Esp. recommended for the young!
As a student, I remember how drab and detached histrory lessons were. Moreover, if one did not pursue history/political science in class XI and XII, one was deprived of any knowledge or insight into the happenings of this great nation post-Independence. To all those young people who, like me, have a thirst for knowing about the events, thoughts and ideas that have shaped modern India but feel that they have to grudgingly satisfy themselves with tid-bits of information in newspapers, Tv and internet, "India after Gandhi" is a book not to be missed.
It is indeed a magisterial work. It chronicles the Indian saga in a painstakingly detailed but engaging manner from the time impending independence. What makes this book interesting, unlike history lessons, is that it is anecdotal and contains various quotations etc. attributed to the historical figures being discussed, sourced from their personal letters, official records and others.
Since Indian has so much to offer, it is inevitable that readers will always have complaints that certain personalities/events were not given adequate attention in the book. I too, believed that the Nehru-Gandhi family in power was discussed at length, often at the cost of ignoring other personalities of the era. In particular, I missed an account on our ex-PM, Shri A.B. Vajpayee, whose BJP government in power was indeed a watershed in Indian politics. Guha hardly devotes any space to Vajpayee and limits himself to citing a poem of his.
At more than 800 pages, it is indeed a bulky book, and not your typical bedtime read. However, once you turn the last page, you will feel so much more enlightened and confident of developing an opinion on the happenings of India.
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