logo
  New Login   
image

A Blueprint for Modernizing India


Salil Misra

SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU, SECOND SERIES, VOLUME 43
Edited by Aditya Mukherjee  and Mridula Mukherjee
A Project of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2011, pp. 712, Rs.1000.00

SELECTED WORKS OF JAWAHARLAL NEHRU, SECOND SERIES, VOLUME 44
Edited by Madhavan K.Palat
A Project of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund, Oxford University Press, New Delhi,, 2012, pp. 730, Rs.1000.00

VOLUME XXXVI NUMBER 9 SEPTEMBER 2012

The two volumes of Jawaharlal Nehru’s selected works under review take up the period of four months from July to October 1958. They bring out the specificity of these four months but also give us a sense of the big questions that Nehru was trying to grapple with during this period. In this sense the volumes under review have a unity with earlier volumes. The contemporary questions that gripped Nehru’s attention were the crisis in West Asia and the emergence of Arab nationalism, acute food scarcity at home leading to inflation and an economic crisis, and the continuing agitation in Kerala against the Communist government there. During this period Nehru also undertook an official visit to Bhutan. The entire trip lasted for over two weeks most of which were spent travelling from Delhi to Bhutan and back. Nehru used four different forms of transport—aircraft, car, pony and yak and also trekked certain distances. Nehru found this visit most instructive as he explained to his European and American audiences in an interview: ‘It was a remarkable experience for me because it took me to a world which modern science and technology has not affected at all. There were no roads, no vehicles, no automobiles, and all communications were by mountain carts. It was a strange experience into a world perhaps of three or four or five hundred years ago or more. And yet it was not an unhappy world of peasant farmers, and fairly well off in regard to food and housing and clothing but with no modern gadgets, and there was no unemployment and no beggars. And I was powerfully influenced by it. I suppose it will change as every other part of the world has changed’ (Vol. 44, p. 31). But, apart from these interesting details, the real significance of these volumes is that, like earlier volumes, they give us a clue to Nehru’s basic approach to important questions of his time. While dealing with these questions, Nehru was constantly connecting India with the world, and India’s present with the past. Politics for Nehru essentially consisted of sharing his political-intellectual universe with the people of India. It also meant educating and preparing them for the tasks ahead. This universe was created during his long involvement with the national movement under the leadership of Gandhi. It was during the struggle against imperialism that Nehru had started setting up ...


Table of Contents >>
Please or to Read Entire Article
«BACK

Free Access Online 12 Back Issues
with 1 year's subscription
Archive (1976-2011)
under construction.