A Many-splendoured Personality
A.K. Damodaran
JAWAHARLAL NEHRU: AN ANTHOLOGY by Sarvepalli Gopal Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1981, 662 pp., 110.00
Jan-Feb 1981, volume 5, No 1/2

Anthologies of the writings of a single individual of this type are rare; either they are collections of admonitory sayings with a political purpose on a much briefer compass like Mao Tse-tung’s Red Book or varied selections of the utterances of the great man concerned on a particular topic spread over the years, issued as a part of a near industrial enterprise. This is the fate which befalls leaders of nations like Lenin and Gandhi. Dr. Gopal has avoided either of these alternatives and produced an attractive, readable book of excerpts from Nehru’s writings long enough to sustain interest and to develop an argument opposite to the particular moment in recent Indian History when it was written and also varied enough to command the reader’s attention both as individual pieces and as parts of a larger design. That design is something more than Jawaharlal Nehru’s life and work; it is the recent history of India from about the late twenties to the late fifties seen through the eyes of a sensitive partici­pant. It is a highly contemporary docu­ment, full of insights, thoughts and second thoughts about an increasingly complex social and political situation both in India and in the world outside—a period of exponential growth in science and technology, and revolution and reaction in political organization

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