JAWAHARLAL. NEHRU. The Discovery of India. DELHI. OXFORD UNIVERSITY The decision of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund to. JAWAHARLAL NEHRU The Discovery of India JAWAHARLAL NEHRU The .. The roots of that present lay in the past and so I made voyages of discovery into. The Discovery of India by Jawahar Lal Nehru PDF Language: English Author: Jawahar Lal Nehru. If any of the above links are not working.
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Jawaharlal Nehru wrote the book 'The Discovery of India', during his imprisonment at Ahmednagar fort for participating in the Quit India Movement ( The Discovery of India was written by India's first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru during his . Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. The Discovery of India is, in fact, the discovery or Nehru's rich and graceful personality. It India's greatest men, that we discover in The Discovery of India. .. This PDF is simple an extract from the website for educational purpose and rights of.
It was the masterpiece of Nehru in which his approach to history is both realistic and philosophical. Nehru writes about his motherland with pride. He acknowledges the heritage and success as well as weaknesses and failures of her people.
It is a work of prodigious scope and scholarship which unfolds the Indian culture and history. It also analyses the greatest texts of India from the Vedas to the Upanishads and the great Indian epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
He also tries to throw light on the great personalities of India like Buddha, Chanakya and Mahatma Gandhi. It is not a work of original 5 historical scholarship. It is an act of political and literary imagination. In leisurely mood, Nehru roams into the past of India to arrive at the roots of his existence as well as his India and writes what he finds from the twilight past stretched up to the complete dark of antiquity.
This voluminous book, inspite of being a work of history, has some autobiographical content and flavour in it. The first chapter narrates the imprisoned life of Nehru in Ahmednagar fort, his complete detachment from the outside world, his concern for the country as it was struck with famine and for the world as it was torn in war. The second chapter extensively covers his personal life i. Nehru mentions that the Aryans were the first to invade India who poured into the country in successive waves from the north — west in about a thousand years.
They merged with the native tribes. Nehru says that out of this cultural synthesis and fusion of the Aryans with the Dravadians, the Indian races and her basic culture grew out. He also tells us about the earlier records, scripture, and mythology which display his own readings of Vedas, Arthshastra, Upanishadas, and Indian epics.
The Discovery of India pens detailed picture of the dawn of the medieval period and the golden era of the Guptas. Then the most perplexing question of Buddhism in India, its effect on Hinduism, and its philosophy is explained extensively.
The Discovery of India also focuses on the problems that occurred with coming of Islam into India both as a religious and political force and the flowering of the Arab culture as well as Mughal empire. Nehru tells that the Mughal, though outsiders and strangers in India, fitted into the Indian structure with remarkable speed and thus cultivated the feelings of assimilation and indianisation. Here Nehru seems to be much more sympathetic to the Afghans and tries to give a better picture of the Indo- Mughal period which is slightly different from what we learn from the history of India.
The fact is they never were. But they lived in a conquered country like the robbers who also ruled. Ruling over India from Delhi does not Indianise them. They considered themselves the Moslem masters of Hindu population. They identified themselves with the wandering tribes of Arabia, and hated the culture of India. The Afghan period in the history of India is the darkest period, the period of chaos where might passed as right, where brutal bloodshed of kafirs who refused to be converted was the only ideal.
What does jajia tax signify? Hindus for being what they were had to pay taxes and pay heavily. Afghans physically lived in India, but their spiritual home was abroad. Their descendents continued to cherish the same mentality till India was divided and Pakistan came into existence.
The roots of Pakistan were deep in the minds of Indian Moslems, and after the division of India nobody will agree with Nehru in maintaining that Afghans, their descendents, their convert followers were ever Indianised. Can Nehru really be so naive?
I do not think so. Here is a plain 7 distortion of facts and blatantly wrong interpretation of history. Being a politician, he was very much aware that the frank picture of the Moslem period might stir up the already burning issue as the Moslems of India identified themselves with their invader ancestors. The Mughal empire gradually disintegrated. India became weak and backward.
The British who first settled in Bengal gradually captured the Indian coastline. Many states of India, once very rich and prosperous, became very poor during the British rule. The Indian Industrial set up collapsed and agriculture also immensely suffered. Though there were princely states in India during the British rule, they were subservient to the British government. The spread of the education in India, the introduction of printing presses and the new technical and scientific inventions brought about a revolutionary change in Indian mind and outlook and gave rise to modern consciousness.
The influence of Education also stirred up the minds of some great leaders and for the first time the leaders of Bengal stood out as the leaders of cultural and political matters to the rest of India. The efforts of these leaders took the shape of the new nationalistic movement. The Discovery of India throws light on the role of the national congress which was a new type of leadership for the political freedom of India.
He made the congress democratic and mass organisation.
Peasants and industrial workers joined it. The national congress unquestionably played a vital role in the freedom fight of India. The congress party first came into power in the provincial elections of held under the government of India act of The congress tried their best to solve the problems of the provinces but the act of was a great hindrance. Inspite of all these barriers and limitations, Indians were enthusiastic and had an overwhelming desire for complete independence.
I have not included the Soviet Union in the above list of dictatorships, because the dictatorship there, although as ruthless as any other, is of a different type.
It is not the dictatorship of an individual or a small group, but of a well-organised political party basing itself especially on the workers. They call it the 'dictatorship of the proletariat'. I have referred to democracy as 'formal' in the preceding paragraph. The communists say that it was not real democracy: it was only a democratic shell to hide the fact that one class ruled over the others.
According to them democracy covered the dictatorship of the capitalist class. It was plutocracy, government by the wealthy. The much-paraded vote given to the masses gave them only the choice of saying once, in four.
In either event the masses were to be exploited by the ruling class. Real democracy can only come when this class rule and exploitation end and only one class exists. To bring about this socialist State, however, a period of the dictatorship of the proletariat is necessary so as to keep down all capitalist and bourgeois elements in the population and prevent them from intriguing against the workers' State.
In Russia this dictatorship is exercised by the Soviets in which all the workers and peasants and other 'active' elements are represented. Thus it becomes a dictatorship of the 90per cent over the remaining 10 or 5 per cent. That is the theory. In practice the Communist Party controls the Soviets and the ruling clique of communists controls the party.
And the dictatorship is as strict, so far as censorship and freedom of thought or action are concerned, as any other. But as it is based on goodwill of the workers it must carry the workers with it. And, finally, there is no exploitation of the workers or any other class for the benefit of another. There is no exploiting class left. If there is any exploitation, it is done by the State for the benefit of all. Soviet policy with other nations was one of peace at almost any cost, for they wanted time to recuperate, and the great task of building up a huge country on socialistic lines absorbed their attention.
There seemed to be no near prospect of social revolution in other countries, and so the idea of a 'world revolution' faded out for the time being. With Eastern countries Russia developed a policy of friendship and co-operation, although they were governed under the capitalist system.
This Soviet solution of the minorities problem has interest for us, as we have to face a difficult minority problem ourselves.
The Soviets' difficulties appear to have been far greater than ours, for they had different nationalities to deal with. Their solution of the problem has been very successful.
They went to the extreme length of recognizing each separate nationality and encouraging it to carry on its work and education in its own language. This was not merely to please the separatist tendencies of different minorities, but because it was felt that real education and cultural progress could take effect for the masses only if the native tongues were used.
And the results achieved already have been remarkable. The reason is that they have common ideals and they are all working together in a common enterprise. Each Union Republic has in theory the right to separate from the Union whenever it wants to, but there is little chance of its doing so, because of the great advantages of federation of socialist republics in the face of the hostility of the capitalist world… "These Central Asian republics have a special interest for us because of our age-old contact with Middle Asia.
They are even more fascinating because of the remarkable progress they have made during the past few years. Under the Tsars they were very backward and superstitious countries with hardly any education and their women mostly behind the veil. Today they are ahead of India in many respects. The whole country had been surveyed by scientists and engineers, and numerous experts had discussed the problem of fitting in one part of the programme into another.
For, the real difficulty came in this fitting in But Russia had one great advantage over the capitalist countries. Under capitalism all these activities are left to individual initiative and chance, and owing to competition there is waste of effort. There is no co-ordination between different producers or different sets of workers, except the chance co-ordination which arises in the downloaders and sellers coming to the same market The Soviet Government had the advantage of controlling all the different industries and activities in the whole Union, and so it could draw up and try to work a single co-ordinated plan in which every activity found its proper place.
There would be no waste in this, except such waste as might come from errors of calculation or working, and even such errors could be rectified far sooner with a unified control than otherwise. All this construction, all this machinery that came from outside, had to be paid for, and paid for in gold and cash.
How was this to be done? The people of the Soviet Union tightened their belts and starved and deprived themselves of even necessary articles so that payment could be made abroad. They sent their food-stuffs abroad, and with the price obtained for them paid for the machinery. They sent everything they could find a market for: wheat, rye, barley, corn, vegetables, fruits, eggs, butter, meat, fowls, honey, fish, caviare, sugar, oils, confectionery, etc.
Sending these food articles outside meant that they themselves did without them. The Russian people had no butter, or very little of it, because it went abroad to pay for machinery. And so with many other goods Nations have, in the past, concentrated all their efforts on the accomplishment of one great task, but this has been so in times of war only. To that purpose everything else was subordinated.
Soviet Russia, for the first time in history, concentrated the whole strength of the nation in a peaceful effort to build, and not to destroy, to raise a backward country industrially and within a framework of socialism.
But the privation, especially of the upper and middle-class peasantry, was very great, and often it seemed that the whole ambitious scheme would collapse, and perhaps carry the Soviet Government with it. It required immense courage to hold on. Many prominent Bolsheviks thought that the strain and suffering caused by the agricultural programme were too great and there should be a relaxation.
But not so Stalin. Grin-fly and silently he held on. He was no talker, he hardly spoke in public. He seemed to be the iron image of an inevitable fate going ahead to the predestined goal. And something of his courage and determination spread among the members of the Communist Party and other workers in Russia. But, as I have told you, this Five Year Plan brought much suffering, and difficulties and dislocation.
And people paid a terrible price willingly and accepted the sacrifices and sufferings for a few years in the hope of a better time afterwards; some paid the price unwillingly and only because of the compulsion of the Soviet Government. Among those who suffered most were the kulaks or richer peasants. With their great wealth and special influence, they did not fit into the new scheme of things.
They were capitalistic elements which prevented the collective farms from developing on socialist lines. Often they opposed this collectivization, sometimes they entered the collectives to weaken them from inside or to make undue personal profit out of them.
The Soviet Government came down heavily on them. The Government was also very hard on many middle-class people whom it suspected of espionage and sabotage on behalf of its enemies.
Because of this, large numbers of engineers were punished and sent to gaol. The tremendous growth of the Soviet Union was in itself a remarkable sign of prosperity.
It was not due, as in America, to immigration from outside. It showed that in spite of the privations and hardships of the people there was, as a general rule, no actual starvation. A severe system of rationing managed to supply the absolutely necessary articles of food to the population. Competent observers tell us that this rapid growth of population is largely due to a feeling of economic security among the people.
Work remains, and must remain, though in the future it is likely to be pleasanter and lighter than in the trying early years of planning. Indeed, the maxim of the Soviet Union is: 'He that will not work, neither shall he eat.
In the past, idealists and stray individuals have been moved to activity by this incentive, but there is no previous instance of society as a whole accepting and reacting to this motive.
The very basis of capitalism was competition and individual profit, always at the expense of others. This profit motive is giving place to the social motive in the Soviet Union and, as an American writer says, workers in Russia are learning that, 'from the acceptance of mutual dependence comes independence from want or fear'.
This elimination of the terrible fear of poverty and insecurity, which bears down upon the masses everywhere, is a great achievement. It is said that this relief has almost put an end to mental diseases in the Soviet Union. I shall tell you just a few odd facts which might interest you. The educational system in Russia is supposed by many competent judges to be the best and most up-to-date in existence.
The old palaces of the Tsars and the nobility have now become museums and rest-houses and sanatoria for the people I suppose the old palaces now serve the purpose of children and young people. Children and the young are the favoured persons in Soviet land today, and they get the best of everything, even though others might suffer lack.
It is for them that the present generation labours, for it is they who will inherit the socialised and scientific State, if that finally comes into existence in their time. Soviet Russia has been behaving internationally very much as a satisfied Power, avoiding all trouble, and trying to keep peace at all costs.
This is the opposite of a revolutionary policy which would aim at fomenting revolution in other countries. It is a national policy of building up socialism in a single country and avoiding all complications outside.
Necessarily, this results in compromises with imperialist and capitalist Powers. But the essential socialist basis of Soviet economy continues, and the success of this is itself the most powerful argument in favour of socialism.
The conflict between capitalism and democracy is inherent and continuous; it is often hidden by misleading propaganda and by the outward forms of democracy, such as parliaments, and the sops that the owning classes throw to the other classes to keep them more or less contented. A time comes when there are no more sops left to be thrown, and then the conflict between the two groups comes to a head, for now the struggle is for the real thing, economic power in the State.
When that stage comes, all the supporters of capitalism, who had so far played with different parties, band themselves together to face the danger to their vested interests.
Liberals and such-like groups disappear, and the forms of democracy are put aside. This stage bas now arrived in Europe and America, and fascism, which is dominant in some form or other in mast countries, represents that stage. Labour is everywhere on the defensive, not strong enough to face this new and powerful consolidation of the forces of capitalism. And yet, strangely enough, the capitalist system itself totters and cannot adjust itself to the new world.
It seems certain that even if it succeeds in surviving, it will be but another stage in the long conflict. For modern industry and modern life itself, under any form of capitalism, are battlefields where armies are continually clashing against each other. The Soviet Union in Europe and Asia stands today a continuing challenge to the tottering capitalism of the western world. While trade depression and slump and unemployment and repeated crises paralyse capitalism, and the old order gasps for breath, the Soviet Union is a land full of hope and energy and enthusiasm, feverishly building away and establishing the socialist order.
And this abounding youth and life, and the success the Soviet Union has already achieved, are impressing and attracting thinking people all over the world.
Great progress was made and the standards of life went up, and are continually going up. Culturally and educationally, and in many other ways, the advance all over the Soviet Union has been remarkable. Anxious to continue this advance and to consolidate its socialist economy, Russia consistently followed a peace policy in international affairs. In the League of Nations it stood for substantial disarmament, collective security, and corporate action against aggression.
It tried to accommodate itself to the capitalist Great Powers and, in consequence, Communist Parties sought to build up 'popular fronts' or 'joint fronts' with other progressive parties. In spite of this general progress and development, the Soviet Union passed throught a severe internal crisis during this period It is difficult for me to express a definite opinion about these trials or the events that led up to them, as the facts are complicated and not clear.
But it is undoubted that the trials disturbed large numbers of people, including many friends of Russia, and added to the prejudice against the Soviet Union. Close observers are of opinion that there was a big conspiracy against the Stalinist regime and that the trials were bonafide. It also seems to be established that there was no mass support behind the conspiracy, and that the reaction of the people was definitely against the opponents of Stalin. Nevertheless, the extent of the repression, which may have hit many innocent persons also, was a sign of ill-health, and injured the Soviet's position internationally.
The people inhabiting it [Palestine] are predominantly Muslim Arabs, and they demand freedom and unity with their fellow-Arabs of Syria. But the British policy has created a special minority problem here — that of the Jews — and the Jews side with the British and oppose the freedom of Palestine, as they fear that would mean Arab rule On the Arab side are numbers, on the other side great financial resources and the world-wide organization of Jewry The Jews are a very remarkable people.
Originally they were a small tribe, or several tribes, in Palestine, and their early story is told in the old Testament of the Bible.
Rather conceited they were, thinking of themselves as the Chosen People, But this is a conceit in which nearly all people have indulged This declaration was made to win the good will of international Jewry, and this was important from the money point of view. It was welcomed by most Jews. But there was one little drawback, one not unimportant fact seems to have been overlooked. Palestine was not a wilderness, or an empty, uninhabited place.
So that this generous gesture of the British Government was really at the expense of the people who already lived in Palestine, and these people, including Arabs, non- Arabs, Muslims, Christians, and , in fact, everybody who was not a Jew, protested vigorously at the declaration The Jewish population is already nearly a quarter of the Muslim population, and their economic power is far greater.
They seem to look forward to the day when they will be the dominant community in Palestine.
The Arabs tried to gain their co-operation in the struggle for national freedom and democratic government, but they rejected these advances. They have preferred to take sides with the foreign ruling Power, and have thus helped it to keep back freedom from the majority of the people. It is not surprising that this majority, comprising the Arabs, chiefly, and also the Christians, bitterly resent this attitude of the Jews.
Soviet Russia: Some Random Sketches and Impressions [ edit ] [Russia is] a country which has many points of contact with ours and which has launched one of the mightiest experiments in history. All the world is watching her, some with fear and hatred, and others with passionate hope and longing to follow in her path.
But whichever view may be right, no one can deny the fascination of this strange Eurasian country of the hammer and sickle, where workers and peasants sit on the thrones of the mighty and upset the best-laid schemes of mice and men.
For us in India the fascination is even greater, and even. We are a conservative people, not ever-fond of change, always trying to forget our present misery and degradation in vague fancies of our glorious past and immortal civilisation. But the past is dead and gone and our immortal civilisation does not help us greatly in solving the problems of today.
Russia thus interests us because it may help us to find some solution for the great problems which face the world today. It interests us specially because conditions there have not been, and are not even now, very dissimilar to conditions in India.
Both are vast agricultural countries with only the beginnings of industrialisation, and both have to face poverty and illiteracy. If Russia finds a satisfactory solution for these, our work in India is made easier. It is right therefore that India should be eager to learn more about Russia.
So far her information has been largely derived from subsidised news agencies inimical to Russia, and the most fantastic stories about her have been circulated. He Lenin lies asleep as it were and it is difficult to believe that he is dead. In life they say he was not beautiful to look at. He had too much of common clay in him and about him was the 'smell of the Russian soil'. But in death there is a strange beauty and his brow is peaceful and unclouded. On his lips there hovers a smile and there is a suggestion of pugnacity, of work done and success achieved.
He has a uniform on and one of his hands is lightly clenched. Even in death he is the dictator. In India, he would certainly have been canonised, but saints are not held in repute in Soviet circles, and the people of Russia have done him the higher honour of loving him as one of themselves.
It is difficult for most of us to think of our ideals and our theories in terms of reality.
We have talked and written of Swaraj for years, but when Swaraj comes it will probably take us by surprise. We have passed the independence resolution at the Congress, and yet how many of us realise its full implications? How many belie it by their words and actions? For them it is something to be considered as a distant goal, not as a thing of today or tomorrow.
They talk of Swaraj and independence in their councils but their minds are full of reservations and their acts are feeble and halting. Nothing is perhaps more confusing to the student of Russia than the conflicting reports that come of the treatment of prisoners and of the criminal law. We are told of the Red Terror and ghastly and horrible details are provided for our consumption; we are also told that the Russian prison is an ideal residence where anyone can live in comfort and ease and with a minimum of restraint.
Our own visit to the chief prison in Moscow created a most favourable impression on our minds. As we were very much pressed for time we were unable to see as much of the jail as we wanted to. We had an impression that we had been shown the brighter side of jail life. Nonetheless, two facts stood out.
One was that we had actually seen desirable and radical improvements over the old system prevailing even now in most countries and the second and even more important fact was the mentality of the prison officials, and presumably the higher officials of the government also, in regard to jails. Actual conditions may or may not be good but the general principles laid down for jails are certainly far in advance of anything we had known elsewhere in practice.
Anyone with a knowledge of prisons in India and of the barbarous way in which handcuffs, fetters and other punishments are used will appreciate the difference.