Revised paperback edition with 5 new essays
Nehru’s influence stretched beyond the Freedom Movement and the political and bureaucratic boundaries of prime ministerhood. A man of letters, it was Nehru who initiated the setting up of the Sahitya Akademi devoted to literature, the National School of Drama and the National Institute of Design; just as, in the field of technology and business management, he established the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institutes of Management across the country. He was equally the force behind the setting up of dams and factories, which he regarded as the temples of modern India.
Today, the four key dimensions of Indian nationhood, as conceived and implemented by Nehru—democracy, secularism, socialism and non-alignment—have altered to a point where they have changed almost beyond recognition or even abandoned altogether. As the debate continues between Nehru’s supporters who believe in his enduring contribution, and his detractors who attempt to deny it, the definitive word, perhaps, comes from Nayantara Sahgal, who says in her Introduction, ‘No Nehru, no modern India. The ground we stand on was laid in Nehru’s time.’
This volume brings together an examination of the different aspects of Nehru’s personality and his legacy by some of our foremost thinkers, writers and activists:
Mani Shankar Aiyar, Kumar Ketkar, Aditya and Mridula Mukherjee, Shiv Visvanathan, Rakesh Batabyal, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Hartosh Bal, Aakar Patel, Kiran Nagarkar, Purushottam Agrawal, Syeda Hameed, Ramachandra Guha, Neera Chandhoke and Shabnam Hashmi.