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India After Gandhi: The History Of The World's Largest Democracy (English)

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Language: English
Length: 944 Pages
Publisher: Picador India
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India After Gandhi: The History Of The World's Largest Democracy (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs.401

India After Gandhi: The History Of The World's Largest Democracy is an intricately researched book that captures India’s triumphs and failures in the last sixty years.

Summary Of The Book

India After Gandhi: The History Of The World's Largest Democracy, published in 2007, takes an in-depth look into the history of this country, since its independence from the British Raj in 1947. The author has skillfully reconstructed the last six decades of India’s past. Guha explains how the country was divided by religion, caste, language, and yet it established itself as an independent, united, and democratic nation.

India After Gandhi: The History Of The World's Largest Democracy studies the conflicts and glories that the world’s largest and least likely democracy has gone through. This book focuses on the integration of Muslims and Hindus post-partition, the defeat against the Chinese, and the extraordinary execution of elections. Guha has also given fresh insights into the life of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. This book also focuses on Indira Gandhi’s resolve lead to the liberation of Bangladesh. Furthermore, the book speaks of the dark days of the Emergency, which lead to the abolishment of civil liberties and judicial independence. In addition to analysing well-known personalities, Guha has also covered the lives of farmers, musicians, tribals, and workers.

India After Gandhi: The History Of The World's Largest Democracy presents the contrasting picture of India, and shows readers how India’s strength lies in its democracy. The book has been meticulously researched, and beautifully written. It won the Sahitya Akademi Award for English in 2011, and has been chosen as the Book of the Year by The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Outlook.

About Ramachandra Guha

Ramachandra Guha, born in 1958, is an Indian author, columnist, and historian. He specializes in cricket, social, environmental and political history.

Guha is the author of The Picador Book of Cricket, Patriots & Partisans, Wickets in the East, and Gandhi Before India.

The author graduated with a BA degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College in 1977, and then joined the Delhi School of Economics to complete his post graduation. Guha completed a Fellowship programme from IIM-Calcutta, and for the next fifteen years taught at Berkeley, Stanford University, Yale University, the Indian Institute of Science, amongst others. In 2011, he became the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Guha is a columnist for Hindustan Times and The Telegraph. His books have been translated into twenty languages, and he is the recipient of the 2009 Padma Bhushan Award. He has also won the R. K. Narayan Prize, and the U.K. Cricket Society’s Literary Award. Guha lives with his wife, and their two children.

Specifications of India After Gandhi: The History Of The World's Largest Democracy (English) (Paperback)

Contributors
Authored By Ramachandra Guha
Book Details
Publisher Picador India
Publication Year 2008
ISBN-13 9780330505543
ISBN-10 0330505548
Language English
Edition Reprint
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 944 Pages
Exam UPSC
University Books Details
Specialization B.A(English), B.A(History)
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Book Reviews of India After Gandhi: The History Of The World's Largest Democracy (English)

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★★★★★
★★★★★
Sudhir Krishnan
01 Aug 2012
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Detailed account of india between 1950-2007

I liked the way Ramachandra Guha has chronicled the development of India right since independence. Its a beautiful narrative and the book is a very detailed account of India since independence. Ramchandra guha is a Nehruvian. He writes equally about Hinduism but as the book proceeds he continues more to give it a bashing like a secularist. The book is very long. Guha has done extensive research in order to write this book. The book is one of the most comprehensive one and traces a history and goes up to 2007.I must say its a must read for people interested in history. He does give his own p... ()

I liked the way Ramachandra Guha has chronicled the development of India right since independence. Its a beautiful narrative and the book is a very detailed account of India since independence. Ramchandra guha is a Nehruvian. He writes equally about Hinduism but as the book proceeds he continues more to give it a bashing like a secularist. The book is very long. Guha has done extensive research in order to write this book. The book is one of the most comprehensive one and traces a history and goes up to 2007.I must say its a must read for people interested in history. He does give his own p...
I liked the way Ramachandra Guha has chronicled the development of India right since independence. Its a beautiful narrative and the book is a very detailed account of India since independence. Ramchandra guha is a Nehruvian. He writes equally about Hinduism but as the book proceeds he continues more to give it a bashing like a secularist. The book is very long. Guha has done extensive research in order to write this book. The book is one of the most comprehensive one and traces a history and goes up to 2007.I must say its a must read for people interested in history. He does give his own perspective of the events. He is sometimes unbiased in his writing but as he moves towards the 2002 Gujarat carnage he becomes a secularists. He quotes newspapers
The book extensively is more about the politics and economics of India,more so the political events and hw they shaped the country. Guha has not left a stone unturned. There are some very good photographs in the book. Guha has most importantly captured the essence of transformation of the country from a socialist economy to the capitalist economy. He writes about the Indira Gandhi government. Its a book that is difficult to write about. Guha yet uses simple English and not complicated words. What makes the book stand out is its journalistic style. Guha could have written more about saffron politics which he hasn???t. I say that this book is a must read for those interested in Indian history since independence. The book talks extensively about small towns and villages as much as it does about the big cities of India..I wont say more. I leave you to read this book for yourself and find out.

8 of 8 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
12 Jul 2014
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certified buyer
Best book about India's modern history

India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. As the name suggests, this book deals with Indian history after 1947 and history assumes the form a of a story in this book. It is not everyday that you want a voluminous history book to never end. I wonder why Indian history post independence is not taught in schools. In my opinion, this book is a must read for anyone wishing to know about India's modern and contemporary history.

What I loved:

1. Wide array of topics: The book gives an account of almost all watershed ev...
()

India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. As the name suggests, this book deals with Indian history after 1947 and history assumes the form a of a story in this book. It is not everyday that you want a voluminous history book to never end. I wonder why Indian history post independence is not taught in schools. In my opinion, this book is a must read for anyone wishing to know about India's modern and contemporary history.

What I loved:

1. Wide array of topics: The book gives an account of almost all watershed ev...
India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. As the name suggests, this book deals with Indian history after 1947 and history assumes the form a of a story in this book. It is not everyday that you want a voluminous history book to never end. I wonder why Indian history post independence is not taught in schools. In my opinion, this book is a must read for anyone wishing to know about India's modern and contemporary history.

What I loved:

1. Wide array of topics: The book gives an account of almost all watershed events; from integration of princely states to linguistic issues, from wars with China to liberation of Bangladesh, from Nehru's non-alignment to Indira's emergency, from Mandal commission to Babri Masjid demolition, from Kashmir troubles to Naga insurgency, from Khalistan to river disputes, from Kashmir dispute to LTTE troubles, from refugee issues to Operaation Bluestar, from party politics to regional leaders and from refugee problems to corrupt Congress leaders among many others.

2. International perspective: Guha has also tried to cite events from an international perspective, quoting foreign newspapers like Daily herald, delegates like Strachey and leaders like Nixon among others at regular intervals. This helps in understanding what other nations though of India in those times.

3. Well researched: Guha has put a superhuman effort in researching about many notes. The 90 page bibliography is a testimony to that. For some events, the author has identified the event which triggered a chain of disasters.

4. Unbiased: Guha has written in a journalistic style. The book has been written from an almost neutral point of view. The only thing the author seems to be against is communism. Though, at some points, one might feel that Guha is a Nehru-worshiper, but, then again as Guha himself says, "A historian is also a citizen".

5. The Prologue and Epilogue: Brilliantly written. In the prologue, the author mentions that India is an unnatural nation that is divided along the axes of caste, language, religion and class. According to intellectuals, Indian democracy was a failed experiment and India as a nation would not survive? After listing all the trials and tribulations, disputes and conflicts, challenges and struggles, Guha questions as to 'Why India Survives?' in the epilogue. And he gives a brilliant answer.

6. Description of elections and Kashmir issue: Guha has described the Kashmir issue in a grandiloquent manner. Some complete chapters have been dedicated to the problems in Kashmir. He has called the 1951 elections as 'The Biggest Gamble in History' and has described it in a beautiful manner.

7. Quotes and Slogans: My favorite part of the book. Some of them are given below:

Election campaigning against the then defence minister: "Chini hamle hote hai, Menon Saab sote hai. Sona hai to sone do, Kriplani ji ko aane do."

Heading of a US newspaper when Indira Gandhi went to US:"New Congress Leader comes begging."

1967 elections: "Jana Sangh ko vote do, bidi peena chhod do. Bidi mein tambaku hai, Kangresswala daku hai"

Emergency times: "Janta ka dil bol raha hai, Indira ka singhasan dol raha hai"

Robin Jeffrey(historian): "Few people contemplating Indira Gandhis's funeral in 1984, would have predicted that ten years later India would remain a unity but Soviet Union would be a memory"

8. Apples in the basket: This is the name of the third chapter of the book, in my opinion, the best one. This chapter is arguably a summary of V.P. Menon's The Story of the Integration of the Indian States. Guha has beautifully described, the indefatigable efforts of Sardar Patel in integrating the nation.

What I did not like:

1. The economic reforms of 1991 have not been expanded upon. These have only been mentioned in a passing.

2. The book feels like a timeline of Congress, particularly Nehru-Gandhi family. I believe the author could have written more about other political parties and leaders

3. Presentation of events post 1985: Events after 1985 have not being given enough importance. Instead, Guha deviates from politics to movies, singers and effect of cricket in India.

Overall Opinion:

I have not read many books but in my small book collection, this one occupies a special place. It is an eye-opener. It is a great work on India's modern history. It helped to fill in a vacuum in my knowledge of Indian history.

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1 of 1 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
06 Aug 2013
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certified buyer
Insightful and a page turner!

This book is very well written in the true GUHA style. Previous to this book i had one more of his book and found the lucid language of the book almost addictive...
This book starts from the time India got independence and i was amazed to read the amount of planning which had gone into every aspect of making India a democratic nation in spite of the Worlds doubts whether democracy would be successful in our nation or not...
The respect which i had for leaders like Patel and Ambedkar has grown manifold after reading this book... Patel was instrumental in getting all the princely states under...
()

This book is very well written in the true GUHA style. Previous to this book i had one more of his book and found the lucid language of the book almost addictive...
This book starts from the time India got independence and i was amazed to read the amount of planning which had gone into every aspect of making India a democratic nation in spite of the Worlds doubts whether democracy would be successful in our nation or not...
The respect which i had for leaders like Patel and Ambedkar has grown manifold after reading this book... Patel was instrumental in getting all the princely states under...
This book is very well written in the true GUHA style. Previous to this book i had one more of his book and found the lucid language of the book almost addictive...
This book starts from the time India got independence and i was amazed to read the amount of planning which had gone into every aspect of making India a democratic nation in spite of the Worlds doubts whether democracy would be successful in our nation or not...
The respect which i had for leaders like Patel and Ambedkar has grown manifold after reading this book... Patel was instrumental in getting all the princely states under the republic and the detailed thoughts of Ambedkar which had gone into wrttiing the constitution of a new nation are truly awe inspiring...
This book has not only touched on the eye opening historical events of our country but has also mentioned recent incidents like the gujarat riots, the babri masjid demolition and many more...
This book also shows the differences and the low standards of our corrupt politicians vis-a-vis the politicians of the past in terms of efficiency and being true to the nation...
I strongly recommend this book should be given to the present day politicians (serving ones as well as aspiring ones) and they should understand that in spite of everything our nation is a democracy while our neighbors have become failed states or are iron fisted communist. This book will go a long way in garnering RESPECT for our nation which i feel has diminished over the years as a lot of pessimism and cynicism has set in.
Read this book and u can see that there is a lot of OPTIMISM and potential in this country of ours...
JAI HIND.

1 of 1 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
09 Jul 2013
Finally authentic history writing has arrived in India

Since ages, India has been quite bad in recording her history. Most of our ancient history, as we read in books, is not authentic, because it's not based on any recorded history. It's mainly based on fragments from scriptures or other religious books, whose historicity and authenticity can't be vouched for. A good example is the Mahabharata, which is believed to be written by Ganesha, as narrated by Vyasa. No one knows correctly who the original author was or how this was written where as there's not much ambiguity about the authorship of Homer. The same is true for modern or medieval histo... ()

Since ages, India has been quite bad in recording her history. Most of our ancient history, as we read in books, is not authentic, because it's not based on any recorded history. It's mainly based on fragments from scriptures or other religious books, whose historicity and authenticity can't be vouched for. A good example is the Mahabharata, which is believed to be written by Ganesha, as narrated by Vyasa. No one knows correctly who the original author was or how this was written where as there's not much ambiguity about the authorship of Homer. The same is true for modern or medieval histo...
Since ages, India has been quite bad in recording her history. Most of our ancient history, as we read in books, is not authentic, because it's not based on any recorded history. It's mainly based on fragments from scriptures or other religious books, whose historicity and authenticity can't be vouched for. A good example is the Mahabharata, which is believed to be written by Ganesha, as narrated by Vyasa. No one knows correctly who the original author was or how this was written where as there's not much ambiguity about the authorship of Homer. The same is true for modern or medieval history. Not everything has been properly recorded as authentic history. Court historians tend to over glorify the achievement of the kings who had commissioned them. Even writings about Gandhi are by people who either worship him or hate him. Being unprejudiced is a great wisdom that's perhaps not natural to most writers, and not to Indian historians. In most cases good books on Indian history, especially ancient, have been written by western writers. Given all these, this book by Guha is a very unique one. The last fifty years comprise so many controversial and sensitive things that I wouldn't have been surprised had he taken sides. The chapters on the demolition of Babri Masjid, Godhra riots or the Khalistan movement and innumerable such episodes are handled in such neutral ways, that I'm really amazed. The book is very well written one and deserved laurels.

1 of 1 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
26 May 2014
A Good Read on India post-independence

Anyone with remote interest in India and Indian history post independence should read this book. The book is a massive read, and the breadth of subjects covered definitely shows the laborious work of the author. It is quite a gripping tale of India, her struggles to keep the nation in one piece, the wide vagaries of challenges and problems she has faced and how the survival has not been miraculous but due the hard work of every hand that built this nation, at various points in time.

I feel a lot more coverage could have been given to Sardar Vallabhai Patel and his contributions towards bu...
()

Anyone with remote interest in India and Indian history post independence should read this book. The book is a massive read, and the breadth of subjects covered definitely shows the laborious work of the author. It is quite a gripping tale of India, her struggles to keep the nation in one piece, the wide vagaries of challenges and problems she has faced and how the survival has not been miraculous but due the hard work of every hand that built this nation, at various points in time.

I feel a lot more coverage could have been given to Sardar Vallabhai Patel and his contributions towards bu...
Anyone with remote interest in India and Indian history post independence should read this book. The book is a massive read, and the breadth of subjects covered definitely shows the laborious work of the author. It is quite a gripping tale of India, her struggles to keep the nation in one piece, the wide vagaries of challenges and problems she has faced and how the survival has not been miraculous but due the hard work of every hand that built this nation, at various points in time.

I feel a lot more coverage could have been given to Sardar Vallabhai Patel and his contributions towards building this nation - to its current geographical shape. The good part of not covering as much as the work of Nehru has been covered is - it has given me an opportunity to pick 'The Story of the Integration of Indian States' as my next book.

A synopsis of this book should be included at school level - since most of the times - for a lot of us, the struggle of nation building stops when we attained our Independence.

Highly recommend reading this book.

0 of 0 users found this review helpful.

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★★★★★
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23 Jul 2014
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A comprehensive book on history.

The content of the book is surprisingly great and scholarly made. A must have for those who are looking for good content and well surveyed data. (View complete review)

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13 Jul 2014
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The book's good but Flipkart service is deteriorating day by day

I received the the book two days after placing the order. Thumbs up to Flipkart's fast service. But, the condition of the book was so bad that even the thought of reading it was repelling. The book rather looked like a used one. There were many stains and spots on the front page of the book as we... (View complete review)

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12 Jul 2014
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Best book about India's modern history

India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. As the name suggests, this book deals with Indian history after 1947 and history assumes the form a of a story in this book. It is not everyday that you want a voluminous histor... (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
11 Jul 2014
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A complete read!!

A complete political history of post-Independent India, not very detailed though. A lot of effort is made to enlighten the Kashmir issue which is really commendable. (View complete review)

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    ISBN Number: 0330505548, 9780330505543, 978-0330505543

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