When one opens a volume like this with an impressive array of contributors, one does so with a certain expectation. But this volume disappoints totally. B.R. Nanda’s introductory article sets a tone for the rest of the book. It is an uninspired piece of writing and only summarizes what the other eleven articles have to say.
The stubborn facts of history and politics are often hidden from the public gaze. Jawaharlal Nehru lifted the curtain a little on this in one of his statements, ‘ … It is very well to talk about foreign policy. But you will appreciate that no person charged with a country’s foreign policy can really say very much about it.
The Indian family has always been a subject of great fascination for sociologists and social anthropologists. This fascination owes itself to the emphasis placed in the Indian tradition upon joint family living and the central place accorded to the domestic unit in ritual and religious activities.
The behaviour of Indian political parties in pre-independence days is no doubt fascinating, though only of academic interest. If one is to write about events which occurred half a century and more ago, it is inevitable that one must turn to official and other documents to be found in archives, British and Indian.