Author: Mushirul Hasan
Translator(s)/Editor: Mushirul Hasan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195687876
Is Nehru’ vision of India relevant today? What are the key building blocks of our nation? Have the institutions and infrastructure set up as part of that vision stood the test of time?
The speeches selected and introduced by Mushirul Hasan in this important collection help to answer these questions in Nehru’s own words. We see through them the development of Nehru’s vision for free India and the actual process of transforming the blueprint into reality. As his ideas for India’s internal development were inextricably linked to its role and position in the world we are also privy to the panning out of India’s foreign relations (especially those with Pakistan) and its emergence as a respected voice in the international arena – much like its position in today’s world.
The challenges facing newly independent India-both social and economic-reflected in Nehru’s speeches, also echo many current debates on the space for minorities, communal harmony or issues of poverty, entrenched interests, inflation, and productivity.
These speeches from Nehru’s ‘Prime Ministerial years’ are an early articulation of government policies and its position vis-à-vis infrastructural development, the roles of government and business, the differing requirements of communities and languages and the inseparability of science and ethics. They often also reflect the opposition and struggle Nehru faced in the implementation of these policies.
While most selections in the collection focus on the building of Nehru’s India, a few have been included to reflect the person behind the politician and administrator. These profiles and reflections showcase an intellectual and philosopher with a remarkable range of interests and erudition as well as a warm colleague and comrade.
Intellectually stimulating, engagingly written and amazingly relevant in today’s India, these speeches, along with the delightful introduction that cleverly knits them together, will interest every Indian and all those engaging with India.
What kind of India are we working for, and for what kind of world? Are hatred and violence and fear and communalism and narrow provincialism to mould our future? Surely not, if there has been any truth in us and in our professions.
A university stands for humanism, for tolerance, for reason, for progress, for the adventure of ideas and for the search for truth…But if the temple of learning itself becomes a home of narrow bigotry and petty objectives, how then will the nation prosper or a people grow in stature?
We talk about atomic power, atomic bomb, hydrogen bomb, and there is general realization of the tremendous danger to the world in case these are used…Do we recognize, quite as much, that the other source of great danger is the kind of atomic bombs that we nurse in our minds and bosoms? It is out of that, that the other bomb comes and is used.
SOVEREIGNTY AND THE MAKING OF THE INDIAN REPUBLIC
Framing of the Constitution
The National Flag
India becomes a Republic
FREE INDIA IN THE WORLD ORDER
India and the Commonwealth
In the Cause of Peace
THE SECULAR STATE
Travails of Partition
Doing away with Minority Reservations
Universities Stand for Tolerance
Tolerance and Communal Harmony
Society and Communalism
THE NATION’S VISION
The New Tasks before the Nation
A National Vision
Building the Nation
Letter to K M Munshi
Science and Ethics
REFLECTION AND PROFILES
History and Culture in Nation-building
Nehru on his Contemporaries