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Makers Of Modern India

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Ramachandra Guha is a leading historian of modern India, living in Bangalore. His many books incl... Read More

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Ramachandra Guha is a leading historian of modern India, living in Bangalore. His many books include a pioneering work of environmental history (The Unquiet Woods, 1989), an award-winning social history of sport (A Corner of a Foreign Field, 2002), and a widely acclaimed and bestselling work of contemporary history (India After Gandhi, 2007). The first volume of his landmark biography of Gandhi, Gandhi Before India, was published in 2013. Guha's awards include the R.K. Narayan Prize, the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Ramnath Goenka Prize and the Fukuoka Prize. In 2014, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in the humanities by Yale University.Ramachandra Guha, author of the internationally acclaimed India After Gandhi, profiles nineteen Indians whose ideas had a defining impact on the formation and evolution of our republic and presents rare and compelling excerpts from their writings and speeches. These men and women were not only influential political activists-they also wrote with eloquence, authority and deliberation as they reflected on what Guha describes in his illuminating prologue as 'the most contentious times in the most interesting country in the world'. Their writings take us from the subcontinent's first engagement with modernity in the nineteenth century, through the successive phases of the freedom movement, on through the decades after Independence. This book highlights little-known aspects of major figures in Indian history like Tagore and Nehru; it also rehabilitates thinkers who have been unjustly forgotten, such as Tarabai Shinde and Hamid Dalwai. These makers of modern India did not speak in one voice: their perspectives are sometimes complementary, at other times contradictory. The topics they explore and analyse include religion, caste, gender, language, nationalism, colonialism, democracy, secularism and the economy-that is to say, all that is significant in the human condition. These issues have a resonance in our own times, not just in India but everywhere in the world as well.India has been fortunate in the abundance of thinkers who wrote extensively, and often evocatively, on the fundamental issues raised by the task of forging a modern nation from a severely fragmented and backward colony. Guha presents well-chosen excerpts, expertly contextualized by insightful introductions, from the writings and speeches of nineteen such thinker-activists who reflected, often in conflict with each other, on the critical dilemmas of their time: colonialism, religion, language, caste and Untouchability, the status of women, grass-roots governance, electoral systems, regional discord and India's engagement with the world... Makers of Modern India is not meant to be closed-ended, but it effectively brings together the great arguers, fiercely independent in thought and action, from whose disputatious but educated debate emerged the political traditions and compromises that underpin India's complex reality.Readers in the west will find some familiar personalities here, including Gandhi himself, Jawaharlal Nehru, India's secular and liberal-minded first prime minister, and Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali poet and Nobel laureate. But they will also encounter much less well-known and equally distinguished figures, such as BR Ambedkar, the articulate spokesman of formerly untouchable Hindus, or Dalits, and the main architect of India's extraordinary constitution that in 1949 bestowed equal rights upon all its citizens. As an anthology of Indian political debates, Makers of Modern India makes for instructive reading.Guha's prose is compelling. He has collected the writings and speeches of a range of influential personalities in the struggle to free India from its colonial yoke and set it on a new path as a modern nation. His introductory remarks are short, informative and enlightening without being intrusive or overwhelming. The result is a skillfully edited collection that will serve as an erudite introduction to the foundations of modern India.One of the aims of the book, as Guha points out, is to 'make the Indian experience more central to global debates.' Another is to acquaint Indians with the rich political tradition of their comparative recent past. Makers of Modern India does both of these very well.A treasure for every thinking Indian and for the world which is increasingly curious about this country and its people.[A]n extremely readable and accessible collection.In Makers of Modern India, the first major anthology of Indian social and political thought, Ramachandra Guha, an established historian, brings together writings and speeches from 19 key political figures of the 19th and 20th centuries to highlight the range and diversity of ideas about the forming nation... Makers of Modern India begins with an extensive introduction and includes biographical sketches of each figure and guides for further reading. Guha is a learned historian whose writing and subject matter do not fail to captivate.[A] stimulating work... Incisive and informative.A highly readable volume... [A] perfect bedside book.Makers of Modern India will be a valuable resource for all who seek to understand modern India

Product Details

Title: Makers Of Modern India
Author: GUHA, RAMACHANDRARamachandra Guha
SKU: BK0033484
EAN: 9780143419242
Language: English
Binding: Paperback

About Author

RAMACHANDRA GUHA was born and raised in the Himalayan foothills. He studied in Delhi and Kolkata, and has lived for many years in Bengaluru. His many books include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods; a landmark history of his country, India after Gandhi; and an authoritative biography of Mahatma Gandhi, both volumes of which were chosen by the New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year. Having previously taught at Oslo, Stanford and the London School of Economics, he is currently Distinguished University Professor at Krea University. Guha's awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the Howard Milton Award of the British Society for Sports History, and the Fukuoka Prize for contributions to Asian culture. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate in the humanities from Yale University.

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