SARVEPALLI GOPAL (Third Impression 2008) JAWAHARLAL NEHRU – A BIOGRAPHY
Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the great political figures of the century and one of the most difficult for the biographers to portray. For modern India, only Mahatma Gandhi is more elusive to the biographer grasp. When viewing the mountain, one perspective at a time is the best one can do and so with the biography of Nehru. Sarvepalli Gopal is a historian of note and so is his biography. The first sentence of chapter 1 provides the clue: The broad details of the early life of Jawaharlal Nehru are by now well known”. In fact, they are not well known except to those who have read a great deal. Even to the specialist this presentation of Jawaharlal Nehru’s life from birth to the harrow, Cambridge and inns of court years, marriage and Indira – appears not so much like a skillfully directed movie or a master novel as like a photograph album of casual if accurate insights. The person presented by S. Gopal is a historical boy and man. We must look elsewhere for details about Jawaharlal’s troubled marriage, his sister’s opinion about him, the curious situation of his having an abundance of admirers and colleges and yet a paucity of close friends, and, of course, his special affection for Indira.
Prof. Gopal’s biography does give us a tremendous amount of new information, especially from the Nehru letters to which he had access. In many cases, Prof. Gopal now lets us in on the secrets. As a good historian with excellent access in India and Great Britain, he has tracked down the minutiae of details in the archives; he has interviewed Lord Mountbatten and other former rulers in India, and he has examined the private letters and archives of Nehru’s colleagues. It is to be regretted that the thirty-year-rule of British archives prevented the author from consulting directly the papers of 1946-47 that only now are being made available.
The first volume up to 1947 covers an important segment of the Indian nationalist movement. For me, the most impressive and informative chapters are those (Ch.: 5 to 15) that narrate in such an excellent way Nehru’s political work in Uttar Pradesh, and his ascendency with Gandhi’s support to the highest level of leadership in All India National Congress. Much of this material is fresh and adds a new dimension to an understanding of Jawaharlal’s ‘greetings’ in politics. The chapters (Ch. 16 to 22) deals with World War II as it related to India – the various political crises, up to the transfer of power and independence. Here one finds the historian turning historian, and forgetting or under stressing his biographical subject.
Several strands of analysis running through this book fail to convince. One is Nehru as Marxian socialist. There is not much a proof that Nehru read Marx or understood it. He was intellectually against the oppression of the poor but he couldn’t be called a socialist in the ‘scientific sense’.
He was convinced that science was essential to modernize India, but his grip on scientific theory and its applied use in Indian setting was based more on faith than on knowledge. Nehru was in many ways a technocrat, not a scientist, in his approach to physical and economic planning. The writer has correctly displayed minor faults of Nehru such as grand displays of temper, impossible princely behavior in political discussion and fails to nail Nehru on important errors in judgments like failing to realize the demand of Muslim league for Pakistan.
To that end, the book succeeds, and uninitiated readers are provided with a background of the Indian independence movement and post-independent India along Nehru’s political. Perhaps no other Indian leader symbolized and affirmed the pluralism of post-independent India more than Jawaharlal Nehru did. It is not surprising, then, that the book gives a fascinating account of Nehru’s commitment to secularism, to the nurturing of democracy and toward the establishment of diversity and a pluralistic setup in India’s political structure and institutions.
Many interesting incidents and anecdotes fill the book, such as that of the first national elections of 1952 when, as crowds cheered Nehru during his campaigns with “Pandit Nehru Zindabad” (Long live Nehru), he would urge them to say “Naya Hindustan Zindabad Kaye” (Long live the new India). Or of how his threats to resign both from the party and from the premiership of the country could quieten the entire opposition. Another point is drawn out by the author and unknown to most readers is the unfair criticism that Nehru has faced for having propagated dynastic rule. This was never so, and the writer goes on to tell us how Nehru never groomed his daughter Indira (later to be the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi) and often remarked “I am not trying to start a dynasty. I am not capable of ruling from the grave.” Indeed, he was succeeded by another highly admired politician, Lal Bahadur Shastri. Indira’s advent into the echelons of power was to occur later.
“My legacy to India,” Nehru had said, “is hopefully 400 million people capable of governing themselves.” Four decades after Nehru’s death, Indians have learned the habits of democracy well. As the recent election in India where the ruling party was routed out of power has shown, the people and the politicians have learned well the lessons on the power of the vote and the mandate of the people. He has written a meticulous historical biography and is to be looked upon for any information on Nehru’s work.
How I lost 23kg's in 6 Months?
Being an MBA we think that we know it all and hence often overlook the most important aspect of one’s life that is HEALTH. ‘Health is Wealth’ very rightly said by someone but followed by very few at the B-Schools. There are many misconceptions in one’s mind about health, we often tend to think that a lean person is fit but rather health has nothing to do with sizes. It’s just a fat person can be healthy and a lean may not be. It’s the lifestyle which makes us healthy or unhealthy.
Being in a B-School people always have a time crunch and that’s the point if being in a B-School you say that you don’t have a time than what kind of manager you are. THINK!!. Manage time and you can manage anything and everything. Work as if you have 26 out of 24 hours or at least live like it so that others think of you in this way, makes you physiologically healthier. B-schools have aa hell lot of classes, we generally don’t pay attention during classes and that in turn waste much of our time in B-School. Stay awake and attentive in your class and hence you can save the time needed to stay fit and healthy.
Some of the think which I have followed in my journey to become fit and healthy are mentioned here may be they can be of help –
Prioritize – We often want to get fit but we always have that one important thing that stops us from going for a run or gym. Hence you will have to prioritize and once you do that successfully you will climb the first ladder to a fit and healthy life.
Patience – Just as in your career you cannot grow instantly and it takes times. Similarly, the body and a lifestyle that you have built in last 20-25 years cannot change overnight and hence be patient and you will see the result in the due course.
Start Small – One big mistake that we all tend to do is, ahh my assignment submission is over today lets go to the gym and you spend 2 hours in a gym followed by nothing. It's the biggest mistake. You should always start small i.e. taking a walk, a small run, skipping rope, skipping cheese & mayo etc. and make it persistent in your lifestyle, do it regularly and hence change your lifestyle slowly in order to have a long-term effect. I started using stairs to my room on 6th floor and is doing it since last 315 days.
Be Continuous and Persistent – Continuity is the key to success in each and every aspect of life and hence whatever you start it slow and do it regularly in order to develop a healthy lifestyle. Assignment, Conference, Conclave, and Placement etc should not be an excuse for skipping the routine.
Sleep – It is a luxury which we cannot afford in B-Schools, most of us will believe the said statement. Amid all the submissions, cases, conferences, visits etc take out some time to sleep continuously for 5 hours and that will be more than enough. We often neglect sleep and it becomes the biggest hindrance in staying fit and healthy.
Seek out healthier Alternatives – Don’t skip a party as you are on a diet, rather always seek out for healthier alternatives when you go out. Change your eating habits, don’t eat less rather regulate your diet in order to be fit.
Make it Fun – Most importantly till you to enjoy it and embrace it you cannot sustain a workout. Make small goals achieve them, reward yourself, find a workout buddy, be competitive, include the variety of workout in your schedule i.e. Running, Waling, Cycling, Gymming, Swimming, yoga, aerobic, Zumba etc.
I have followed meticulously each and everything that I have mentioned above since last 11 months and have lost around 23 kg. Always find a motivation behind a workout and you would never fail I had mine and as we say behind every successful man we have a ….. Yay, you guessed it right.
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