Book title: Nehru Utopian or A Statesman?
Author(s): Dr. N.G. Rajurkar , Foreword by Rajen Harshe
ISBN: 9788182747999
Publication Year: 2014
Binding: HB
Pages: 240
Price: Rs. 895
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 Overview

About the Book:

In the year of the fiftieth death anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, this timely book has ventured to review Nehru`s contribution in shaping trajectories of political developments in pre and post-independent India. In the process, it covers a wide canvas of ideas, ideologies, personalities and events that were most significant in Nehru`s political career as a freedom fighter (1920-1947) and the first Prime Minister of India (1947-1964).


In his relentlessly persuasive narrative, the author not merely argues that Nehru was the tallest leader of independent India but he places Nehru next only to his master, Mahatma Gandhi. On the one hand, the author gives credit to Nehru for recasting Gandhian ideas within the framework of modernity, while on the other hand, he is conscious of the fact that Nehru parted company with Gandhi as a modernizer and built foundations of heavy industry, constructed large dams and chose to run Indian National Congress (INC) as an umbrella party, even though Gandhi would have liked it to be dissolved after independence. The author asserts that even though Nehru`s emancipatory project of development did take cognizance of Marxist ideas, he was uncomfortable with dogmatic and doctrinaire views of Indian communists who looked for inspiration from outside to formulate their plan of action in India. Consequently, he chose to oppose them in domestic politics. After observing all the protocols of scholarship and going through the relevant primary sources in minute details, the author has refrained from squeezing Nehru`s policies into any straitjacket schematic framework by either dubbing them as idealistic or realistic. Instead, he has explored complexities that shaped such policies in order to come to terms with the making  of modern India.


As Prof. Harshe very appropriately points out in his Foreword to the book – `being a sensitive scholar, the author has virtually stepped into Nehru`s shoes to appreciate the circumstances in which he had to take decisions while dealing with difficult situations.`


Furthermore, the book has analysed a few controversial decisions of Nehru in the period under review, such  as Nehru`s role vis-a-vis a Congress - League coalition government in U.P. in 1937, the stand that he took in the Subhash Bose episode of 1939, his press conference in Bombay on July 10th 1946 (which according to some led to India`s partition), as also his China and Kashmir policy after India`s independence. This has also prompted the author to discuss the policy of non-alignment in all its dimensions.


The sound academic analysis in this study results in the emergence of a clear picture of Nehru`s immense contribution to the processes of nation-building in India and sensitizes the readers to the difficult circumstances under which such contribution was constantly being made.



About the Author:

Dr. N.G. Rajurkar, Professor Emeritus (Political Science), Osmania University- a renowned political scientist, is known for his lifelong passion for studies on Gandhi, Nehru and India`s freedom struggle. He has taught and inspired his students for more than 4 decades, with his profound grasp of the subject and extraordinary teaching abilities. He has several awards to his credit including the best Teachers award of the government of Andhra Pradesh as also the esteemed Maharshi Vithal Ramji Shinde award of the government of Maharashtra for his creative work, entitled `Pratibimba`. He has given memorable keynote addresses and has chaired prestigious international seminars in India and abroad. Besides, he delivered lectures on `India`s movement for freedom`, before the members of the Indian parliament and other dignitaries in December 1991. Mr. Shivraj Patil, the then Speaker of the Lok Sabha had presided over those lectures. Dr. Rajurkar was Visitor`s nominee (President of India`s nominee) on the Social Sciences Committee of the central university of Jamia Millia Islamia, for three years. He was conferred the degree of Doctor of Literature (Social Sciences), by the Punjabi University, Patiala, in December 2010. As a scholar, teacher and academic administrator, his humane outlook has earned him a formidable reputation.

Dr. Rajurkar is a polyglot with keen interest in English, Hindi, Urdu, and Marathi literature. His speeches and writings have their own artistic sensibilities and a natural flair that renders them interesting even when they are on highly technical subjects. 


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