), Jawaharlal Nehru es una figura sorprendente por las cualidades tan humanas que influyeron en su quehacer político. Y cuando digo cualidades humanas, me refiero a que no fue perfecto pero tenía un auto conocimiento que le impidió convertirse en un dictador en un país que tiene todas las características para la instauración de una tiranía y que incluso pedían al mismo Nehru convertirse en un dios político (situación a la qu ...more
Jul 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is more like an essay based on what the author thinks about Nehru, though a 250 page odd essay. Its more like reading the author's opinion (based on the historical facts to be fair) , which is not completely biased towards Nehru but enough to be noticed even by a novice like me. Well, personally I would like to be presented with the historical facts and prefer to build my own opinion towards the subject. That said, the author has done a brilliant job to capture all the major events rel ...more
Sharath Chandra Darsha
Nehru was a great leader who left a great remark of his own on Indian history. Usually now a days, I see many social media links where his mistakes are magnified while his achievements are belittled(with frequent repetition any falsehood can be believed, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth). I too was a victim of it and after reading few books on Nehru got rid off my prejudices. And coming to this book by shashi tharoor, it does not cover every incident but tries to presen ...more
Deepanker Kaul
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved the book and the fact that it's short crisp and brutally honest. Shashi Tharoor paints a picture of Nehru that was known to us all in parts but not in totality. His praises his virtues as generously as he denounces his vices. The book shows you how Nehru is not all that great the Congress party would like to show you but not as bad as the others would like you to think of him. His one virtue with more than once becomes his and nation's undoing is his unshakable idealism, and whi ...more
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's always a delight to read Tharoor. His style of prose is remarkably old school- elaborate, self-admonishing, slowly building up towards a punchline.

The narrative is remarkably unbiased and well-researched, considering Tharoor has fallen out of favour many times with the Congress leadership. The book doesn't gloss over embarrassing aspects of Nehru's lives or shirk from comparing him to Vallabhai Patel. Yet, Tharoor uses every excuse to display Nehru's exquisite talent with words (one writer
Akshat Solanki
It's one of the biographies written on the India's first prime minister Mr. Nehru and his life.
Shashi Tharoor has written down a lot of things about Nehru, his experiences with the freedom movement, his fellowship to Mahatma Gandhi and a detail speculation about India's independence.
I, personally, don't respect this person but the author and his narration/writing skill.
It's a short, good read and must for political/history readers.
The book will give you a base to the then political ideas and nat
Krishnanand Khambadkone
Another well written piece from this author. Provides some detailed insights into the life of this great man. A truly international figure who left an indelible mark on both the Gloabal and National scenes. His enduring legacies that he has left this country are the democratic and secular fabric and ethos, his love for science and technology that resulted in the creation of the IITs, the space and nuclear programs and of course one we could have lived without, a moribund and anemic economy that ...more
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A nice coverage of Nehru's life and legacy that occasionally reaches lofty heights but ultimately gets into predictable evaluations of the heritage, at least by today's standards. And all this from a man remarkably similar to Jawaharlal, very possibly even smarter, who got to study and get a doctoral degree out of what Jawaharlal regarded as his favourite subject, and to work in the real world of vested interests.

Key observation: Long jail terms as part of freedom-fighting engender an inclinatio
Haaris Mateen
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A riveting account of a great statesman and a unique public intellectual. I would recommend the book to anyone who would want to have a crisp idea of the principles that governed the life of Nehru, his vast intellectual breadth and the conflicts that his idealistic vision of India had with reality, and the compromises that had to be conceded by a truly great man. Tharoor may not have written anything which is not already out there in the public domain but his analysis and presentation is fresh a ...more
Alexander Mattam
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written book by Shashi Tharoor. Gave real insights into one of India's greatest statesman and possibly the leader who took Asia into the international centre stage during the peak of Cold war.

The book brings out the secular principle and outlook of my country's leaders which indeed should be an eye opener and leading light for the present generation politicians and countrymen.
Ishan Raj
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the architect of modern India, Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India's first prime minister, is a towering figure who became one of the most powerful and respected leaders in the 20th-century Asia. Born in Allahabad, UP, India on November 14 ,1889 and he loved children allot so his birthday is celebrated as Children's Day. that's all I got from the main section of the Book
Prajakta Shikarkhane
Before I started this book my views on Nehru were largely critical. After having completed this highly readable and humorous account of one of the most prominent forces that shaped independent India, I look forward to exploring Nehru's many works.

Highly recommended for a general understanding of Indian politics since the time of British imperialism and Nehru's relevance in India today.
Vikas Datta
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a balanced evaluation of the maker of modern India... for that sobriquet is applicable for Nehru only rather than his mentor who seemed quite regressive. Mr Tharoor does a good job in highlighting the first prime minister's accomplishments in building up India as we know it, with also the decisions that retarded progress.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting portrait of a complex and contradictory individual.
I included this book in my "hindu vedic" list not because Nehru was religious because he was a COMMITTED SECULARIST/SOCIALIST but rather because of his views toward traditional vedic thought.
Anand Ganapathy
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An insightful biography of one of India's foremost leaders. Shashi Tharoor has done. justice to this book. The last chapter where he has analyzed Nehru's principles and their relevance today is what I liked best.
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Shashi Tharoor is a member of the Indian Parliament from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in Kerala. He previously served as the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information and as the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs.

He is also a prolific author, columnist, journalist and a human rights advocate.

He has served on the Board of Overseers of the Fle
More about Shashi Tharoor...
“Jawaharlal Nehru’s first Cabinet list set a standard that would never again be matched, while establishing a precedent for diversity that all his successors would strive to emulate. A” 1 likes
“The Indian tricolour was raised just before sunset, and as it fluttered up the flagpole a late-monsoon rainbow emerged behind it, a glittering tribute from the heavens.” 0 likes
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