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pandit nehru as a historian

'Pandit Nehru as a Historian' by Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri

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Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri's review of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's Book 'Discovery of India'. 

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'Pandit Nehru as a Historian' by Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri

Nearly twenty years ago when the “Discovery of India” by Pandit Nehru was first published, he was kind enough to send me a copy of the book. Long before that in 1930 when his “Letters from a father to his daughter” was published, I had reviewed that book in a journal of standing in Kannada. His “Glimpses of World History” (1939), “Wither India” (1933), “A Window in prison and prison-land” (1934), “India and the World” (1936), “An Autobiography” (1936), “Eighteen Months in India” (1938), “China, Spain and the War” (1940), “Towards Freedom” (1941) were all works on contemporary history and politics and therefore of interest to the historian. Pandit Nehru’s ideas were all gathered together in a book of my pupil Y. G. Krishnamurti “Jawaharlal Nehru, the man and his ideas” published in 1942. Nehru was kind enough to write a foreword to Y. G. Krishnamurti’s “Constituent Assembly and Indian Federation” published in 1940. 

Y. G. Krishnamurti’s “Independent India and a New World Order” carried an introduction by me (and also his “Indian States and the Federal Plan”) to which Pandit Nehru was good enough to make a kind reference (and also to my summary of the History of the Congress) published in the Souvenir of the Haripura Congress Session, averring however that he was not a professional historian. Pandit Nehru however belongs to the small class in the world which not only writes history but also makes it. Being in the centre of the storm, in the very midst of the turmoil, yet he could take a detached view of the whole business.  

He belongs in that way to the rank of Winston Churchill, Hitler, and Mussolini, however widely different were these world-figures. Winston Churchill wrote 5 volumes of the history of the Second World War. Hitler wrote his opinion of the First World War and its effects on Germany in his “Mein Kempf”. Both Hitler and Churchill may have made personal statements in anticipation of the criticisms of the future historian.

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Pandit Jawharlal Nehru's Portrait (1956) by Yousuf Karsh

Pandit Jawharlal Nehru's Portrait (1956) by Yousuf Karsh

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