Hitler and Nehru

I did not do much writing as I had expected after finishing Mein Kamph and went on to read some more. Before leaving for Lucknow, I had started reading “Glimpses of World History” by Nehru (Am far from finishing it now). The most interesting thing that I noticed, having read Hitler so strongly talking about National Feeling as “the feeling to be respected and trying to support it with history” was the way Pt. Nehru has synthesized the thesis that Nationality is a very recent concept. In Europe, at least, the old empires (The Great Roman Empire, Later the Eastern Roman Empire, Arab Empire) aspired to be the world conquerors. There was no notion of state. It was Empire and world. Even in India, he mentions that the term “Chakravarti Raja” indicated similar tendencies. Though somehow Indian kings hardly went beyond India, exception being some of the islands in the sea surrounding the country in South. Possibly Indian kings had enough land to conquer here itself. Similar seems to be the case with China.

Another thing about this book is that History textbook writers as well as History teachers in schools should take a look at this book to understand how the broad purpose, history education should serve, can be served at the school level. Written for his, then rather young, daughter, in a really simple language, it has an excellent style, which puts things in perspective and emphasizes need for analysis. It makes an easy reading too and need for mugging reduced to almost nil. One simple example of his elegant style is whenever he talks of a particular country or an event, he invariably talks briefly of what was happening in the rest of the world, even though its a repetition of what he has already said, so that the reader can put things in perspective without any strain or the need to go back and forth between the pages and match dates with the events in other places.

This entry was posted in Imported from Old Blog, Literature, Thoughts by Jaya. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started Pothi.com, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe (http://instascribe.com) with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: https://jayajha.wordpress.com Twitter: @jayajha Facebook: http://facebook.com/MovingOnTheBook

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