India After Gandhi
Born against a background of privation and civil war, divided along lines of caste, class, language and religion, independent India emerged, somehow, as a united and democratic country. This remarkable book tells the full story-the pain and the struggle, the humiliation and the glories- of the world's largest and least likely democracy.
While India is sometimes the most exasperating country in the world, it is also the most interesting, Ramachandra Guha writes compellingly of the myriad protests and conflicts that have peppered the history of free India. But he writes also of the factors and processes that have kept the country together ( and kept it democratic),defying numerous prohets of doom who believes that its poverty and heterogeneity would force India to break up or come under autocratic rule. Once, the Western world looked upon India with a mixture of pity and contempt; now, it looks upon India with fear and admiration.
Moving between history and biography, the story of modern India is peoples with extraordinary characters. Guha gives fresh insights on the lives and public careers of those longserving Prime Ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. There are vivid sketches of the major provincial leaders whose province was a large as a European country: the Kashmiri rebel-turned-ruler Sheikh Abdullah; the Tamil film actor-turned-politician M.G.Ramachandran; the Naga secessionist leader Angami Zapu Phizo; the socialist activist Jayaprakash Narayan. But the author also writes with feeling ans sensitivity about lesser known (though not necessarily less important) Indians-peasants, tribals, women, workers and musicians.
Massively researched and elegantly written, India After Gandhi is a magisterial account of Indias rebirth, and the work of a major scholar at the height of his powers.
Misconceptions about India and Indians abound, fed by the stereotypes created by foreigners, and the myths about themselves projected by Indians. In Being Indian, Pavan K.Varma demolishes these myths and generalizations as he turns his sharply observant gaze on his fellow countrymen to examine what really makes Indians tick and what they have to offer the world in the 21st century.
Varma’s insightful analysis of the Indian personality and the culture that has created it reaches startling new conclusions on the paradoxes and contradictions that characterize Indian attitudes towards issues such as power, wealth and spirituality. How, for example, does the appalling indifference of most Indians to the suffering of the poor and the inequities of the caste system square with their enthusiastic championing of parliamentary democracy?
The book also examines India’s future prospects as an economic, military and technological power, providing valuable pointers to the likely destiny of a nation of one billion people. Drawing on sources as diverse as ancient Sanskrit treatises and Bollywood lyrics, and illuminating his examples with a wealth of telling anecdotes, Pavan Varma creates a vivid and compelling portrait of Indians as he argues that they will survive and flourish in the new millennium precisely because of what they are, warts and all, and not because of what they think they are or would like to be. This book, which will stimulate reflection, discussion and controversy, is a must read for both foreigners who wish to understand Indians and Indians who wish to understand themselves.
India Unbound: The Social And Economic Revolution From Independence To The Global Information Age
India today is a vibrant free-market democracy, a nation well on its way to overcoming decades of widespread poverty. The nation’s rise is one of the great international stories of the late twentieth century, and in India Unbound the acclaimed columnist Gurcharan Das offers a sweeping economic history of India from independence to the new millennium.
Das shows how India’s policies after 1947 condemned the nation to a hobbled economy until 1991, when the government instituted sweeping reforms that paved the way for extraordinary growth. Das traces these developments and tells the stories of the major players from Nehru through today. As the former CEO of Proctor & Gamble India, Das offers a unique insider’s perspective and he deftly interweaves memoir with history, creating a book that is at once vigorously analytical and vividly written. Impassioned, erudite, and eminently readable, India Unbound is a must for anyone interested in the global economy and its future.
Award-winning, critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling William Dalrymple takes us to the heart of an undiscovered India.
A Buddhist monk takes up arms to resist the Chinese invasion of Tibet – then spends the rest of his life trying to atone for the violence by hand printing the best prayer flags in India. A Jain nun tests her powers of detachment as she watches her best friend ritually starve herself to death.
Nine people, nine lives; each one taking a different religious path, each one an unforgettable story. William Dalrymple delves deep into the heart of a nation torn between the relentless onslaught of modernity and the ancient traditions that endure to this day.
LONGLISTED FOR THE BBC SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE
Mother Pious Lady
A new India is visibly emerging from within the folds of its many pasts. This new India needs to be seen with new eyes, free from the baggage of yesterday's characterizations. This is exactly what Santosh Desai, one of India's best-known social commentators, does in this warm, affectionate and deliciously witty look at the changing urban Indian middle class. Writing as an insider, from personal experience, Desai cuts through the chaos and confusion of everyday India both yesterday and today, and suddenly, makes us see things clearly. Holding a mirror to our inner selves, Desai makes us see what drives us, what makes us tick, what makes our hearts beat, and how our mindsets and attitudes are changing, even as the past never quite leaves us. And Desai does so in short masterful essays, written with great humour and sensitivity. A big book about small things that truly matter.
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