Book Review: India after Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha

Just finished reading India after Gandhi. It is a book written by Ramachandra Guha, an Indian historian and economist. I must say it carries intricate details of the post-independence era. One thing, however, needs a mention that the book completely and absolutely revolves around Nehruism.

Someone has rightly said that people are trapped in history and history is trapped in them. This book made me realize how true that is and how ignorant we are of the factual reality. Our academic books did not cover any of these and we have no good reason to distil the facts. We were made to study the Akbars and Aurangzebs, however, never was there a clear picture of what happened post-independence.

The book unveils all the challenges, disturbances and also on various occasions reinstates, how none other than Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru could run the country, shattered in pieces. Quote unquote, Pandit Nehru followed and directed Gandhi Ji’s dreams and principles. Both wanted a secular country—one not divided by religion, caste, creed, ideologies, and language. I believe, this became the base for all irrelevant measures taken or important actions not taken, during the period after Gandhi.

Little did it talk about Lal Bahadur Shastri. Where we all until date, speculate and debate reasons of his death, Guha in one line has simply presented saying, he died of a heart attack. Period!

The era of Indira Gandhi’s regime is then described very meticulously in full length and breadth. Guha is known to have his loyalties towards Nehru dynasty and the Left-wing. Time and again he has also been criticized to distort facts and truths, however, I’m not the right person to comment on that as I, and rather all of us have been kept aloof of the real facts.

What we have is the Left version of facts and the Right version. Till date, we do not know what’s the actual version of ‘India After Gandhi’. The best thing about the book is, if you are not thoroughly aware of the flow of incidents or the background, you will get ample of information and knowledge here. The book covers a lot of chronological details wherein, you’ll not just refresh your memory but also fill the gaps of historical events.

My advice would be to chew this book, but do not digest it. This 900 pages book is addictive, interesting and at least worth a read. You must always know all sides of the version to make the right choice. The ball is in your court!

Please leave in comments, your opinion about the book review or the book, if you have read it.

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