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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great breadth of topics but focussed on political history
I learned a lot about the recent history of this intriguing country from this book. Much of the coverage is devoted to political history and many of the other topics that are discussed, e.g. wars with Pakistan and China, communal violence, economic development, secessionist movements etc are also framed in a political context. Content that I particularly enjoyed reading...
Published on 30 Jun 2007 by Overseas Reviewer

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Must be read with objective views.
It is important to read with objective view point. What author states regarding Indian politics reflects his perception. Especially when we consider India has been virtually lead by a monopoly in one way or another by the Congress party, reading and gathering information from other books from different authors is essential for academic, and intellectual pursuit. As usual,...
Published 10 months ago by Adlerinternational


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Must be read with objective views., 19 Oct 2013
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This review is from: India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy (Paperback)
It is important to read with objective view point. What author states regarding Indian politics reflects his perception. Especially when we consider India has been virtually lead by a monopoly in one way or another by the Congress party, reading and gathering information from other books from different authors is essential for academic, and intellectual pursuit. As usual, Amazon has the best price, and we purchased from Amazon,
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well written but analytically weak., 27 Mar 2009
This review is from: India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy (Paperback)
Ramachandra Guha is a leading secular intellectual with 'clean hands' in that he is not a closet Marxist drooling over the prospect of a culling of the kulaks, or a Religious chauvinist dreaming of designer viruses to kill off kaffirs.
Guha has proceeded with care, in writing this book, seeking to correct biases that have crept into the Zeitgeist of the English speaking Indian community over the last couple of decades. Guha's book is quite well researched and includes shrewd journalistic touches to keep the reader's interest. However the analysis he offers and moral commentary he advances are of poor quality. Thus, Guha praises Nehru as a democrat and criticises Indira as autocratic. Surely, if Nehru had genuinely been interested in developing democratic practices within the cabinet and parliament he would have proceeded very differently- fostering Ministerial talent and using the Congress Party as a mass-movement within which alternative charismatic leaders could develop and function. This was far from being the case. Faced with the debacle of the China war, Nehru takes on the very cabinet posts wherein his policies had failed most signally.
Mrs. Gandhi, guided by P.N.Haksar, was merely following in her father's footsteps- except that she was able to do so with more expedition precisely because the Nehruvian legacy had thoroughly vitiated democratic tendencies at every level- from the Cabinet down to the grass roots Congress machinery.
The parallel development of regional parties- which permitted India to shake off the Nehruvian legacy of being a sort of disguised One Party State- was something which the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty neither understood nor cared very deeply about nor promoted in any way. This was a case of History happening by default not design.
Guha's energy begins to flag when he turns to more recent decades. Because Guha does not have a theory of caste, nor any pragmatic notion of what purpose religious fundamentalism might serve, his account fails to grip. He mentions which particular agitation catapulted which particular regional stalwart into prominence but can not help us make sense of the shifting coalitions and evanescent administrations in which those stalwarts then played a part.
At times, Guha writes as though he had little knowledge of Hinduism or that he had spent the greater part of the last three decades outside the country. Thus, on finally setting down his massive tome, we find that we are no further forward in understanding what course the country is set on, or what problems are likely to arise. Indeed, Guha's book, which came out a couple of years ago, is less helpful than some of the op ed pieces appearing around that time.
On balance, therefore, I would class this book as sound enough journalism- morally unobjectionable, except that it offers gratuitous offence to Hindus by ascribing to them a belief in 'many gods of whom Ram is only one'- but one that offers no new insights, makes no predictions and all in all one that must remain as a sort of museum piece of flabby bien pensant thinking, which- by itself- is a sufficient explanation for why the English speaking Indian ought really to stick to working in call centres and give History and Politics a miss.
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4 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars First chapter of the book seems RSS approved, 13 Jun 2009
This review is from: India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy (Paperback)
I have just started to read this book. Having read through the introduction and the first chapter, it gives me an impression that the author has coveniently missed mentioning the affiliations of the people involved in the cross- religion induced crimes, particularly, people like those of Godse and Madanlal. Suffice to quote authors view on RSS , "...motivated body of young Hindu men.".
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India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy
India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha (Paperback - 1 Aug 2008)
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