For the first time ever in a decade and more, the NCERT, the apex body advising the Government of India on educational matters, has woken up from its hibernation and brought out a book that is something worthwhile possessing or presenting to the younger generation. For here is a beautiful book to behold, to feel and to read. Ever since Dr. Malhotra migrated from the Vocational Education setup to NCERT, there has been a noticeable sea-change. This book is true evidence.
For, between the covers can be found the authentic voice of Jawaharlal Nehru, who built up the modern India of our times through his vision of many decades, his writings and ardous work. In this book, the youngsters of the present and future generations can find immense, inspirational material that can qualitatively change their lives. Great care and discrimination have been exercised in selecting the passage from the extensive writings of Nehru that can suit the present and future generations.
The excerpts have been wisely categorized under the various chapters: ‘Talking to the Young’, ‘Man’s Quest through the Ages’, ‘His Vision of India’, ‘India’s Freedom Struggle’, ‘Religion, Politics and Culture’, ‘Women in Modern India’, ‘Science and Society’, ‘India and the World’, ‘On Himself’, ‘Will and Testament’. These chapter headings can give an idea as to how the excerpts from Nehru’s writings have been selected and arranged. Our children and grandchildren can get glimpses of the many-splendoured mansion of Nehru’s vision. He was a historian, a man of theory, and a man of vision, who in his lifetime made it possible for a vast nation like ours to imbibe his ideals and vision. He was infectious in spirit. This anthology conveys this true spirit of his. Here is a book that parents should give to their children on birthdays or when they achieve honours in their examinations. Here is a book that should have a reserved place in every school library.
Jag Mohan is the Editor of The Book Review.
* Vol. IX, No. 5, March–April 1985.