Patriots and Partisans

Book Review: Patriots and Partisans
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This is something that I am unwilling to buy. The excuse will be that now that we have a direct cash transfer set up in place we are well placed to launch the right to food act as there will be no leakages. While the idea behind subsidies is a noble one, the government of India is not in a position to foot the mounting bills. The fiscal deficit for the year has been targeted at Rs 5,13, crore or 5. Fiscal deficit is the difference between what the government earns and what it spends. So we might very end up with a higher fiscal deficit if the direct cash transfers system is used to launch more subsidy programmes as I guess would be the case.

And that brings me to my third point. Procedurally, one of the major obstacles would be the fact that many of the beneficiaries might not even have bank accounts. But more significantly, the scheme does nothing to address the main problem — bring down the subsidies to ease the pressure on the exchequer.

This in turn means lesser amount of money being available for others to borrow and hence higher interest rates. Higher subsidy also means more money in the hands of Indian citizens. This more money will chase the same number of goods and services and hence lead to higher inflation. Also be prepared for a higher food inflation in the years to come. Higher interest rates will mean that the lower economic growth will continue in the time to come despite of what the politicians and the bureaucrats would like us to believe.

Consumers will take on lesser debt to buy homes, cars and consumer goods. This will be bad for business, and in turn they will go slow on their expansion plans and thus impact economic growth further. As Ruchir Sharma writes in his bestselling book Breakout Nations.

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Average Rating Customers. Sayan Chakraborty. Book Description Condition: New. By Benjamin W. View Metrics. Think Live Work Play.

She first brought in her son Sanjay, and after his death, his brother Rajiv. In each case, it was made clear that the son would succeed Mrs Gandhi as head of Congress and head of government. Hence, the Congress government is now working towards making that possible. In the process India might get into huge trouble. But we will still have Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Minister.

And that is more important for Congressmen right now than anything else. November 27, 3 Comments. Vivek Kaul. One particular episode dealt with the travails of a PhD candidate and his attempts to get a PhD. The lines of the parody were different and went like this: Jo tumko ho pasand wohi baat kahenge, beaker ko agar jar kaho to jar kahenge. Some of the cadre based parties like the Left Parties and Bhartiya Janta Party to some extent are exceptions to this. At least not till After Nehru died in May , she was invited to join the cabinet as the minister of information and broadcasting by Lal Bahadur Shastri who took over as the next prime minister.

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What was loyalty to the party earlier became loyalty to the individual and the family. Also Indira Gandhi had total control over the system effectively overriding democracy and imposing emergency on June 26, The younger boy, Sanjay, prudently chose not to go to university at all.

He apprenticed at Rolls Royce in Great Britain , where his lack of discipline provoked a flood of anguished correspondence between his mother and the Indian high commission. But nothing of that sort happened. Sanjay Gandhi got out of cars and gradually got into politics effectively becoming number two to his mother Indira. In June Sanjay Gandhi died in an plane crash and Rajiv had to enter politics to support his mother. And in politics he was luckier than he was as a pilot.

Within five years of joining the Congress he had become prime minister of India. She first bought in her son Sanjay, and after his death, his brother Rajiv. There are other examples as well. Sharad Pawar is grooming his daughter to take over the reins of his party.

Dr Farooq Abdullah passed on the leadership of his family party the National Conference to his son Omar. And this is deeply inimical to the practise of democracy in India, feels Guha. He gives the example of once travelling through Tamil Nadu a few years back. The only other place where I have felt so stifled by a single face was in Syria of Bashar Assad.

So the question is what would have happened if the Shastri had lived for another five years? But even had she stayed in India, it is highly unlikely that she would have become prime minister. And it is certain that her son would have never have occupied or aspired to that office…Sanjay Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi would almost certainly still be alive, and in private life. The former would be a failed entrepreneur, the latter a recently retired airline pilot with a passion for photography.

In short, the world that we live in would have been a very different and probably a better place.

Book Review: Patriots and Partisans

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To visit our Archives, click here. Think Live Work Play. Video Slideshow Audio Twinterview. Home Life Appraisals Book Review: Patriots and Partisans Historian Ramchandra Guha's collection of essays cites three basic problems concerning this country of a billion. By Shishir Prasad. Email Address. Thank you for your comment, we value your opinion and the time you took to write to us!

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Hello Mr Self-declared Historian, have you heard about jijabai? Nathuram Godse was religious fanatic. Fanatic - may be. But religious, can you elucidate Mr. My first whole Guha. And I've been meaning to read him for a long bloody time.

When I say whole, I seem to find his essays somewhere or the other The Caravan, Himal Southasian, other anthologies , and have always been rather overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of his scholarship. And of course, the fact that the man can write. Part of the criticism he receives must be, I think, because of this - it is difficult to trust, for most people, a historian who can write this well.

Though I own a coupl My first whole Guha. Though I own a couple more of his books, I chose Patriots and Partisans because I thought a collection of essays might reveal more about the writer's interest areas and pet subjects than a book might. I was right. I attended a lecture by the writer at the Chartered Accountants Association in Madras, and he touched upon all the topics he writes about in the book even then.

This is where he's home, the early history of our democracy, its people and its institutions. Starting the book with a case for being a moderate, as opposed to being a leftist or a right-winger, his essays begin with a history of the ideas with which India was born, and then moves on to a grand array of topics, including a superb comparison of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Anna Hazare.

The essay I enjoyed and learnt most from is an analysis of the Sino-Indian war; there still is a remarkable dearth of knowledge in the popular sphere about this conflict that was so important at that stage for our country's evolution. The second part of the book is shorter and includes the lovely essay on the Bangalore bookshop Premier's I first read in an anthology of writings on Bangalore. Altogether, an essential book for the student of Indian history and the ideas that gave shape to it.

Jul 11, Neelakantan K. My review of this book is probably going to be biased since Guha's views are extremely similar to views I hold. That being said, this is an engaging, excellent and very well-written collection of essays. The essays are on different topics, ranging from a history of congress sycophancy to the end of Premier Bookshop in Bangalore. Each essay is put together well, with convincing arguments and lucid language. The essay on the decline of the bilingual intellectual, for example, made some excellent p My review of this book is probably going to be biased since Guha's views are extremely similar to views I hold.

The essay on the decline of the bilingual intellectual, for example, made some excellent points, such as the condescension shown to vernacular languages in English-medium schools and the disastrous decision to remove English from state schools in some parts of the country. The history of the Sino-Indian conflict is presented and analyzed dispassionately. He also has essays of fairly recent topics such as the Lokpal agitation, where he does not give much credence to the efficacy of Hazare's stand -- a view also held by me-- and explains why.

The history of the EPW is especially brilliant. Guha is equally critical of the extreme right and the extreme left. Hindu extremism and leftist extremism are, for him, to be resisted equally. Negotiations and democratic compromise are the ideals he advocates. However, Guha is prone to use superlatives excessively, something that irked me. For him, everything he is talking about is "The best in the country" or "The best that ever will be. Guha also seems to deify Gandhi, for whom he often uses superlatives which seem to be open to question. Guha's views on Gandhi colour all his analyses of those times.

However, he is more balanced while talking about Nehru, whose mistakes are talked about as dispassionately as his triumphs. All in all, this is a lovely collection of essays and one definitely worth reading. Some might criticize him for Belle-Lettrism, some for giving way too much importance to individuals rather than the fluid streams of history. And some of that might be true as well. Still, Ramchandra Guha's books are very readable and give a unique sense of pleasure. A strongly worded liberal, always ready to voice opinion against intolerance and fascist tendencies of any kind, he does make history much more accessible to the lay person.

Though this book is more a collection of memoirs than a se Some might criticize him for Belle-Lettrism, some for giving way too much importance to individuals rather than the fluid streams of history. Though this book is more a collection of memoirs than a serious historical treatise, still it is irreverent, rich with nostalgia and full of polemics calling out the intolerant culture flag-bearers and arguing passionately for a free-er, more tolerant, more liberal India.

Though, frankly through all the pieces one gets a sense of Indian society in general as a mildly decaying one, increasingly becoming intolerant, increasingly loosing the old-world charm of inclusiveness and openness. However, in spite of this, his optimism does shine through. Aug 09, Swateek rated it really liked it. Good read, and must for everyone who want a historical view of Indian politics.

Especially like the essay on Congress Chamchagiri For all its purpose and usefulness the author could not keep his personal bias out of the essays.

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But then he is in his own words a "extremist-moderate" Aug 12, Raj rated it did not like it. A sad book. Guha is not liberal and he proves it in this book. He is too opinionated and biased to provide perspective on history. Part 2 of the book will not appeal at all to many many people. Jul 13, Ranjith rated it it was ok. Did not complete. Just lost the interest. Feb 12, Anjana Radhakrishnan rated it it was amazing. Wonderful collection of essays - ranging from analyses of the Sino-Indian War of to reflections on influential bookstores and Individuals on the Indian intellectual community.

Jul 02, Ashay Walambe added it. I had interest in Guha as a person as I was listening to him on various TV channels on a debate. May it be discussing about Greatest Indian after Gandhi or sharing his views on Cricket.

His proficient language and excellent vocabulary flattered me. There are few people whose mere presence and style grabs your attention and hints you that they are full of knowledge correct. Grabbed this book from roadside, for me reading is imp than locationJ. This book is a collection of his essays published in I had interest in Guha as a person as I was listening to him on various TV channels on a debate. This book is a collection of his essays published in various journals covering topics from Nehru,Indo-China war to gandhis ideologies,religious faith to a book store owner in Bangalore..

For me it was altogether new expeience as I had never explored this genre ,style of writing before.

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His essay redeeming the republic covers Chapter 1:India as a republic country and its challenges. He points at 3 enemies of Idea of India 1. Hindutva wave 2. Naxals and adivasis 3. Collation of various states-Seperatalism. Adding to it are 3 more inequality wealth,consumption,education etc , corruption and environmental degradation. Chapter 2 : Congress chamchagiri It all started after Nehrus death. T was a gratitude towards her father. With sudden demise of Shastri, cabinet ministers thought that making Indira PM would help them to keep all the string with them.

This move backfired and Indira kicked their asses and took the complete control. During emergency ,Indira needed support and Sanjay Gandhi came into picture. So it was an hierarchy and dynasty coming into picture. Lobbying to first family,distribution of posts and portfolios were based on loyalty than merit. This actually percolated in the states of inia,like karunanidhi and his son in TN,Shiv sena in maharshtra. Many industrialists successors would be different.. Chapter 3 : Hindutva hate mail- collection of mails from different parts of the country on Guhas liberal thoughts.

Chapter 4:Past and future of Indian Left : He speaks about kerala and Bengal,2 states where lefts had power. Kerala went on to become state with highest literacy wheresas Bengal stayed back. Communist leaders are well read and educated which helps the government but their top to bottom approach affected the public. Indian Marxists are technophobic. They should overcome their close mindedness. Chapter 5: Protestor and professor- Anna hazare and Manmohan singh Hazare lacked world view.

Patriots And Partisans

Not contesting Lok sabha election 3. His religious experiences were based onhis experiences. Chapter 7: Nehrus reputation: We all blaim Nehru for China war defeat.