The Discovery of India

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The Discovery of India
The Discovery of India was written by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, when he was imprisoned for five months in the Ahmednagar fort during the Indian independence movement. The book was published in 1946, a year before India gained independence. Many scholars who have published elaborate studies in the field of Indian history have called the book as a classic. Jawaharlal Nehru in his work has narrated in this book India’s rich and complex past from the prehistoric times to the final years of colonial rule in India. Nehru begins his account from the beginning of the Indus Valley Civilization and outlines the country’s geography before introducing the native tribes. The highlights of the book are Nehru’s own readings of the Indian epics, rituals, and scriptures like the Vedas and Arthashastra (economics). Nehru has also explained in detail the growth of new religions and religious sects, such as Buddhism, and Jainism and the changing social structure. The effect of foreign invaders, such as the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turkish, and Mongols, their rule and the impact on the Indian society can also be understood by reading the book. Since Nehru himself was part of the Indian independence movement, readers can have a subjective view of the movement from the time it had begun to the time when it gained momentum till the final years of the movement. The book captures in essence and brings to life one of the world’s ancient culture encompassing all aspects of it - philosophy, art, religion, science, society and social movements. The Discovery of India is a wonderful read for any student of history, who wants to learn about India and its rich past. It is also a wonderful read for anybody who is interested in knowing about the country which holds within its boundaries so many regions, religions, sects, races, languages, cuisines, and sub cultures.

Chapter 2
Badenweiler, Lausanne
Kamala
On September 4th , 1935, Jawaharlal Nehru was released from jail of Almora as his wife Kamala was in a critical condition. She was admitted in a sanatorium at Badenweiler at Germany. He reached Badenweiler on September 9th. Kamala was weak and she was in her grip of pain. Her condition improved after the arrival of Nehru. Though the doctors gave him hope, Nehru was sure that Kamala would leave him soon. Kamala was not well enough for a long conversation. So they talked briefly. Nehru read some books to her. Pearl Buck’s ‘The Good Earth’ was one among the books. Nehru used to visit Kamala in the morning and afternoon and spend some hours with her. Though he had many things to say her, he restrained himself. They discussed about old times, old memories and of about some common friends in India. Her eyes were bright and vital when they discussed about their future. The friends could realize the change in her after the arrival of Nehru. Nehru’s mind was fully occupied with the thought of Kamala. They were married for twenty years. She had surprised him by her mental and spiritual make-up. He wondered if he really knew or understood Kamala well. He felt something elusive about her, something fay-like, real but unsubstantial and was difficult to grasp. He could feel some strangeness in Kamala. Kamala had no formal education. She was an unsophisticated girl at the time of their marriage. When she became a woman, her eyes acquired a depth and a fire. She was not the type of modern girl with the modern girl’s habits. She was quick in her judgement but did not care whether she was fair or right. But she stuck to her instinctive likes and dislikes. Our Marriage and After

Nehru confesses that he had almost forgot and denied her in so many ways. As Nehru lived in a dream world of his own, and was always with the people who surrounded her as unsubstantial shadows. He worked to the utmost of his capacity and his mind was filled to the brim with the subject that engrossed him. Even if he was away for a...
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