Monday, June 21, 2010

Ramchandran Guha, and rediscovering India

I am reading "India: After Gandhi", by Ramchandran Guha. It is a book of Indian History, which starts around the time of independence, and goes all the way to the present time. Strangely, there are very few books of Indian political history after independence. For some reason, we don't chronicle history well.

I am also listening to a series of lectures about Chinese history. It is fascinating how well the Chinese kept records. There are few breaks in their history, and there are good records of what was happening, as far back as the second century BC! In comparison, Indian history is very spotty. We of major dynasties, but there are large gaps in our knowledge. I suspect it is a cultural thing. Even major freedom fighters did not think it necessary to write an autobiography, and we are all poorer for it.

Luckily, Ramchandran Guha fills one of these gaps. I've spoken to many friends, and they mirror my sentiment. This is a book that many people have been waiting for. Grab a copy today. If you are buying it in India, get it from Indiaplaza. They have a hardbound copy for Rs.542, which is a great price. This is a book that is best in hardbound: you will want all your friends and family to read it.