WHAT DID I DISCOVER IN INDIA?– JAWAHARLAL NEHRU (Post No.5412)

Compiled by London Swaminathan

 

swami_48@yahoo.com

Date: 10 September 2018

 

Time uploaded in London – 17-53 (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 5412

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Quotes from Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘Discovery of India’

Man’s dearest possession is life, and since it is given to him to live but once, he must so live as not to be seared with the shame of a cowardly and trivial past, so live as not to be tortured for years without purpose, so live that dying he can say, ‘All my life and my strength given to the first cause of the world- the liberation of mankind’ –Nicolai Ostrovsky
Xxxx

We in India do not have to go abroad in search of the past and the distant. We have them here in abundance. If we go to foreign countries, it is in search of the present. That search is necessary, for isolation from it means backwardness and decay.

Xxxx

Nearly five months have gone by since I took to this writing and I have covered a thousand hand written pages with this jumble of ideas in my mind. For five months I have travelled in the past and peeped into the future and sometimes tried to balance myself on that point of intersection of the timeless with time.

Xxx

On June 15th both were discharged ( Narendra Deva and Nehru) , 1041 days after our arrest in August 1942. Thus, ended my ninth and the longest term of imprisonment.

Xxx

What did I discover?
The discovery of India — what have I discovered.
It was presumptuous of me to imagine that I could unveil her and find out what she is today and what she was in the long past. Today she is four hundred million separate individual men and women, each differing from the other, each living in a private universe of thought and feeling. If this is so in the present, how much more difficult is it to grasp multitudinous past of innumerable successions of human beings. Yet something has bound them together and binds them still. India is a geographical and economic entity, a cultural unity amidst diversity, a bundle of contradictions held together by strong but invisible threads.

 

Overwhelmed again and again, her spirit was never conquered, and today when she appears to be the plaything of a proud conqueror, she remains unsubdued and unconquered. About her there is the elusive quality of a legend of long ago; some enchantment seems to have held her mind. She is a myth and an idea, a dream and a vision, and yet very real and present and pervasive. There are terrifying glimpses of dark corridors which seem to lead back to primeval night, but also there is the fullness and warmth of the day about her. Shameful and repellent she is occasionally, perverse and obstinate, sometimes even a little hysteric, this lady with a past, but she is very lovable, and none of her children can forget her wherever they go, whatever strange fate befalls them. For she is part of them in her greatness as well as her failings, and they are mirrored in those deep eyes of her that have seen so much of life’s passion and joy and folly, and looked down into wisdoms well.

Each one of them is drawn to her, though perhaps each one has a different reason for that attraction or can point to no reason at all, and each sees some different aspect of her many -sided personality. From age to age she has produced great men and women, carrying on the old tradition and yet ever adapting it to changing times.

 

What Tagore said………………

Rabindranath Tagore, in line with that great succession, was full of temper and urges of the modern age and yet was rooted in India’s past and in his own self built up a synthesis of the old and the new.’ I love India’, he said, ‘not because I cultivate the idolatry of geography, not because I have had the chance to be born in her soil but because she has saved through tumultuous ages the living words that have issued from the illuminated consciousness of her great ones’. So many will say, while others will explain their love for her in some different way.

 

Xxx SUBHAM xxx

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