Monday, January 07, 2008

Sri Aurobindo after Gandhi

[Rarely in any country’s history have so many men and women of intelligence and integrity taken—at more or less the same time—to the political life. We Indians are insufficiently aware of (and certainly insufficiently grateful to) the country’s Founding Fathers and Mothers. We owe them much more than we realize. Now, intelligence and integrity have mostly left the sphere of politics—although they are visibly present in the realms of social work and social activism, entrepreneurship, and in professions such as medicine and the law...
I guess I must have the four modern Indians I admire above all others—Tagore, Gandhi, Ambedkar, and Nehru. Then the great (or at least brilliant) Indian whose politics and personality is somewhat at odds with this quartet—namely, Mohammed Ali Jinnah. That will surely get the sparks flying. Finaly, the socialist-turned-social worker Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, not to fill in the gender quota, but because of the range of her experience and the independence of her mind, not to speak of her penchant for puncturing pomposity wherever it was to be found... The Books Interview: Ramachandra Guha from The Middle Stage The publication of Ramachandra Guha’s thrilling history of India from 1947 to the present day India After Gandhi was one of the highlights of Indian literature in 2007. by Chandrahas]
The Mother and Sri Aurobindo don't count in this esteemed historian's estimate. But the title of his book has a special significance as Sri Aurobindo outlived Gandhi by nearly three years to guide the nation. [TNM]

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