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What makes India a nation? What has held its many disparate societies with their diverse, sometimes conflicting, narratives together for more than sixty years? What has allowed India to sustain its commitment to the democratic process, given its location in a region that is largely undemocratic? In this magisterial analysis of the last five hundred years of Indian history, Meghnad Desai looks at India's colonial past, its struggle for independence and its many contemporary conundrums, to discover answers to the questions that have confronted India-watchers for decades. Meghnad Desai draws on a wealth of sources to illuminate India's journey to the twenty-first century. Whether it is an examination of British parliamentary debates on the question of India's independence, or the liberalization of the economy after decades of licence-permit raj, or the state's complicity in the Gujarat riots, Meghnad Desai's original, occasionally iconoclastic, approach to seemingly settled arguments makes The Rediscovery of Indiaa path-breaking and comprehensive account of India's past and present.
MEGHNAD DESAI was born in Vadodara, Gujarat, and received his BA and MA degrees from the University of Bombay. He went to the US in 1961 where he completed a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. He taught economics from 1965 to 2003 at the London School of Economics, where he now holds the post of Professor Emeritus. He has authored over twenty books and two hundred articles. His recent books include Marx's Revenge: Resurgence of Capitalism and the Death of Statist Socialism; Nehru's Hero: Dilip Kumar in the Life of India; Development and Nationhood: Essays on the Political Economy of South Asia; Rethinking Islamism: Ideology of the New Terror; and a novel, Dead on Time. Meghnad Desai has been an active member of the British Labour Party since 1971. He was made Lord Desai of St Clement Danes in 1991, and was awarded the Bharatiya Pravasi Puraskar in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2008. He divides his time between London, Delhi and Goa.
Table of Contents
Introduction: India at Sixty
The Vasco Da Gama Moment
The English Turn
Revenue, Reform and Renaissance
The Great Divide: From Company to Crown
Westminster Takes Charge
Gandhi, Irwin and Churchill
The Road to Pakistan
Political Economy of Empire and Nation
Independent India: The Nehru years
Heirs and Successors
Search For Stability, 1989-2004
Whose India? Which India?
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