Monday, 23 March 2015

'Letters for a Nation' "Nehru and Bose"

Letters for a Nation: From Jawaharlal Nehru to His Chief Ministers 1947- 1963 by Madhav Khosla from Penguin Books India.

In October 1947, two months after he became independent India's firstprime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote the first of his fortnightly lettersto the heads of the country's provincial governments-a tradition that hekept until his last letter in December 1963, only a few months before hisdeath.

Carefully selected from among nearly 400 such letters, this collectioncovers a range of themes and subjects, including citizenship, war andpeace, law and order, national planning and development, governanceand corruption, and India's place in the world. The letters also covermomentous world events and the many crises and conflicts the countryfaced during the first sixteen years after Independence.

Visionary, wise and reflective, these letters are not just a testimony toNehru's statesmanship and his deep engagement with every aspect ofIndia's democratic journey, but are also of great contemporary relevance forthe guidance they provide for our current problems and predicaments.

In our Literature section, Rs. 599, in hardback, 352 pages, ISBN :9780670087723

Nehru and Bose: Parallel Lives by Rudrangshu Mukherjee from Penguin Books India.

'Nobody has done more harm to me than Jawaharlal Nehru,' wrote Subhas Chandra Bose in 1939. Had relations between the two great nationalist leaders soured to the extent that Bose had begun to view Nehru as his enemy? But then, why did he name one of the regiments of the Indian National Army after Jawaharlal? And what prompted Nehru to weep when he heard of Bose's untimely death in 1945 and to recount soon after, 'I used to treat him as my younger brother'?

Rudrangshu Mukherjee's fascinating book tracks the growth of these two towering figures against the backdrop of the independence movement, delicately tracing the contours of a friendship that did not quite blossom as political ideologies diverged and delineates the shadow that fell between them for, Gandhi saw Nehru as his chosen heir and Bose as a prodigal son. Nehru and Bose: Parallel Lives brings to light the riveting story of two contrasting personalities who would go on to define modern India.

In our History section, Rs. 599, in hardback, 280 pages, ISBN :9780670087235

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