History Of Medieval India covers the historical landscape of the Indian subcontinent over a period of a thousand years, between the eighth and eighteenth century AD. The book starts off with a bird’s eye view of the state of the world during the medieval period, before dwelling on the rise and fall of empires in the Indian subcontinent.
Writing about the history of India is a daunting task, but the author has attempted to carry out the task with the eye of an inquirer and the pen of a scholar. The book has been written keeping in mind readers who may have some basic knowledge of the political situation in medieval India and would like to pursue the knowledge further. The book elucidates the beginnings, growths and deaths of many a dynasty, including but not limited to the Cholas, Rajputs, Vijayanagara kings, Bahmanids and the Marathas. History Of Medieval India’s primary merit lies in the fact that it departs from the well worn path of writing about dynastic history alone and looks at the social, political, cultural and economic developments that the period gave rise to. Some of these developments still have significance in contemporary relevance, such as the caste system which seems to have been born around this period.
Book of the Year - The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out and Outlook Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award Ramachandra Guha’s India after Gandhi is a magisterial account of the pains, struggles, humiliations and glories of the world’s largest and least likely democracy. A riveting chronicle of the often brutal conflicts that have rocked a giant nation and of the extraordinary individuals and institutions who held it together, it established itself as a classic when it was first published in 2007.
In the last decade, India has witnessed, among other things, two general elections, the fall of the Congress and the rise of Narendra Modi, a major anti-corruption movement, more violence against women, Dalits and religious minorities, a wave of prosperity for some but the persistence of poverty for others, comparative peace in Nagaland but greater discontent in Kashmir than ever before. This tenth anniversary edition, revised and expanded, brings the narrative up to the present. Published to coincide with seventy years of the country’s independence, this definitive history of modern India is the work of one of the world’s finest scholars at the height of his powers.
He was not the only one to denounce the rapacity and cruelty of British rule, and his assessment was not exaggerated. Almost thirty-five million Indians died because of acts of commission and omission by the British in famines, epidemics, communal riots and wholesale slaughter like the reprisal killings after the 1857 War of Independence and the Amritsar massacre of 1919. Besides the deaths of Indians, British rule impoverished India in a manner that beggars belief. When the East India Company took control of the country, in the chaos that ensued after the collapse of the Mughal empire, India's share of world GDP was 23 per cent. When the British left it was just above 3 per cent. The British empire in India began with the East India Company, incorporated in 1600, by royal charter of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I, to trade in silk, spices and other profitable Indian commodities. Within a century and a half, the Company had become a power to reckon with in India. In 1757, under the command of Robert Clive, Company forces defeated the ruling Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula of Bengal at Plassey, through a combination of superior artillery and even more superior chicanery.
A few years later, the young and weakened Mughal emperor, Shah Alam II, was browbeaten into issuing an edict that replaced his own revenue officials with the Company's representatives. Over the next several decades, the East India Company, backed by the British government, extended its control over most of India, ruling with a combination of extortion, double-dealing, and outright corruption backed by violence and superior force. This state of affairs continued until 1857, when large numbers of the Company's Indian soldiers spearheaded the first major rebellion against colonial rule. After the rebels were defeated, the British Crown took over power and ruled the country ostensibly more benignly until 1947, when India won independence. In this explosive book, bestselling author Shashi Tharoor reveals with acuity, impeccable research, and trademark wit, just how disastrous British rule was for India. Besides examining the many ways in which the colonizers exploited India, ranging from the drain of national resources to Britain, the destruction of the Indian textile, steel-making and shipping industries, and the negative transformation of agriculture, he demolishes the arguments of Western and Indian apologists for Empire on the supposed benefits of British rule, including democracy and political freedom, the rule of law, and the railways. The few unarguable benefits the English language, tea, and cricket were never actually intended for the benefit of the colonized but introduced to serve the interests of the colonizers. Brilliantly narrated and passionately argued, An Era of Darkness will serve to correct many misconceptions about one of the most contested periods of Indian history.
A little bit of India too moves with every migrant. From adventure to indenture, martyrs to merchants, Partition to plantation, from Kashmir to Kerala, Japan to Jamaica and beyond, India Moving is the first book to map out the great migrations that have made the country and the world a more diverse place to live in.
To understand how millions of people have moved-from and to India-the book embarks on a journey laced with evidence, argument and wit, providing insights into topics like the slave trade and the migrations of workers, travelling business communities such as the Marwaris, Gujaratis and Chettiars, refugee crises like the Partition, and the roots of contemporary mass migration from Bihar and Kerala, covering a terrain that often includes seemingly unrelated topics like mangoes, dosas and pressure cookers. India Moving shows the scale and variety of Indian migrations and argues that greater mobility is a prerequisite for maintaining the country's pluralistic traditions.
The Discovery of India is an honor paid to the rich cultural heritage of India, its history and its philosophy as seen through the eyes of a patriot fighting for the independence of his country. Nehru’s love for this Indian legacy shines through the book’s curious mix of personal essays and reflections, philosophical surmises, and deep prose scattered among historical facts. It is not a book of historical evidence by its very nature, rather, it is the keen observations of a severely intelligent mortal that delves into the philosophical and altruistic aspect of a nation’s history and the groundwork it presents to build a strong future foothold.
The Discovery of India is the realization of a silver lining. At the peak of the nation’s fight against the colonial rule through the “Quit India Movement”, Jawaharlal Nehru was imprisoned at the Ahmednagar Fort from 1942 to 1946, to keep him away from the political limelight. Forced to this dreary lonesomeness, Jawaharlal Nehru discovered time to re-live his creative passions. He rediscovered his love for gardening, prose, poetry, and badminton. Encouraged by this vastly stimulating environment and by his fellow inmates, Jawaharlal Nehru decided to pen down his thoughts and experiences living in the country he fiercely loved. He dedicated the book to the prisoners of Ahmednagar jail.
The journey in The Discovery of India begins from ancient history, leading up to the last years of the British Raj. He uses his knowledge of the Upanishads, Vedas, and textbooks on ancient history to introduce to the reader the development of India from the Indus Valley Civilization, through the changes in socio-political scenario every foreign invader brought, to the present day conditions. True to his multifaceted interests, the book is ripe with philosophy, art, social movements, economics, science, and religion. This journey of discovery of his beloved nation became the nation’s most magnificent historical treatise ever written. It was adapted into the Indian television series titled Bharat Ek Khoj, released in 1988 by director Shyam Benegal.