NEHRU’S ‘THE DISCOVERY OF INDIA’
A Brief Study
JAGDISH V. DAVE
M. N. College, Visnagar (NG), Gujarat
The Discovery of India was written by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during his imprisonment in 1942-1946 at Ahmednagar in the Ahmednagar Fort. Nehru was jailed for his participation in the Quit India movement along with other Indian leaders, and he used this time to write down his thoughts and knowledge about India's history. The book is widely regarded as a classic in India since its first publication in 1946, and provides a broad view of Indian history, philosophy and culture, as viewed from the eyes of a liberal Indian fighting for the independence of his country. In this book, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru tries to study the history of India starting from the Indus Valley Civilization, and then covers the country's history from the arrival of the Aryans to government under the British Empire. He says that India in the past was a country that lived in harmony and peace, but the evils of society corrupted the people. The effect of these various people on Indian culture and their incorporation into Indian society is examined. This book also analyses in depth the philosophy of Indian life. This book was dedicated to the Prisoners of Ahmednagar jail. The Discovery of India is, in fact, the discovery or Nehru’s rich and graceful personality. It gives us glimpses into the manifold aspects of this great man symbolised for many years the youth of our rejuvenated race awakened after long slumber.
Nehru never presumed that he was writing literature. His purpose in The Discovery was to discover India for himself, and he tries to achieve it with all his power and penetration. But while at the work of writing, the unconscious artist in him possesses all his other faculties so completely that he instinctively displays literary excellences. The Discovery cannot be classed into one particular branch of literature. It is a formless piece written...
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