Autobiography of an  Unknown Indian   Part II :  India 1921 - 1952 Thy Hand, Great Anarch

Autobiography of an Unknown Indian Part II : India 1921 - 1952 Thy Hand, Great Anarch

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Author: Nirad C Chaudhuri
Publisher: Jaico
Year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 979
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788179928301


This book is concluding part of hugely popular biographical work of internationally renowned Nirad Chaudhuri. One of the classics of contemporary Indian literature, this book is both a profoundly interesting analysis of twentieth-century historical trends as well as the personal story of an erudite, human and civilized man.

From Author's Preface:

This book continues the story of my life and thoughts from the point of time at which it was left in The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, published in 1951. That was my first book, and in it I gave an account of my childhood and student days which came to end in 1921, when I was twenty-three years old, when I was short by six months of being fifty, I shall relate in the last part of this book, which deals with that stage of my life. Here I shall only say that even then it was my intention to bring down the story to 1947, the year of the British withdrawal from India, so that I might conclude it with a decisive historical event and be enabled to give a complete account of the decline and fall of the Indian Empire of Britain. But the narrative of my early life alone had become so long that there could be no question of including what I did and what happened in India after 1921 in the same book.

The contemplated but unwritten part of the story is now offered. But as things turned out, I could not begin it till the spring of 1979, when I was eighty-one, and I have taken more than six years to complete the work. I am formally dating the completion on 23 November 1986, when I have also completed eighty-nine years of my life. I dare not ask even myself what marks age is imprinting on the book. I leave that to be judges by the lapse of time, and to write the book on the same lines and in the same spirit as its predecessor.


Nirad Chaudhuri has been, throughout his long life, an erudite, contrary, and mischievous presence…
- Salman Rushdie

Anyone who wishes to understand what has happened in India in the twentieth century - politically and culturally - must read Nirad C. Chaudhuri. Among her men of letters he is unique; for the fertility of his mind and the polymathic range of his interests, as well as for the lucidity of his prose and his sheer integrity.
- Geoffrey Moorhouse

(Chaudhuri) has spent a lifetime kicking against the myths and shibboleths held by the majority of his fellow countrymen: he has ridiculed the pacifism of Mahatma Gandhi...he has castigated Indian nationalism for being corrupt, self-seeking, and destructive... (he has) vented his spleen at the stupidity and philistinism of the British in India. His latest (book) is almost a thousand pages long. It testifies to (his) eloquence, wit, and intellectual brilliance that he can go on at such length without once becoming a bore.
- Ian Buruma, The New York Review of Books


Explanation about Indian names

INTRODUCTION Apologia pro Biographia sua

BOOK I: Livelihood and Politics 1921-1922
1. Employment
2. The Course of the Non-Co-operation Movement
3. Character of the Indian Nationalist Movement Under Gandhi's Leadership
4. British Resistance to the Nationalist Movement

BOOK II: Towards a Vocation 1922-1925
1. Ennui, Renovation, Ennui
2. Stumbling on a Friend: Bibhuti Banerji
3. Some Incidents and Bereavement
4. Written in Despair
5. Literary Apprenticeship
6. The Literary Situation in Bengal

BOOK III: The Scholar Gipsy 1926-1928
1. I Become the Scholar Gipsy
2. Punishment for the Scholar Gipsy
3. Lost Rivers and Lost Happiness
4. A Literary Campaign
5. Rescued at Last

BOOK IV: The Gandhian Rebellion 1927-1932
1. The Rising Typhoon
2. India under the Lathi
3. The Bengali Revolutionary Movement
4. Emergence as a Publicist

BOOK V: Into Married Life 1932-1937
1. Sacrament of Hindu Marriage
2. Blessed are the Poor with Spirit
3. Calcutta Corporation
4. More Ordeals
5. Remaining Homo sapiens
6. The Siege is raised

BOOK VI: Experience of Politics 1937-1939
1. Joys and Trials of a Secretary's Life
2. The Gandhian Congress
3. Politics in Bengal: Governmental and Civic
4. Gandhi-Bose Feud

BOOK VII: India Enjoys the War 1939-1941
1. Coming of the War
2. Watchful Expectation
3. India Sings her Te Deum
4. From Exultation to Panic
5. Tagore: The Lost Great Man of India
6. Farewell to Bengal

BOOK VIII: Migration to Delhi 1942-1945
1. First Months in Delhi
2. The Three Delhis
3. End of the War

BOOK IX: Victor-Victim 1945-1947
1. How Fear Came
2. Testament on England
3. My Faith in Empires
4. Surrender to the Axis in India
5. The Red Carpet for Indian Independence
6. Mount Batten Piled on Mount Attlee
7. Eruption of Independence (1947)

BOOK X: Crossing the Bar 1947-1952
1. Genesis of the Autobiography
2. Gandhi Pursued by Fate
3. Commentator: Official and Private
4. Fortunes of the Autobiography
5. Death of My Master
6. Reception to the Autobiography
7. Stranded Again

EPILOGUE Credo ut Intelligam