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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) By Ramachandra Guha
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India After Gandhi: The History Of The World's Largest Democracy (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs.388

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)

TOP REVIEWS View All Top Reviews (193)

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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.

9 of 9 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Sudip Kar
06 Dec 2012
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certified buyer
Brilliant Piece of Work

People feel that history is mundane, useless. But all those critics should go through this book and it is sure to make them change their minds. Mr Guha takes you through the ages with ease and make he see history forming in front of you. There is not single dull moment.

P.S: The book help me now boast my knowledge of India in front of my friends :p

4 of 4 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Shiva Ram
09 Dec 2013
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Not for UPSC. But definitely good read for today's youth on the turmoil called Independent India.

As the author himself notes, India is an experiment in democracy. That so since nobody has embarked on such an notion of a nation without a common feeling of nation-state like Europe with so many diversities. But yet we are still together and united. The turmoils and challenges after independence has been described in great detail and it is a wonderful read.

But caution to those, who suggest this book to cover the topic of " Post-Independence consolidation of India" for the UPSC exam. This book is not aimed at such an analysis, though the broad contours of the consolidation can...
()

As the author himself notes, India is an experiment in democracy. That so since nobody has embarked on such an notion of a nation without a common feeling of nation-state like Europe with so many diversities. But yet we are still together and united. The turmoils and challenges after independence has been described in great detail and it is a wonderful read.

But caution to those, who suggest this book to cover the topic of " Post-Independence consolidation of India" for the UPSC exam. This book is not aimed at such an analysis, though the broad contours of the consolidation can...
As the author himself notes, India is an experiment in democracy. That so since nobody has embarked on such an notion of a nation without a common feeling of nation-state like Europe with so many diversities. But yet we are still together and united. The turmoils and challenges after independence has been described in great detail and it is a wonderful read.

But caution to those, who suggest this book to cover the topic of " Post-Independence consolidation of India" for the UPSC exam. This book is not aimed at such an analysis, though the broad contours of the consolidation can be understood from a bird's eye view. This book though will not help you in writing the answer.

6 of 7 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
zoaib shaikh
09 May 2013
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certified buyer
Very poor paper quality.. seems like a pirated one..!! :(

As always, Flipkart is amazing with delivery of the books with delivering India After Gandhi at my Office in less thatn 24 hours of placing the order..
But to my surprise, the paper quality of the Paperback book is so poor that I am forced to think that it is as bad as pirated books...
5 stars to delivery and Zero for book paper quality... :(

5 of 6 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Kartik Raj
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 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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2 of 2 users found this review helpful.

Recent Top Reviews

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★★★★★
★★★★★
Virat
12 Sep 2014
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certified buyer
What every Indian must read

It might seem to be a daunting to complete this book, but once you start to read it, it is so intriguing that you succumb to temptation to read more and more and more and more !
The Best History book oncontemporary India, Rest all can just Emulate Guha's mastrwork. Hatsoff to him .!
The icing on...
(View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
Akaant Mittal
11 Sep 2014
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Apt Summary of Modern India's History

Given the fact that post- independence has seen many turbulent times and progress as well, the book succeeds in outlining the broad themes and touches the less discussed yet extremely important events and topics like North- Eastern Trouble, the end of decentralized political system and vices of h... (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
chennakesava reddy
17 Aug 2014
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certified buyer
Good book

great book i read it twice

it has been an amazing journey with this book learning past happenings

pls dont hesitate just go for it i you will definitely love this book for sure

cons----

paperback book so paper quality looks so cheap but book is super light hardly 150gms
(View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
PRIYADARSHI ASHOK
06 Aug 2014
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vivid description of events happened after independence and compiled elegantly

If u are really interested in knowing the course of eventss after independence of india. this is a must for you
.............................
(View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
Rajesh Ranjan
04 Aug 2014
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an excellent discription of India

Mr Guha has provided an excellent discription and understanding of what India is today and why it is so in simple and lucid language. Well this book also answers a lot of "why" question about this country. A must read for those who want to dig into the logics of recent past, present and... (View complete review)

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    ISBN Number: 0330505548, 9780330505543, 978-0330505543

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