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7 Audiobooks Every Voter Must Listen to for the 2024 Election Season

Informed voting begins with enriched understanding! As we gear up for the 2024 Indian elections, we’ve handpicked seven audiobooks that every voter must have on their radar. From insightful analysis to historical narratives, these audiobooks are your go-to companions for understanding the issues and making your voice heard in the upcoming election season.


Ready to cast your vote?

Breaking the Mould
Breaking the Mould || Raghuram Rajan, Rohit Lamba

In Breaking the Mould, the authors explain how we can accelerate economic development by investing in our people’s human capital, expanding opportunities in high-skilled services and manufacturing centered on innovative new products, and making India a ferment of ideas and creativity. India’s democratic traditions will support this path, helped further by governance reforms, including strengthening our democratic institutions and greater decentralization.

The authors offer praise where the Indian establishment has been successful but are clear-eyed in pointing out its weaknesses. They urge India to break free from the shackles of the past and look to the possibilities of the future. Written with unusual candor, and packed with vivid examples and persuasive arguments, this is a book for anyone who has a stake in India’s future.



The Discovery of India
The Discovery of India || Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru wrote The Discovery of India during his imprisonment at Ahmednagar Fort for participating in the Quit India Movement (1942-1946). The book was written during Nehru’s four years of confinement to solitude in prison and is his way of paying an homage to his beloved country and its rich culture.

The work started from ancient history; Nehru wrote at length of Vedas, Upanishads, and textbooks on ancient time and ends during the British raj. The work is a broad view of Indian history, culture, and philosophy; the same can also be seen in the television series. The work is considered as one of the finest writings on Indian history. The television series Bharat Ek Khoj, which was released in 1988, was based on this work.


Savarkar: Echoes of a Forgotton Past, Vol. 1: Part 1
Savarkar: Echoes of a Forgotton Past, Vol. 1: Part 1 || Vikram Sampath

An alleged atheist and a staunch rationalist who opposed orthodox Hindu beliefs, encouraged inter-caste marriage and dining, and dismissed cow worship as mere superstition, Savarkar was, arguably, the most vocal political voice for the Hindu community through the entire course of India’s freedom struggle. From the heady days of revolution and generating international support for the cause of India’s freedom as a law student in London, Savarkar found himself arrested, unfairly tried for sedition, transported and incarcerated at the Cellular Jail, in the Andamans, for more than a decade, where he underwent unimaginable torture.

From being an optimistic advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity in his treatise on the 1857 War of Independence, what was it that transformed him in the Cellular Jail to a proponent of “Hindutva”, which viewed Muslims with suspicion?

Drawing from a vast range of original archival documents across India and abroad, this biography in two parts – the first focusing on the years leading up to his incarceration and eventual release from the Kalapani – puts Savarkar, his life, and his philosophy in a new perspective and looks at the man with all his achievements and failings.


The Rise of the BJP
The Rise of the BJP || Bhupendar Yadav, Ila Pattnaik

The Bharatiya Janata Party is an idea that was seeded into the minds of nationalist Jana Sangh leaders when they began to envision India after Independence. Much like the very core the freedom struggle was built on, they saw India as a demographically, culturally and historically cohesive and unified nation—as Bharat.

In this book, senior BJP leader and cabinet minister Bhupender Yadav and leading economist Ila Patnaik come together to trace the BJP’s journey from its humble roots, through ups and downs and to eventually getting 303 seats in Lok Sabha in 2019 and becoming the world’s largest political party. While focusing on the larger economics and political story, the book encapsulates many smaller, yet hugely significant stories of individuals and incidents, which brought the BJP to where it stands now.

For the first time ever, The Rise of the BJP, tells us the inside story of how one of the most powerful political parties makes decisions, implements ideas and executes policy. Meticulously researched and immensely compelling, the book shows us how the BJP fought competing ideologies, political assaults and catapulted to the centre stage of national politics.


Our Hindu Rashtra
Our Hindu Rashtra || Aakar Patel

India has taken so sharp a turn in recent years that the very center has shifted considerably. What led to this swing? Is it possible to trace the path to this point? Is there a way back to the just, secular, inclusive vision of our Constitution-makers?

This country has long been an outlier in its South Asian neighborhood, with its inclusive Constitution and functioning democracy. The growth of Hindutva, in some sense, brings India in line with the other polities here. In Our Hindu Rashtra, writer and activist Aakar Patel peels back layer after layer of cause and effect through independent India’s history to understand how Hindutva came to gain such a hold on the country. He examines what it means for India that its laws and judiciary have been permeated by prejudice and bigotry, what the breach of fundamental rights portends in these circumstances, and what the all-round institutional collapse signifies for the future of Indians.

Most importantly, Patel asks and answers that most important of questions: What possibilities exist for a return? Thought-provoking and pulling no punches, this book is an essential listen for anyone who wishes to understand the nature of politics in India and, indeed, South Asia.



These Seats are Reserved
These Seats are Reserved || Abhinav Chandrachud

Reservation or affirmative action is a hugely controversial policy in India. While constitutionally mandated and with historians, political scientists and social activists convinced of its need, many resist it and consider it as compromising ‘merit’ and against the principle of equality of opportunity.

In These Seats Are Reserved, Abhinav traces the history and making of the reservation policy.

How were groups eligible for reservations identified and defined? How were the terms ‘depressed classes’ and ‘backward classes’ used in British India and how have they evolved into the constitutional concepts of ‘Scheduled Castes’, ‘Scheduled Tribes’, and ‘Other Backward Classes’ in the present day?

The book delves into the intellectual debates that took place on this matter in the Constituent Assembly, the Supreme Court and Parliament. Several contentious issues are examined dispassionately: are reservations an exception to the principle of equality of opportunity? Do quotas in government service undermine efficiency? Can ‘merit’ really be defined neutrally? What is the thinking behind the rule that no more than 50 per cent of the available seats or positions can be reserved?

Deeply researched and ably narrated, this volume is a compelling addition to every thinking individual’s library.



1971 || Anam Zakaria

The year 1971 exists everywhere in Bangladesh—on its roads, in sculptures, in its museums and oral history projects, in its curriculum, in people’s homes and their stories, and in political discourse. It marks the birth of the nation, it’s liberation. More than 1000 miles away, in Pakistan too, 1971 marks a watershed moment, its memories sitting uncomfortably in public imagination. It is remembered as the ‘Fall of Dacca’, the dismemberment of Pakistan or the third Indo-Pak war. In India, 1971 represents something else—the story of humanitarian intervention, of triumph and valor that paved the way for India’s rise as a military power, the beginning of its journey to becoming a regional superpower.

Navigating the widely varied terrain that is 1971 across Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, Anam Zakaria sifts through three distinct state narratives, and studies the institutionalization of the memory of the year and its events. Through a personal journey, she juxtaposes state narratives with people’s history on the ground, bringing forth the nuanced experiences of those who lived through the war. Using intergenerational interviews, textbook analyses, visits to schools and travels to museums and sites commemorating 1971, Zakaria explores the ways in which 1971 is remembered and forgotten across countries, generations and communities.

The Ultimate Bharat Book Binge

This Republic Day, join us for a thoughtful exploration through books unveiling India’s rich history. From tales of strength to political insights, we’re delving into stories that define our nation. Get ready for a reflective reading journey as we celebrate the essence of Republic Day.

Let The Ultimate Bharat Book Binge begin!

1947-57 India Birth of a Republic
1947-57 India Birth of a Republic || Chandrachur Ghose

The first decade after India’s independence, 1947-1957, was probably the most crucial in the nation’s history. Opening a window to this period, this book weaves a story out of the complex ideas and events that have largely remained beneath the surface of public discourse. The transfer of power, the framing of the Constitution and the formation of the governance machinery; the clash of ideas and ideologies among parties and personalities; the beginning of the disintegration of the Congress and the consolidation of political forces in the opposition; Nehru’s grappling with existential problems at home and his quest for global peace; the interplay between democratic ideals and ruthless power play-all these factors impinged on each other and shaped the new republic in its formative decade.


You Must Know Your Constitution
You Must Know Your Constitution || Fali S. Nariman

26 November 1949 marks the date when the longest constitution in the world was formally adopted to guide the largest democracy in the world. It effectively transformed the British Dominion of India into one nation—the independent Republic of India. The supreme law of the land set forth the workings of Indian democracy and polity, and its provisions aimed to secure justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity for the people of India. As drafted and as conceived, the constitution makes provision for a functioning democracy and not an electoral autocracy, and this is how it has to be worked. It is therefore imperative for all citizens to familiarise themselves with its provisions.


Modi and India
Modi and India || Rahul Shivshankar, Siddhartha Talya

In 2014, the BJP, under the leadership of Modi, won a clear majority in the Lok Sabha elections. The National Democratic Alliance’s triumph ended a nearly two-and-a-half-decade run of mostly messy coalition governments. In 2019, the BJP further improved its tally, cementing its parliamentary majority and its ability to ring in transformational laws and policies. Most of the initiatives taken by the Modi-led NDA have been aimed at positioning Bharat as a ‘Vishwa Guru’—an exemplar of moral righteousness, a pluralistic democracy led by dharma and drawing sustenance from the wellspring of an eternal Hindu universalism.


Middle of Diamond India
Middle of Diamond India || Shashank Mani

Middle of Diamond India proposes a revolutionary idea – that India has long ignored its largest and most talented segment, citizens in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 districts, its Middle.

The book reveals the hidden stories of those in its Middle who have been ignored owing to their location and language. By examining India’s revolutionary past, its culture, its citizens, its innovators, and its spirit, the book illuminates this Diamond shaped India.


The Great Flap of 1942
The Great Flap of 1942 || Mukund Padmanabhan

The Great Flap of 1942 is a narrative history of a neglected and scarcely known period—between December 1941 and mid-1942—when all of India was caught in a state of panic. This was largely a result of the British administration’s mistaken belief that Japan was on the verge of launching a full-fledged invasion. It was a time when the Raj became unduly alarmed, when the tongue of rumour wagged wildly about Japanese prowess and British weakness and when there was a huge and largely unmapped exodus (of Indians and Europeans) from both sides of the coastline to ‘safer’ inland regions. This book demonstrates, quite astonishingly, that the Raj cynically encouraged the exodus and contributed to the repeated cycles of rumour, panic and flight. It also reveals how the shadow of the Japanese threat influenced the course of nationalist politics, altered British attitudes towards India and charted the course towards Independence.


Babasaheb || Savita Ambedkar, Nadeem Khan

Born into a middle-class, Sarasvat Brahmin family, Dr Sharada Kabir met and got to know Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar as a patient riddled with life-threatening diseases, and eventually married him on 15 April 1948, getting rechristened as Savita Ambedkar. From the day of their wedding to the death of Dr Ambedkar on 6 December 1956, she aided him in some of his greatest achievements-drafting the Constitution of India, framing the Hindu Code Bill, writing some of his most celebrated books, including The Buddha and His Dhamma, and leading millions of Dalits into Buddhism. Following his death, she was hounded into obscurity by some of Dr Ambedkar’s followers, who saw her as a threat to their political ambitions. She re-emerged into public life in 1970 and got back to working on the mission to which her husband had devoted his life-the welfare of the Dalit community. Her autobiography, Dr Ambedkaraanchya Sahavaasaat, was first published in Marathi in 1990.


Madam President
Madam President || Sandeep Sahu


Madam President is the first-ever comprehensive and authentic biography of Droupadi Murmu, the fifteenth President of India, by senior journalist Sandeep Sahu. Murmu’s long and eventful political journey is a story of true perseverance and inspiration. Having battled early years of struggle in securing quality education, being struck by a series of personal tragedies such as the loss of her husband and two sons in quick succession,
and suffering electoral victories and losses, Murmu has risen through her circumstances with grace, fortitude and resilience that make her the well-revered leader she is today.

These Seats are Reserved
These Seats are Reserved || Abhinav Chandrachud

Reservation or affirmative action is a hugely controversial policy in India. While constitutionally mandated and with historians, political scientists and social activists convinced of its need, many resist it and consider it as compromising ‘merit’ and against the principle of equality of opportunity.

In These Seats Are Reserved, Abhinav traces the history and making of the reservation policy.


M.K.Nambyar || K.K. Venugopal

It is rare to see a lawyer from a district court occupy centre stage in the Supreme Court but M.K. Nambyar achieved this remarkable feat. Starting his practice in a district court in Mangalore, M.K. Nambyar rose to become an eminent constitutional lawyer. Written by his son K.K. Venugopal, a legal luminary himself, this biography provides a fascinating account of Nambyar’s life. It not only describes the man but also recapitulates India’s legal history from the pre-Independence era. The book includes some landmark cases argued by Nambyar that have significantly contributed to the development of constitutional law in India such as A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras and I.C. Golak Nath v. State of Punjab, where he sowed the seeds of the ‘basic structure’ doctrine. These cases continue to guide and inspire lawyers and judges today.

Court on Trial
Court on Trial || Aparna Chandra, Sital Kalantry, William H.J. Hubbard

The Indian Supreme Court was established nearly seventy-five years ago as a core part of India’s constitutional project. Does the Court live up to the ideals of justice imagined by the framers of the Indian Constitution? Critics of the Supreme Court point out that it takes too long to adjudicate cases, a select group of senior advocates exercise disproportionate influence on the outcome of cases, the Chief Justice of India strategically assigns cases with an eye to outcome, and the self-appointments process-known as the collegium-is just another ‘old boy’s network’. Building on nearly a decade of original empirical research, Court on Trail examines these and other controversies plaguing the Supreme Court today. The authors provide an overview of the Supreme Court and its processes which are often shrouded in mystery, and present data-driven suggestions for improving the effectiveness and integrity of the Court.


Breaking the Mould
Breaking the Mould || Raghuram Rajan, Rohit Lamba

In Breaking the Mould, the authors explain how we can accelerate economic development by investing in our people’s human capital, expanding opportunities in high-skilled services and manufacturing centred on innovative new products, and making India a ferment of ideas and creativity. India’s democratic traditions will support this path, helped further by governance reforms, including strengthening our democratic institutions and greater decentralization.

In Conversation with the Nation: We The People

Over the last decade, conversations around constitutional rights and state directives have taken precedence. Facts and opinions ebb and flow into each other, and in some instances, it becomes difficult to separate their boundaries and compartmentalise. Public perception and our understanding of our own locations within structures of the state and state power have shifted to a great extent, and how we understand the nation and nationhood has also been coloured by communal differences, identity politics and an onslaught of conservative discourse around human rights and minority communities.

We The People, the fourth volume in the series Rethinking India, does the difficult work of trudging through this quagmire. It agglomerates the most visionary thinkers and the sharpest minds in the political and sociolegal sphere and brings us a volume packed with indispensable insights into the construction and mechanism behind the functioning of the nation, and our relationship with it.

In their essay ‘Fighting Inequality: Rights and Entitlements’, Amitabh Behar and Savvy Soumya Misra write about how even someone like Manmohan Singh, who was pro-liberalisation of the market, had highlighted the necessity to consider carefully the status of inequality in the country. He elaborated on his warning, explaining how despite being one of the fastest growing economies of the world, some groups have been marginalised and remain divested of access to social and economic reform. In fact, he also links this fast growth to this very inequality, stating that its speed and scope is actually achieved at the expense of peripheral groups who are left behind.

India is a country where 63 billionaires own more wealth than the union budget for 2018-19, and the wealth of the nine richest people equals the wealth collectively owned by the poorest 50% of the population. Behar and Misra explore how India, due to its population, is a major factor in the global development and inequality trends. The writers also highlight social inequalities, no doubt a key agent in economic inequalities. Citing the work of Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen, they discuss how caste hierarchies have created deep seated roots of inequality, breeding discrimination through the fabric of our society.

Prashant Bhushan and Anjali Bharadwaj take up another extremely important strand of discussion around the structures of the nation in their essay, ‘The Role of Independent Institutions in Protecting and Promoting Constitutional Rights’. They discuss how an effective rule of law can only be guaranteed by independent and efficient institutions, and how this is the primary safeguard of democracy. The Indian judiciary has passed some landmark judgements in the recent past, securing the rights of citizens in the process. But, the writers note, it is not enough to merely have the skeletal promise of these rights. There is a need for independent and reliable networks that ensure at ground level that these rights are secured, and that theory is indeed translated into practice. Delving into the judiciary as one such system, Bhushan and Bharadwaj discuss fault lines that have been exposed in the system, and how despite the Right To Information Act being applicable to courts as well, courts have resisted making their workings in certain cases transparent. The writers also give a clear picture of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act of 2013, and pick up many more tensions in the conversation around the institutions which are supposed to be the guarantors of rights, like the Central Bureau of Investigation.

We The People spans crucial ideas like economic rights, social democracy, right to education and health, and the MGNREGA among others, bringing into sharp focus important discussions that too often do not engage the public. But the public is the most crucial aspect of these constitutional directives; after all, these conversations affect us and our positions as citizens directly. This volume breaks down these important concepts into accessible essays, and is a much-required reading.


[To delve deeper, get your copy of We The People today.]

Establishing rights and deepening democracy

A regime of economic rights constitutes a blow against the spontaneity of capitalism. Therefore, this regime cannot be instituted except through struggles, that is, through collective action. Hence, even though the rights may be individually enjoyed, they can come into being only through a collective struggle. The collective struggle of the workers that is needed for achieving a set of individual rights, including above all a set of economic rights, already makes the workers transcend their individualism.

…Furthermore, the unprecedented crisis caused by the pandemic and the lockdown have created both a clear necessity for the state to meet its obligations with regards to these rights, and greater public awareness of the costs of not meeting them. This can therefore provide an opportune moment in which to rethink the social contract between people and the state in ways that would ensure the future realization of these basic rights.

Oxfam released its 2019 inequality report titled Public Good or Private Wealth? during the World Economic Forum at Davos… The fulcrum of the Oxfam report is the trend of growing inequality in the world, which is reflected in the tremendous concentration of wealth amongst a few individuals and a small number of TNCs (transnational corporations). The report says that twenty-six individuals (not surprisingly, all men) have more wealth than the bottom 50 per cent of the global population. Globally, the number of billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis. India has added eighteen new billionaires in the last year, raising the number of billionaires in the country to 119. In 2018, the total wealth of India increased by $151 billion (Rs 10,591 billion). However, the wealth of the top 1 per cent increased by 39 per cent, whereas the wealth of the bottom 50 per cent increased by a dismal 3 per cent.3

Front Cover of We the People
We the People || Nikhil Dey, Aruna Roy, Rakshita Swamy

According to the India Inequality Report 2018, India is home to 17 per cent of the world’s population; it is also home to the largest number of people living below the World Bank’s international poverty line measure of $1.90 per day… In the chapter titled ‘Grip of Inequality’, in the 2013 book An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions, economists Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen state that inequality may be rising in the last couple of decades but India has a historical legacy for multiple social inequalities… Drèze and Sen show how caste hierarchies have bred inequality. They look at a 1901 study12 that compared the literacy rates of Brahmins and Dalits. The study showed that in most regions, a majority of Brahmin men were already literate (in Baroda, up to 73 per cent). At the other end of the spectrum was the literacy rate among Dalit women, which was zero in most states. Dalit men achieved a literacy rate of at the most 1 per cent and Brahmin women a maximum of 6 per cent. The data showed a clear gender and caste monopoly of education back then.13

Education and health are central to achieving a dignified life for all. While the Constitution of India now explicitly recognizes the right to education, a number of Supreme Court judgments and the spirit of the Directive Principles of the Indian Constitution imply that the right to healthcare is also something that is accepted… While there have been significant improvements, health and education outcomes in India still remain poor and uneven, calling for continued and greater investments in these sectors with reforms to strengthen the government programmes in a manner such that they deliver.

The crisis in public health became even more apparent in the wake of COVID-19, which exposed the huge gaps in health infrastructure and access to personal protective equipment (PPE), staff, test kits and so on… Health allocations have been historically low, with currently only about 1.4 per cent of GDP being allocated to health, while the National Policy on Health, 2017, makes a commitment of spending 2.5 per cent of GDP on health by 2025.2 The Union government’s spending on health as a percentage of the GDP reached an all-time low in 2015–16, even lower than in the much-tainted early 1990s.3 Given such a low base, the Government of India announced only an additional Rs 15,000 crore (~0.1 per cent of GDP) in March 2020 for COVID-19 emergency response and health system preparedness.

[In Kerala, redistributive] measures—such as land reforms, collective bargaining for higher wages and public provisioning of education, healthcare, food and social security and so on—ensured that the average citizen is assured of the basic needs that uphold human dignity… Access to government schools and hospitals was given to all sections of society, even in the first quarter of the twentieth century. Rights-consciousness among the backward classes, inculcated by social reform initiatives, enabled them to fully utilize these opportunities.

It was against such a background that the People’s Plan was launched in August 1996… The People’s Plan approach consciously embodied the spirit of rights-based development… Most of the people-related functions such as health, education, women and child development, SC/ST development, agriculture-related development, poverty alleviation, the provision of basic needs like housing, sanitation, water supply, etc. were entrusted to local governments at the cutting-edge level—village panchayats, municipalities and corporations.

[…] The big lesson from Kerala is that the potential for participatory rights-based development is real and achievable in local governments. But nothing is ‘per se’ or ‘ipso facto’; there is a need for proactive policy by the government, which has to be translated into purposive processes and procedures with active involvement, support and guidance from the fraternity of believers in democratic decentralization, inclusion and participatory development from all sections of the society.



5 Quotes that Show Indira Gandhi was the Iron Lady of India

Indira Gandhi is not only remembered as the only woman prime minister of the country but also as a political leader with nerves of steel. She broke the conventional, democratic ruling method that her family had been using and adopted a somewhat authoritarian way of ruling the nation.
Nayantara Sahgal in her book Indira Gandhi: Tryst with Power answers the questions everyone ponders upon about her rule.
Being Mrs Gandhi’s cousin, Sahgal articulately talks about her individualized style of functioning in politics and the changes the country went through during her rule.
Here are five quotes that show why Mrs Gandhi was called the Iron Lady of India:

Read more about Indira Gandhi’s political regime in Nayantara Sahgal’s Indira Gandhi: Tryst with Power.

A Glimpse Into the Emotional Side of Indira Gandhi, An Excerpt from ‘Indira Gandhi: A Biography’

Indira Gandhi was the first female Prime Minister of India. While most of her life was dominated by politics, only a few knew Indira’s non-political persona.
Pupul Jayakar’s ‘Indira Gandhi: A biography’ seeks to uncover the many personalities that lay within Mrs Gandhi. The book also reveals the complex personality of Indira Gandhi—her thoughts and feelings, her hates and prejudices, her insights and her faults, her loves and emotional entanglements.
Here’s an excerpt which gives a glimpse into the emotional side of the late prime minister.
Motilal Nehru died in Lucknow in the early hours of 6 February 1930. His son Jawaharlal Nehru, released from jail a week earlier, in view of his father’s deteriorating condition, had, in desperation, moved his father from Allahabad to Lucknow where the medical facilities were
better. Motilal had been like an elder brother to Gandhiji and it was as part of the family that Gandhiji, released from detention by the British Government, hastened to see Motilal and accompanied him to Lucknow. He found Motilal’s face swollen beyond recognition, his body racked by asthma and his kidneys failing. The old patriarch died cradled in the love of his family and friends. He remained a nonbeliever to the end of his life; scorning priests and the recitation of mantras, he had joked with Gandhiji, challenging him to a race to heaven. He said if they were to die at the same time, the Mahatma would probably walk alone across the river of death, while he, Motilal, would speed across it in a motor-boat and shoot past the gates of heaven. Whether he would be allowed into heaven or not was a totally different matter. In a more serious mood he told Gandhiji, ‘I am going soon and I shall not be here to see Swaraj, but I know you have won it and will soon have it.’
On the night of Motilal’s death Jawaharlal was with him till midnight. Jawaharlal later told Gandhiji:

A very strange thing happened to me. Papa told me last

night that he had been taught the Gayatri Mantra in his

childhood, but he never cared to repeat it and thought he

had forgotten it completely long ago, but that night as he

lay in bed it all came back to him and he found himself

repeating it.

Motilal’s body, wrapped in the Congress flag, was brought from Lucknow to Anand Bhawan. He was cremated at the Sangam in Allahabad, at the point where the three rivers met. His ashes were cast into the rivers, to journey to the oceans. Vast mourning crowds accompanied the cortège. Gandhiji was present, so were Swaroop Rani, Vijayalakshmi, Krishna, Kamala and Indira.
Jawaharlal cried out in grief at the loss of his father, a mountain had crumbled; he was now head of the family, responsible for his mother and sisters. He resolved to make them feel that nothing had changed in the old home. The bond between father and son had matured beyond love into mutual respect and pride; a relationship that united them in a commonality of work though, perhaps, not of mind. Jawaharlal was in those early years an austere man of few needs,
Motilal, a man whose laughter filled the vast house, who could gather his extended family and friends in his embrace, savour abundance and give with a generosity of heart. He had a razor-sharp intellect and a joie de vivre seldom seen amongst Indians in the third decade of the twentieth century.
Indira had loved her grandfather with the intensity of a child. He had protected her, come to her aid when her parents rebuked her, listened to her tiny problems and laughed them away. He was the anchor in her insecure, chaotic world; the foundation stone that was always there; a presence so total that there was no space left to be alone or insecure. Alone, almost forgotten in Anand Bhawan, Indira wept, hidden behind a pillar. It was her first introduction to sorrow; her body was racked by an emotion with which she was not familiar.
Referring to her grandfather Motilal five decades later, Indira said, ‘With his death Anand Bhawan was silent. His resounding voice no longer echoed in the rooms or along the verandahs.’ She described his warmth and his fierce short-lived anger. Smiling at her memories, she said:

He always seemed to fill a room, although I now realize

he wasn’t really that tall, but at that time I thought he was

very tall and broad . . . and when he laughed the whole

house sort of shook and laughed with him. He was a

biform human being, both man and woman, with strength,

intellect and an abundance of feeling.

With a twinkle in her eye she went on to say that she felt that she was like him. Jawaharlal felt depleted. After his father’s death, he felt the need to renew himself, to lay down the complex political problems that surrounded him, to relax, to look at trees, meet people, to have a holiday. So he sailed with Kamala and Indira on the S.S. Cracovia to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

9 Things You Didn’t Know About the Pakistani Army

The military is one of the vital organs of the state. However, in Pakistan, the military plays a far more deep-rooted role in the politics of the country, and dominates all other institutions.
Ayesha Siddiqa, in her extensively-researched book, Military Inc. aims to explain the role of personal economic stakes in commercial ventures as a driver of the armed forces’ political ambitions.
Pakistan’s military runs a huge commercial empire. Here are nine facts that will give you a glimpse of the military’s involvement in the various institutions of the country:
Find out more about the army’s involvement in Pakistan’s economy in Ayesha Siddiqa’s Military Inc.

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