Inglorious Empire PDF Summary

Inglorious Empire PDF SummaryWhat the British Did to India

Most Indian nowadays still feel like the truth about the British “occupation” is somewhat distorted.

They want to understand whether Indians could have done something to prevent it from happening and more!

Shashi provides a critical overview of the events which shaped India’s historical curve, and uses data in order to illustrate a point!

Let’s delve into it!

Who Should Read “Inglorious Empire”? And Why?

There’s rarely a person in the world who knows nothing of India’s history and richness.

Our main guy in India, Guilherme Petrin who resides in Bangalore, tells us a great deal about the astonishing aspects of Indian culture and history.

For precisely that reason, we feel duty-bound to urge every English-speaking Indian to run through this summary, and perhaps purchase the book in a language that fits them the most.

Shashi TharoorAbout Shashi Tharoor

Among Indians mostly Shashi Tharoor is described as the voice of reason. As an author, politician, and a diplomat he has reached a good vantage point from where he can oversee the political processes in India.

Shashi is the author of Why I am a Hindu & An Era of Darkness.  

Inglorious Empire PDF Summary”

The full-scale Loot of India

A passionate and young American philosopher Will Durant who first landed on the shores of India in 1930, discovered the economic calamities induced by the British East India Corporation. Supposedly, this trading company was to help Indians re-claim their national identity, but it was all just a vicious game.

Bribery, stealing, embezzlement, extortion, forced labor, murder, were the primary tools that brought to pass the need for reforms!  

The British capitalized on the collapse of the Mughal Empire and imposed their interests in India.

A culturally, financially, and resourcefully rich country was put under the thumb of a strong military force. Before the “concealed” invasion took place, India was regarded as the world’s top superpower with 23% of the world GDP.

Many industries flourished as Indian goods were in high demand all over the world. Textile, pottery, making jewelry, cutting and shaping precious stones, clothing, to name a few.

The whole operation commenced under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I in the 17th century. It was disguised as a trading effort to maximize the trade in spices and silk. In order to protect their trading posts, the British increased their military presence in India and commenced the conquest.

In August 1765, Shah Alam II was forced to abdicate from his throne and hand over his authority to the Company. The provinces of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa fell under British rule, and India was practically commercialized.

In the meantime, a new phenomenon occurred also known as the deindustrialization of India. India’s most profitable industries slumped to their lowest level due to heavy taxation, high tariffs, and mostly corruption.

The destruction of the textile industry will be remembered as the first significant deindustrialization in the modern era.

This economic impasse imposed upon the Indian people was due to England’s unwillingness to pay for the goods transported to Europe. It was simply a loot!

Colonialists like Robert Clive, the last man standing of Battle of Plassey in 1757 returned home to England with spoils from the conquest making him one of the wealthiest persons in Europe at that time.

The extent of the embezzlement of resources can only be perceived through the lens of acquired wealth! To make matters worse, the East India Corporation also hatched a plan to destroy much of the ship-building industry.

As an illustration to this calamity – we deem fit to mention that 4000-5000 fleet was shrunk down to 1/10 of that number. It was truly an orchestrated disaster which gained high velocity in the mid-eighteenth century.

Shashi even mentions that the British East India Corporation employed only 2.5 million during their reign, leaving millions on the brink of extinction.

The problem with the British-based shipping businesses was the fee. In other words, they couldn’t compete with the low shipping fees offered by the Indian shipbuilding and transporting industry, so they urged the Parliament to shut it down.

This led to outright discrimination and enforcement of laws which undermined years of hard work. Moreover, the ban composed of corrupt imperialistic policies simply crashed the shipbuilding industry by 1850.

The same mindset was applied to the steel industry. India was considered a superpower in steel production possessing the capabilities to supply the rest of the world. “Wootz” the crucible-formed steel is the brainchild of India, to say the least.

The early forms of defiance

The first waves of independence occurred in various shapes and forms. Jamsetji Tata, one of India’s most renowned entrepreneurs, tried to create the first modern steel mill in India at the height of discriminatory policies.

He tried to circumvent the bureaucratic part, but was forced to petition the British for permission! The inept handling of this potential innovation increased hostility in the region.

The production finally commenced in 1912 under his son Dorabji.

As with most other things, the production was closely monitored, and the company was refused access to global markets. In other words, they were forced to utilize the surplus in order to prevent expansion.

Some of the critics like to believe that the unity of India was a conceived idea delivered from the hands of the British. We don’t know whether that is a form of justification for embezzling the region, but it sure isn’t true.

Why? – Because even Non-Indians like Arabs, Africans, and Asians referred to India as a unified country.

India was never perceived as just a part of the whole fallacy. The argument brought up here holds no ground whatsoever, because the history of the subcontinent has always been intertwined with the idea of oneness.

Not even Hindus are directly responsible for this, but the Indian people who hail from different regions.

When the British packed their bags and left in 1947; they laid the foundations of democratic Indian society. From the outset, India had some difficulties with the Muslim League, but they decided to deal with the issue using democratic means.

The rule of law became India’s strongest attributed since the day it declared independence.  

But that’s a story for another day!

The historian Jon Wilson claimed that India’s political role and economic potential was partly weakened due to the multi-societal ruling where a stalemate between rulers of different provinces was a common threat.

In such a structure, it’s hard to make headway in any negotiations or deal-making process.

The author also tells us a great deal about India’s involvement in conflicts raging throughout Europe.

A strong Indian sub-army organized in divisions and brigades were involved in the Mediterranean Coast, East Africa, Central Europe, and other places. Approximately 80k Indians died during First World War fighting under the symbol of the Crown and repelling German advance at Ypres.

Also, Indians were among the first victims of the horrors in the trenches – a disaster which led to many casualties.

India’s massive support for the British in these times of crisis should have been repaid as promised. In exchange for supplies, the British guaranteed greater freedom and self-governance.

Even Gandhi advocated for an increased military presence and support for the United Kingdom. However, the British didn’t keep the pledge made before the war, and India plunged into yet another institutional crisis.

The whole thing backfired against Indians, as Britain enacted the oppressive Rowlatt Act in 1919. The Act consisted of restricting freedom of speech, and governance. It was not the outcome the Indians were hoping for after shedding blood in the first major conflict.

The Act even conferred rights to the British authorities to persecute Indians on mere suspicion. The law was voted in the British parliament, and the Indian people reacted fiercely with thoughts of peaceful retribution.

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre of hundreds of unarmed civilians will echo throughout history as a human call for democracy.

Enraged with British betrayal, the Indian nationalists came to the thought that self-governance can never be achieved through peaceful and legal means. A fight was inevitable to fulfill this dream!

Apparently, some people believe that Britain should take the credit for introducing Free Press in India. But, there’s a wrinkle! – Not only that the Indians were deprived of sharing their views with their fellow citizens, but they were also arrested and brutally punished for criticizing the British authorities.

Fearful of potential opposition, and scrutinization, Lord Wellesley proposed and later enacted the Censorship of the Press Act, in 1799. Indian newspapers were allowed to publish their columns but under strict monitoring from the authorities.

Even though the Portuguese were the first who introduced the idea of a Free Press, Britain can take credit for the system they created. The Indians were obliged to cater to a privileged few whose interests were on a higher scale than those of an entire nation.

Case in point, we challenge the idea of “Free Press” because there’s nothing liberating in publishing columns dictated by your colonial rulers.

The Divide and Conquer principle

The British realized that the only way to ensure obedience and loyalty from their subjects was to continue to stir up hatred between Hindus and Muslims.

When the British laid eyes upon a united Indian rebellion (Hindus and Muslims fighting together) in 1857, they feared a full-scale escalation. They dread the idea of monarchy that could eclipse their authority in years to come.

It didn’t escalate enough to be labeled as a coup d’etat.

So, you might be wondering – what was Nehru or Gandhi’s role in this political revolution?

The great Indian reformer, socialist, spiritual leader, anti-colonial advocate, Mahatma Gandhi, utilized unique means to exhibit defiance against the rulers. He realized that the disdain for the Indian people had become unbearably violent and cruel – so he took action.

Gandhi feared that violence causes more violence to crop up, therefore it can never be the answer. His determination and uniqueness will later be emulated by anti-apartheid and freedom fighters alike such as Nelson Mandela.

It’s fair to impugn Britain’s motives for taking control over India and imposing their imperialistic ideals, but one must look at things critically.

On the selfish side, Britain looted the country and destroyed India’s thriving industries. On the positive side, they questioned the anarchist rule, and in the long run, they introduced law and order.

Key Lessons from “Inglorious Empire”

1.      Learn history never to repeat it again
2.      Difference in politics
3.      Understand the political struggle

Learn history never to repeat it again

Sometimes, people forget about the dreadful aspects of history, and the so-called “glory” is often linked to some sort of oppression.

We need to conduct ourselves in a way that fits the 21st-century thought and take into consideration the twists of history.

Difference in politics

In this lesson, we’ll zoom in on the difference between French and British influence.

Generally speaking, Africans were encouraged to call themselves French; while Indians got the “second-class” citizenship – and were often treated in the same manner.

Understand the political struggle

Nowadays, we bear witness to ideology-contest that imposes subtle restrictions and influences public opinion.

If we get into that bubble, we might end up trapped and exploited without any previous warnings or cues!

Keep your eyes peeled for the flash!

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“Inglorious Empire Quotes”

The continuing decline, the growing poverty and the meanness of spirit of much of Thatcherite Britain encourages many Britons to turn their eyes nostalgically to the lost hour of their precedence. Click To Tweet Angus Maddison – There can be no denial that there was a substantial outflow which lasted for 190 years. Click To Tweet Will Durant – Hypocrisy was added to brutality, while the robbery went on. Click To Tweet Nearly every kind of manufacture or product known to the civilized world—nearly every kind of creation of man’s brain and hand, existing anywhere, and prized either for its utility or beauty—had long been produced in India. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Undoubtedly, the British rule has taken a toll on Indian society, which struggles to recover even to this day. Also, it would be ignorant to make imprudent remarks on the East India Corporation and show potential bias.

Therefore, we tried to not to get entangled in any sort of political knot and perceive the impasse from an impartial point of view.

That being said, India is now a self-governed and powerful economy on the rise!

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers Summary

Behind the Beautiful Forevers SummaryLife, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

Have you ever watched Slumdog Millionaire?

Well, this is a book about all the slumdogs who’ll never make it.

And, to quote Junot Diaz, it’s “beyond groundbreaking.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

Who Should Read “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”? And Why?

Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a book that anyone who wants to learn a little more about India should read.

It is also a book which should interest anyone who wants to learn something more about the causes and the outcomes of poverty, as well as the cancerous nature of corruption.

Finally, it is a book about all the people who believe that there are easy solutions to poverty-related issues; as always – it’s a lot more complicated than that.

And far more humane.

About Katherine Boo

Katherine BooKatherine Boo is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist.

Winner of the 2002 MacArthur Genius Award, she has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine for the past decade and a half.

Boo’s only book so far, Behind the Beautiful Forevers won her numerous awards, including the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

“Behind the Beautiful Forevers Summary”

Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a panoramic portrait of the lives of several residents of the Annawadi slum of Mumbai, located on the e Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

The location was initially settled by migrant workers who had come to work on the airport in the 1990s. The place they claimed for themselves (though unusable at the time) belonged—and still belongs—to the airport.

In less than a decade, it grew into a loud and densely populated slum inhabited by people coming from all over India and Pakistan.

Katherine Boo visited Annawadi several times during the course of three years, and interviewed many of its residents.

In Behind the Beautiful Forevers she shares her findings—most of them related to the numerous problems and fears the people living in Annawadi face on a daily basis.

What kind, you ask?

Well, allow us first to introduce you to the three main groups of characters.

And then to tell you their dreadful intermixed stories.

Abdul and the Husains

Behind the Beautiful Forevers PDF Summary

By the standards of the slum, the Husains are a well-to-do family: they earn up to eleven dollars a day with their garbage business.

Karam started it, but at present, he is an asthmatic and tuberculosis-stricken man too sick to go on working at a place where the air is so full of sand and gravel (coming from a nearby concrete plant).

Karam’s wife is Zehrunisa, a hard-working mother of three.

And these three are Abdul, a boy in his late teens and one of the main characters of the book, Mirchi, his younger brother who goes in the ninth grade, and Kehkashan, his sister.

Now, Abdul, a second-generation garbage picker, is the primary source of income for the Husain family. The dream of this family is something many people on the West take for granted: to legally own something of their own. (Remember: everybody is living illegally in the Annawadi slum on airport land.)

They have spent years—and Karam and Zehrunisa have paid this dearly with their health and wellbeing—earning just enough money to pay a deposit for a plot.

Hopefully, one day, they will be able to live in a decent house of their own.

Asha and Manju Waghekar

Behind the Beautiful Forevers PDF

Asha is the teacher supposedly running the let’s-call-it-school in the Annawadi slum.

Also, she is basically the first female slumlord, a “person chosen by local politicians and police officers to run the settlement according to the authorities’ interests.”

And the authorities’ interests are rarely the interests of the people living in the slum. So, Asha is basically a traitor.

But she doesn’t see herself as one.

In her mind, the Hobbesian “every man for himself” is not just an observation, but a suggestion on how one should live his/her life.

She has started at the bottom and has raised to the top through her own dealings. And unlike most of the families where the females exist merely in relation to their male counterparts, Asha runs everything in the Waghekar family, her husband Mahadeo being nothing more than a drunkard.

Wondering how Asha made it to the top?

The only way one can in the slum: mercilessness and lack of empathy, prostitution and corruption. A single example: Mr. Kamble, one of the Annawadi residents, desperately needs a new heart valve.

And since Asha is the only connection between the slum residents and the authorities—and even health officials—he goes to her and asks her for some help.

“A dying man,” she says after refusing his gradually increasing bribe several times, “should pay a lot to live.”

Even though they respect her spirit, Asha’s behavior is not exactly adored by her two children: Rahul and Manju.

Manju is Asha’s teenage daughter, a sweet girl with a desire to become the first female from Annawadi to graduate from college.

A noble thing to do, but make no mistakes: the schools in Annawadi are not even remotely similar to the schools you know.

A quick example: imagine learning a language without a dictionary!

Sunil and Sunita

Sunil and Sunita are a brother and a sister who started their lives in the orphanage across the street from the slum.

However, once Sunil reached the age of 11, he was kicked out of the school by Sister Paulette, who deemed him “too much to handle.” The only thing Sunil could do: to accustom himself to “scavenging work, to rats that emerged from the woodpile to bite him as he slept, and to a state of almost constant hunger.”

Sunil’s younger sister Sunita didn’t want to hear to remain at the orphanage in the absence of her brother, so she left it as well.

Now Sunil is not only not taken care of—his father too is an alcoholic—but he also has to take care of his sister.

To do that, he becomes a trash picker and earns his money by selling his garbage to Abdul.

However, he dreams of something much bigger, and sincerely believes that if he becomes a better trash-picker, he may one day be a wealthy person.

To his eyes, he would have been just that even now if he didn’t have such a dreadful childhood which severely affected his growth. Though 11-12, he looks as if 8-9, and the fact that even though older, he’s shorter than his sister, pains him deeply “on a masculine level.”

The Case of the One-Legged Fatima

Now, one day, while the Husains are renovating their house, they accidentally shake a brick wall which belongs to their neighbor, Fatima, a mentally unstable, one-legged woman.

Apart from some rubble falling into a pot of rice, there’s basically no damage; however, since Fatima—just like many other slumdogs—is jealous of the Husains’ wealth, she immediately blames them to have wrecked her house.

So, as is only natural in cases such as those, she asked a full compensation.

Expectedly, the Husains refuse to do this, and this sends Fatima in such a frenzy that she eventually sets herself on fire.

And since nobody cares about nobody in the slums, Fatima eventually dies from her injuries.

At the hospital, however, she mentions the Husains in relation to her death, and a corrupted government official named Poornima Paikrao, crafts a false statement in which the Husains are explicitly responsible for Fatima’s self-immolation.

Of course, the reason why Poornima is doing that is so that she can earn some money from the Husains to retract the statement. And that’s precisely how every member of the justice system and every inhabitant of the slum seems to think at this moment.

So, the Husains start paying bribes all around them—because, in the opposite case, they know that everybody is going to lie and turn their lives into living nightmares.

Not that this doesn’t happen to some extent: most of the Husains are jailed before the trial, so they can’t even earn their income.

To make things even worse, Abdul is kept there the longest.

Of course, in the end, the Husains lose both their plot and their deposit.

The Suicides of Meena and Sanjay

The worst thing is the destiny of the Husains is merely one of the many tragic fates in Annawadi.

Take, for example, Abdul’s friend Kalu. He is a homeless man suffering from tuberculosis; for a brief period of time, he also worked with Sunil.

One day, while Abdul is in jail, Kalu is violently murdered at the airport, something witnessed by many inhabitants of the slum.

However, the authorities couldn’t care less about the truth behind the murder: Kalu’s death, to them, can be basically translated as “one less slumdog to care for.”

So, the authorities attribute Kalu’s death to tuberculosis, something many of the people in the slum suffer from.

But not before faking an investigation.

They pick up Sanjay, a beautiful garbage picker, who has, in fact, witnessed the murder. Even though he has absolutely no connection to it, the police threaten him and beat him up.

Afraid both of the police and the actual murderers, one day, Sanjay drinks a bottle of rat poison and dies.

Meena, the first girl born in Annawadi and a friend of Manju, decides that suicide is a much more favorable outcome than living as well.

Why?

Because she is a teenage girl whose parents and brothers not only forbid her to go to school but also beat her up anytime her housework is deemed unsatisfactory.

Unlike Sanjay, she dies six days after eating some rat poison.

Now that’s painful.

Just too, too painful.

Key Lessons from “Behind the Beautiful Forevers”

1.      When Dodging a Catastrophe Is Good Fortune
2.      The Cancer of Corruption
3.      Consider the Slums of Mumbai a Symbol

When Dodging a Catastrophe Is Good Fortune

Don’t get us wrong: dodging a catastrophe is always good fortune.

But, to some people, that’s the only good fortune they can hope for. In Annawadi, writes Boo, “fortunes derived not just from what people did, or how well they did it, but from the accidents and catastrophes they dodged. A decent life was the train that hadn’t hit you, the slumlord you hadn’t offended, the malaria you hadn’t caught.”

Some life, ha?

The Cancer of Corruption

Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing worse than corruption.

Absolutely nothing.

In the slums of Mumbai, corruption is what makes it almost impossible for even hardworking individuals to rise above poverty and actually get out of this hell worse than hell itself.

And the worst part about corruption is that spreads fairly quickly.

Because when the only way you can survive is through corruption, then you don’t feel it as if it is corruption in the first place, do you?

Consider the Slums of Mumbai a Symbol

Junot Diaz describes the sentences which end Behind the Beautiful Forevers as lines “that just about freeze your heart.”

Part of their message is in the title of this key lesson. But we believe you should read them in their entirety to understand why Diaz calls them chilling.

What was unfolding in Mumbai was unfolding elsewhere, too. In the age of global market capitalism, hopes and grievances were narrowly conceived, which blunted a sense of common predicament. Poor people didn’t unite; they competed ferociously amongst themselves for gains as slender as they were provisional. And this undercity strife created only the faintest ripple in the fabric of the society at large. The gates of the rich, occasionally rattled, remained unbreached. The politicians held forth on the middle class. The poor took down one another, and the world’s great, unequal cities soldiered on in relative peace.

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“Behind the Beautiful Forevers Quotes”

Much of what was said did not matter, and that much of what mattered could not be said. Click To Tweet I tell Allah I love Him immensely, immensely. But I tell Him I cannot be better, because of how the world is. Click To Tweet In Mumbai's dirty water, he wanted to be ice. He wanted to have ideals. Click To Tweet Your little boat goes west and you congratulate yourself, ‘What a navigator I am!’ And then the wind blows you east. Click To Tweet Being terrorized by living people seemed to have diminished his fear of the dead. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

When asked a few years ago by The Sunday Book Review what’s “the last great book” he has read, Junot Diaz answered without thinking: Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

“A book of extraordinary intelligence, humanity and (formalistic) cunning,” he added. “Boo’s four years reporting on a single Mumbai slum, following a small group of garbage recyclers, have produced something beyond groundbreaking.”

Why would he say such a thing?

Because, in his opinion, Boo “humanizes with all the force of literature the impossible lives of the people at bottom of our pharaonic global order, and details with a journalist’s unsparing exactitude the absolute suffering that undergirds India’s economic boom. The language is extraordinary, the portraits indelible…”

So, there you have it: Behind the Beautiful Forevers has the best of both worlds.

Or, to paraphrase a New York review, Boo’s report reads like Watergate, and it is written like Great Expectations.

No one can ask something more from a book.

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Life Is What You Make It PDF Summary

Life Is What You Make It PDF SummaryA Story of Love, Hope and How Determination Can Overcome Even Destiny

By now, Preeti Shenoy is a literary superstar of the highest order.

But just seven years ago, she was merely a bestselling author of a single collection of thirty-five real-life incidents, titled 34 Bubblegums and Candies.

And then, in 2011, she published her debut novel:

Life Is What You Make It.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Who Should Read “Life Is What You Make It”? And Why?

If you are a fan of Chetan Bhagat – and especially his novel told from the perspective of a female protagonist, One Indian Girlthen you’ll find plenty of things to like in this book.

However, we feel that we need to warn you that this is not a light read. Despite its ending, Life Is What You Make It is far from a filmy Hollywood romance in which the flight of the butterflies is interrupted merely for a few seconds because of a slight quarrel.

Oh, no!

The main protagonist here is not exactly appealing, and the reason for this is a severe ailment: bipolar disorder. The book captures well both the highs of euphoria and the depths of despair that come with this mental malady, as well as the serious difficulties someone suffering from bipolar disorder may face in life.

But also, Shenoy’s novel doesn’t fail to portray the other side of the coin and also reveal the struggles faced by people whose friends and loved ones suffer from this debilitating disease.

So, if you are one of them or know someone who has these kinds of problems, then Life Is What You Make It should be one of the first books on your next month’s reading list.

Preeti Shenoy Biography

Preeti ShenoyPreeti Shenoy is an Indian blogger and bestselling author.

Described as “one of India’s most popular authors,” and “the only woman in the highest-selling league,” Preeti Shenoy debuted in 2008 with 34 Bubblegums and Candies, a humorous collection of short real-life incidents.

Life Is What You Make It came out three years later and received wide critical and popular acclaim in India. Ever since then, Shenoy has managed to write and publish at least one book every year.

In 2012 she published two novels: Tea for Two and a Piece of Cake and The Secret Wish List. The One You Cannot Have was released in 2013, followed by It Happens for a Reason in the last month of 2014.

Love, Kisses and All Things Warm and Why We Love the Way We Do both came out in 2015, and another bestseller, It’s All in the Planet’s, the following year. A Hundred Little Flames was the only book published by Shenoy in 2017.

In April 2018, Shenoy published Love a Little Stronger, in which she revisited her first book, 34 Bubblegums and Candies.

Merely two months ago, in September 2018, Shenoy published her last book so far, titled Rule Breaker.

She has been consistently ranked among the 100 most influential Indian celebrities for the past half a decade.

Plot

Life Is What You Make It is mostly set in Kerala in the 1990s.

The story opens in a mental institution where the protagonist of the novel, Ankita Sharma, is apparently brought to unwillingly by her parents.

She is 21, good-looking and smart, and yet she is there among many people with listless looks and lethargic bodies.

“I am not like you,” she wants to scream. “I won elections in my college. I used to be the Secretary of the Arts Association. I was doing my management from a fine business school. I am not like you all.”

But, unfortunately, she is – just a first-time patient at the National Mental Health Institute.

So, how did she get there?

When her number finally comes up, and the doctor starts asking her question, we, the readers, slowly but surely start uncovering the answer to this question.

The flashback starts with two letters exchanged between the protagonist and Vaibhav, a childhood friend of hers.

We learn that Vaibhav has managed to get into the Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi, and that Ankita is not allowed to do the same by her conservative parents, despite her excellent grades.

The reason for it is, of course, the gender of Ankita – and nothing more. So, expectedly for a girl living in Kerala in 1989, she enters St. Agnes College for Girls.

However, she misses Vaibhav who, as we learn from the letters exchanged between the two, was a little more than a friend to her.

They say that distance is sometimes capable of sharpening love, but they also say that it is a make-or-break test for it.

In the case of Ankita, it seems to be both.

At first, it works in favor of Vaibhav whose letters Ankita eagerly awaits – they are not just the highlight of her college life, but basically the only thing she looks forward to.

However, as the days pass, Ankita starts fitting in at St. Agnes.

Not only she is a great student, acing her tests and excelling in her extracurricular activities, she is also an all-rounder adored by absolutely everybody. In fact, she is soon elected to be the Arts Club Secretary, and, even sooner, makes a lot of friends.

One of them, Sanjana, introduces her to Abhishek, a stout boy good at playing guitar and great at public speaking. We also learn that he has “a roundish face that sported slight stubble,” that he wears glasses and that he is “friendly and jovial.”

And he’s also quite smooth – if not a little corny – with the icebreakers, since the second thing he says to Ankita as he is shaking her hand is: “So what do you do, apart from being so pretty?”

And that’s code for “Vaibhav, who?”

But that’s also something a student at St. Agnes would expect from someone coming from Mahaveer College, for the simple reason that “even the best-looking girl at Mahaveer, could not match up to an average looking girl at Agnes.”

After being left alone with Abhi by her classmates following a cultural event, Ankita is surprised to find out that she has enjoyed every second of her time with her new acquaintance.

She is even more surprised when Abhi drops the “I love you” bombshell: “I fell in love with you the moment I saw you,” he says. “I have never felt like this about anyone before, trust me. I am crazy about you. Honestly. And I have never done anything like this before in my life. This confessing feelings and all, is just not me, but with you I really cannot hold back anymore.”

As if he held back at all!

Ankita rejects his advances by telling him that she has a boyfriend, but Abhi is persistent. He sends her a letter and, before too long, Ankita visits him at his place.

Finally, “during the mother of all cultural festivals, the Mahatma Gandhi University Youth Festival,” Abhi and Ankita kiss.

They start going out, and everything in Ankita’s life is looking picture book perfect. Except, you know: as her feelings for Abhi start growing, her love for Vaibhab slowly stars fading away:

Vaibhav and I were still in touch but not with the intensity as earlier. I think it was more out of a sense of duty that he called rather than anything else. I had not even noticed that his calls had trickled as I was so absorbed in Abhi and the other things that were going on in my life. I think the love I had for him was replaced by a kind of fond affection. Honestly, it did not matter to me anymore whether he called or not. It seemed as though Abhi and I had been through so much together and somewhere along the way, Vaibhav had been left far behind.

Years pass and Ankita is obsessed with a new agenda: getting into one of the top institutes in the country offering an MBA program. She gets an interview call from four of them, one of which is the most well-known one located in Bombay!

Coincidentally, Ankita’s father is promoted in his company at about this time, and this promotion means that all of Ankita’s family will be moving to Bombay.

It also means that her relationship with Abhishek is nearing its end.

“Even if my folks were not moving to Bombay,” Ankita says to Abhi, “we would still have parted as I would have chosen to do it in Bombay.”

“Pride has gone to your head,” replies Abhi, whom Ankita describes ominously as “an emotional fool.”

They break up acrimoniously, and the very next day Abhi’s body is found; it is discovered that he drowned due to an excessive amount of alcohol in his body. And that it may have been a suicide. Only Ankita knows that this is undoubtedly related to her.

She tells her best friend Suvi, and with her help, she calls Abhi’s grandfather.

“I know he loved you,” he tells her, even though he hides this information from the police. “I don’t know what happened between you two, but I have only one thing to say. You are young, you are pretty. Please remember molle, sneham mathram puchikaruthu. No matter from where it comes.”

The closest translation that Ankita is able to come up with of these beautiful words in Malayam is “never belittle love.”

These wise words open a piercing hole inside Ankita’s body.

And even though in Bombay she is doing what she does best – winning the hearts of many and acing all of her exams (whilst writing poems and making notes for everybody until late  in the evening) – she is also, slowly but surely (and also, unwittingly) falling down this hole.

To make matters worse, her parents discover the love letters she had been exchanging with Vaibhav and Abhi. They burn them and scold her severely for them. Unsurprisingly, very soon, the darkness gets the better of Ankita: depressed and miserable, she tries to slit her wrists.

And she doesn’t stop at her first suicide attempt: the second time it is her father who saves her.

And that’s the reason why Ankita is admitted to a mental hospital at the beginning of the novel.

Life Is What You Make It Epilogue

So, back in the present, Ankita is talking to Dr. Madhusudan who diagnoses her with bipolar disorder. He explains to her that what she went through is common and that there are two sides to it: a euphoric one and a despairing one.

The ray of hope?

Well, as Dr. Madhusudan explains to Ankita, it is a disorder closely associated with creativity – something Ankita does excel at.

“This condition is unique,” he goes on:

Many famous historical figures and artists have had this. Yet they have led a full life and contributed so much to the society and world at large. See, you have a gift. People with bipolar disorder are very, very sensitive. Much more than ordinary people. They are able to experience emotions in a very deep and intense way. It gives them a very different perspective of the world. It is not that they lose touch with reality. But the feelings of extreme intensity are manifested in creating things. They pour their emotions into either writing or art or whatever field they have chosen.

After several months, Ankita is able to recover from her depression. And even though bipolar disorder is not an ailment that can be effectively cured, she is certainly capable of managing it.

Or, in other words, to become the “Master of her Fate” as both the last chapter of the book and the poem quoted in the dedication claim.

Yes, in case you’re wondering, that poem is none other than “Invictus.”

Also, if you want to know what happened to Ankita in the long run – well, let’s just say that she was just fine. The epilogue states that she went on to gain six more academic degrees and that, along the way, she met and married a kind, sensitive man.

The end.

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“Life Is What You Make It PDF Summary Quotes”

Never to belittle love, no matter where it came from and to be a little humbler, nicer and kinder with my words and actions. Click To Tweet Some say that you gravitate instinctively towards people you can relate to and then gradually over the months a bond develops. Click To Tweet There are no buts and no ifs in life. Life is what you make it. Click To Tweet Spending time in a mental health Institution makes you a hundredfold more sensitive towards others than you were earlier. You learn to value emotions. You learn to look out for others. Click To Tweet The book is not just about bipolar disorder. It is a story of courage, determination and growing up. It is also about how life can take a totally different path from what is planned, and yet how one can make a success out of it. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Ten books later, Life Is What You Make It is still Preeti Shenoy’s best book.

Powerful and poignant, the novel was the bestseller of 2011 in India, and its fame and status have merely increased since then.

You don’t have to do a lot to realize what all the fuss was about.

You just need to read it.

 

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Indian Art and Culture PDF Summary

Indian Art and Culture PDF SummaryFOR CIVIL SERVICES PRELIMINARY AND MAIN EXAMINATIONS

As much as we want to solicit views from Indians, regarding the nature of their culture – it’s tough to form a picture based on the opinions of a small fraction of the people.

To counter this downside, we read a book that contains historical data and allows us to depict the remarkable trajectory of Indian cultural progress.

Let’s roll!

Who Should Read “Indian Art and Culture”? And Why?

When you think of spirituality, wisdom, and prudence – the first thing that enters your mind is the Eastern philosophy. Whereas India can be portrayed as a tough nut to crack.

Indian Art and Culture” nails down all the things one might be looking when planning to delve into India’s cultural heritage. It’s a book that presumably fits both foreigners and domestic knowledge seekers.

“Indian Art and Culture PDF Summary”

India’s Architecture and Paintings

The central premise of this comprehensive book targets and throws light upon this India’s memorable and historical curve. It has all the earmarks of an evergreen collection of facts that will illuminate the upcoming generations.

The rise and fall of great empires, Indian defiance and the foreign understanding of the cultural dogma is just one tiny fraction of what you can find in here. It signifies the assemblage of different cultural fractions, lifestyles, viewpoints, and their integration with one nation.

The architectural elements pull roots from a long and painful history, intertwined with the artistic craftiness and excellence. You can bear witness to numerous evidence that discloses India’s contribution to art and painting, since ancient times.

Archaeologists have dug up indisputable evidence regarding India’s role in artistry and finesse of different kinds. The clues can also be found on wall paintings traced through the ancient and medieval times.

It seems like the early form of life in India was engaged in various leisure activities and a symbolic expression of one’s mind.

When the Europeans put their foot on Indian soil, the art was subtly transformed and absorbed a more Westerner style. Experimentation with different styles, colors, and outlook enriched the upcoming Indian artists whose accolades speak for themselves.

First and foremost, one mustn’t overlook the wall masterpieces which are also known by the name of Murals. India’s most valuable cultural jewels origin from ancient times – ranging between 10th century BC to 10th century AD.

You can locate these paintings and works of art at several sacred locations in India.

If you are keen to explore the wonders of these аrt pieces then you ought to visit some of the following places in India:

Ajanta, Armamalai Cave, Ravan Chhaya Rock shelter, Bagh caves, Sittanavasal caves, Kailasanatha temple in Ellora, and others.

Indian Handicrafts, Music, and Theatre

Handcrafting literally stands for goods that are forged and crafted for everyday use by using one’s bare hands. Different regions in India exercise this craftsmanship based on their folkloric and traditional values nurtured throughout the course of history.

This amalgamation of unique elements which manifests the artistic mastery adds that final touch. The most potent tool at their disposal was and always will be their “creativity.” The decorative facets are indeed icing on the cake due to its transformative stimulus.

Indians don’t perceive this artistry as a profession or a way to make a living but as the very embodiment of their culture. In an effort to preserve their heritage, they refrain from using modern technology for the creation of these handicrafts.

This not only accentuates the India-ness of the “product” sort of speak but also speak of one’s identity.

Those of you that are not appraised of the types of handicrafts in India, here you have it:

  • Glassware
  • On Cloth
  • Ivory Crafting
  • Terracotta Crafts
  • Clay & Pottery Work
  • Bronze Crafts
  • Leather Products
  • Wooden Work

One can agree that music is the remedy for a broken heart and the soul of a culture. It’s something every society shares and nurtures. India as one of the oldest forms of civilization and societal structure, has undoubtedly been the driving factor to this cultural epidemic.

Narada Muni, for example, is thought to be the primary source of musical expression in the world. His motives puncture through cultural indoctrinations and permeate the real essence of life – something later introduced as Naada Brahma.

When it comes to instruments, we find it hard to classify the creation based on regions or states. However, it’s noted that the seven-holed flute and Ravanahatha, origin from the remnants of Indus Valley Civilization.

The first signs of music are apparently in correlation with the Vedic times.

The musical progress throughout ages is due to the various enacted plays which stimulated people to thrive in this kind of amusement. One type of music called Sangama particularly stands out, which was expressed through chanting and other forms of excitement.

Even the poems were driven by a strong narrative known as the Jatigan.

Before one decides to explore the depths of Indian music, it’s of immense importance to look into the anatomy of Indian classical acoustic sounds. The backbone of this music is symbolically linked to three types: Raga, Tala, and Swara.

When one scatters the shores of Indian culture, it must take a sneak peek into the theatrical architecture. On the negative side, it’s not as straightforward as one might think to enumerate sociological patterns that have shaped the society.

However, the Theater is one of those assets that encompasses various forms of cultural fluency with regards to the regional culture. One cannot go without music, recitation, and acting as the main pillars of running a theatrical show.

The Sanskrit term ‘nataka’ emanates from ‘nata’ which stands for a dancer. Rupaka, Drishyakvya, and Preksakavya were also put into motion to mark out the boundaries of drama. In ancient India, you might have come across two unique types:

  • Lokadharmi: The everyday activities which depicted the life of ordinary people.
  • Natyadharmi: Narrative and stylish connotation expressed through symbolism.  

India shows off with a rich cultural heritage linked to the folk theatre covering all parts of the nation. The traditional components expressed through artistry showcase the plight, beliefs, hopes, and social elements of the people – including their lifestyle.

Indian folk theatre can be categorized in an array of different ways, but the most common is as follows:

  • Ritual Theatre
  • Theatres of Entertainment
  • Theatres of South India

India’s Puppetry, Circus and Cultural Heritage

Generally speaking, puppetry is embedded in India’s entertaining culture. It was and still is a way of amusement that is brought to us in different forms with regards to the regional culture.

As you probably know, a master controls the movement of the puppet in order to create a breathtaking moment of sarcasm, cynicism, or to share some good old-fashioned joke.

The low cost for enacting the play gave serious impetus for the new artists to continue their work. Correspondingly, this allowed them to express their thoughts in the most indigenous way possible.

If you ask local Indians, they will only confirm that puppetry is part of their tradition. But bear in mind, that India is a large country, and the performance in one area, may be entirely different from the display in a different one.

This disparity occurs due to the different tendencies and proclivity. Given that the excavation sites at Harappa and Mohenjodaro exposed puppets with sockets attached, we finally have our proof that puppetry in India was a form of art.

If you plan on going deep, you’ll stumble upon different categorization of puppetry, but one is generally more prevalent:

  • String Puppets
  • Shadow Puppets
  • Glove Puppets
  • Road Puppets

While we are running through the subject of entertainment, it would be ignorant not to mention the Great Indian circus. Vishnupant Chatre merits all the praises as the founder and skilled equestrian. Under the guiding hand of Raja of Kurduwadi, he thrived and lived high on the hog.

With all due respect to Indian Circus companies, they failed to surpass the Europeans ones in prowess and performance. Nonetheless, they remained a considerable factor in India’s entertaining sphere up until the 1990s. Let’s pay tribute to them:

  • Three Ring Circus
  • Great Royal Circus
  • Great Royal Circus
  • Gemini Circus
  • Jumbo Circus

Indian Languages, Literature & Philosophy

Language as a term has seen some twists and turns regarding its most accurate meaning. As far as India is concerned, it’s in everyone’s best interest to leave a bit of openness due to the complexity of India’s ethnicity.  

A verbal and non-verbal expression that accounts various forms of speech and facilitates the communication among people can be labeled as “language.”

We can’t say for certain when was the first language created, but by observing the animals and their way of communication, one can assume that we used mimics to illustrate a point.

  • A language family has its roots buried in history before anything was recorded and is officially an ancestor to modern ones.
  • Dialect stands for a slight deviation from the official language spoken in a local region.

According to Indian linguistic, the languages in India fall under several notable sub-groups:

  • Indo-Aryan Group of Languages
  • Dravidian Language
  • Sino-Tibetan Group
  • Negroid
  • Austric
  • Others

Due to this diversity, knowledge text translation is indeed a problem in today’s Indian education. Most of the top resources remain untranslated, which makes them inaccessible for the commoners. Nowadays, efforts are made to scale up the dissemination of expertise through NTM.

The National Translation Mission is full-time engaged in “decoding” the academic and intellectual texts in 20+ Indian languages. The content is only available in English, which makes it hard for a vast majority of Indians to be able to explore the depths of it.

In the 18th century, the revolution started with the launch of print technology, but it escalated in a positive way in the digital age.

When it comes to philosophy, India has a long history of theorists, spiritual gurus, deep thinkers, to name a few.

In this endeavor, some differences emerge between various philosophical outlooks of life and nature of existence. It would be ignorant to single out one major school that has deserves to be placed on the pedestal.

A point often overlooked is that all schools assent with one another in terms of complying with the four-step process that will help a person reach its spiritual peak:

  • Artha
  • Dharma
  • Kama
  • Moksha

Yogis also have a place in our classification here. The Yoga school is comprised of two separate entities. One of which is meditation and the other physical application; to help the practitioner to attain a state of peace.

If you are interested in hearing a thing or two regarding the physical aspect, then you also need to know about one’s ability to perform the exercises in different postures – labeled as asanas. While the breathing techniques bear the name of pranayama.

According to Buddhist philosophy, which differs from the one presented by the Vedas – one cannot find shelter and harmony until it discards the mind notions. Triggered by this thought, the Buddha roamed around India in pursuit of blissfulness and nirvana.

Upon attaining enlightenment, the Buddha shared four noble truths for tackling the endless strives of the reckless mind.

  • Suffering
  • Desire – the ultimate trigger of suffering.
  • The destruction of primitive urges will relieve you of all the pain and sorrow.
  • Skid towards liberation and freedom.

Religions in India

Spirituality as a sacred element in every culture has seen many deviations in terms of lifting the spirits and maintain social order over the years. It’s main purpose hinges on one’s group ability to get together and ask for blissfulness. Here are India’s most prominent ones:

  • Hinduism – At the most fundamental level, Hinduism embraces and simplifies the veiled principles from Vedic religious tenets.
  • Buddhism – Buddhism emphasizes the life-encounters of Siddhartha Gautama also known as the Buddha (the awakened one).
  • Jainism – The word ‘Jain’ is stems from Jina or Jaina which in layman’s terms connotes “Conqueror or Conquering”.
  • Islam – The word Islam stands for one’s full submission to the almighty God.
  • Christianity – The basic motive for the stretch of Christianity is the belief in one God, as the source and substance to everything that exists.
  • Sikhism – The history of Sikhism is weaved around the life of Guru Nanak and his endeavors.
  • Zoroastrianism – It is a monotheistic religion whose teachings revolve around the existence of one God, known as Ahura Mazda.
  • Judaism – The Jews have faith in Yahweh who was firstly introduced by Abraham.

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“Indian Art and Culture Quotes”

India is a geographically diverse nation and that diversity is also reflected in the Indian culture. Each state of this country has its own form of music that is the basis of their cultural affirmation. Click To Tweet Thus, we see that from the pre-historic times, art and architecture has found a unique expression in the life and leisure of the people of India. Click To Tweet Music is the soul of any culture and India has had a long tradition of musical ingenuity. Click To Tweet Buddhahood via the bodhisattva path, a state wherein one remains in the cycle of rebirth to help other beings to reach awakening. Click To Tweet Each community has their own festivals and holy days but that does not stop other religious groups from enjoying these festive days. India is a secular country and holidays are declared for a number of festivals belonging to different… Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In all honesty, we tried to bring India’s art and culture closer to you, but it would take a significantly more effort to understand the big picture.

Don’t confine yourself to this summary, and fear not to inquire into the mysteriousness of the Indian lifestyle.

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Why I Am a Hindu PDF Summary

Why I Am a Hindu PDF SummaryFor most people, religion is an inherited prophecy and a cultural element that is passed from generation to generation.

For others, it’s a deep connection with the ultimate source or one’s inner beingness.

The author tries to unveil the real essence of Hinduism and tackle the impurities!

Dive right in!

Who Should Read “Why I Am a Hindu”? And Why?

Indian mysteriousness has always been quite a thorn for European invaders, who wanted to label Indians one way or the other. They quickly discovered that cultural diversity and mysticism is widespread, which goes against the conventional classification of a group.

With that being said “Why I am a Hindu” recounts some historical events and personal dogma that shaped the author’s understanding of Hinduism.

Actually, we believe this book is an excellent addition not just for Hindus, but for all others who want to explore the depths of this enigmatic belief system.

About Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor is a distinguished Indian personality, politician and an international diplomat who is currently designated as a member of the Lok Sabha.

He is the author of a dozen books, which mostly relate to India’s ups and downs throughout the course of history.

“Why I Am a Hindu PDF Summary”

Shashi Tharoor, as an acclaimed author and renowned politician, starts by explaining the two key reasons for writing this book:

  • To explore the virtues, aspects, and dispute points in Hinduism
  • To share grave concerns regarding the vicious forms of Hinduism that rose to the surface in the 1980s.  

His viewpoints regarding Hinduism fall under practicality; which means that he only exposes the virtues and facets that apply to the broader audience. Nonetheless, Shashi takes the safe side by explaining that his book doesn’t cover the entire scope of Hinduism.

He reflects only on those Hindu-aspects he finds appealing and meaningful. Bear in mind that if you disagree with the ideas presented by the author, you should stick to your path and follow your soul.

The book is divided into three sections

  • Part 1: My Hinduism
  • Part 2: Political Hinduism
  • Part 3: Taking Back Hinduism

Before taking the fast track to explain Hinduism without omission, one might wonder about the Hindu origins? Who invented this term actually?

In many European languages including French – the word “Indian” is on the same wavelength as “Hindu.” As it turns out, the word Hindu refers to people living beyond the River Sindhu – modern day Pakistan.

Truthfully, Indian Language had no place for “Hindu” until Europeans brought it up. It was used to define the society they’ve laid eyes upon on their conquest of India, which the people later embraced it.

Shashi Tharoor shares his two main reasons for being Hindu:  

  • Cultural – He feels immensely proud of Indian history.
  • Real Intellectual Understanding – As a person who has studied other religions, he believes that Hinduism is best suited for him.

The main driving force of being a Hindu is that Hinduism, unlike other religions, doesn’t profess false claims to gain popularity.

After all, having insights about a faith which allows you to stretch your imagination, without being subjected to hostile treatment is a great relief. This also means that a Hindu couldn’t be a heretic.

Without adhering to strict rules, you are more than welcome to apply your thoughts to anything. Indians are taught to be respectful towards others – it’s the very heart of diversity. Deviation from the original path is encouraged, and you can rightfully choose means to take you there.

Mahatma Gandhi, himself praised this form of integration and assimilation. There’s no worship policy, no thought-police; but a flexible system lacking rigid principles.

Since God represents the Alpha & Omega and is ever-present; this universal truth is commonly referred to as Nirguna.  It’s an abstract element without attached qualities, shapes, and other features. With this in mind, the Vedas tend to use the pronoun “kasmai” (who?) that depicts the inconceivable God.

According to Shashi, people need visualization or something that can be worshiped. Apparently, the nirguna Brahman was not enough, even though this is the heart of Hinduism. This impelled the worshipers to conceptualize a form which can be recognized as Ishvara or Bhagavan.

The monotheistic faiths such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam don’t have a divine source equivalent to Brahman. In layman’s terms – the Hindu’s Ishvara is the closest these religions can get regarding their knowledge of the universal power.

From the outset, Hinduism spontaneously absorbed other tribal religions and forms. In this endeavor, it embraced the doctrine of Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, while acting tolerantly towards his followers with regards to their belief system.

The same thing happened to Buddhism. Hindus turned the table around by attempting to assimilate Buddhism while referring to the Buddha as the reincarnation of Vishnu.

As you can see, Hindus, unlike its counterparts have no monopoly over a path one should take in order to get to the truth.

The tenets of practical Hinduism revolve around agnostic teachings that can bring you one step closer to realization. With regards to one’s cultural environment, place of birth, social conditions, a path will be formed.

No monopoly over the truth, and freedom to exercise your rational or agnostic belief. The path to salvation is not predetermined by the group or higher religious authority like a priest. It lies within the heart of the person; whose actions define its religious conviction.  

Westerners and Indian Scholars believe that Hinduism is the only religion worldwide which doesn’t discard the invisible portrait of “God” introduced by other faiths. This very attribute depicts Hindus as henotheists; a group of believers which doesn’t underestimate other religious doctrines.

Even the British who spent quite some time in India failed to understand the core of the Indian culture. In an effort to comprehend Hinduism they created their own divisions.

Politics and Hindutva

According to the author, secularism has divided India and added to a moral deficiency. Comparatively, it stirred up religious extremism which undermines years of cultural evolution.

The secular project itself was brought to its knees due to this prevailing doctrine that threatens to tear it down.

From another standpoint, one can also pay heed to secularism through its terminological implications and realize its connection with dharma-nirpekshata. Introducing dharma on a national level is critical, but that mustn’t be done at the expense of the pluralist structure in India.

From its early days, India has been the center for multiformity and the existence of opposites. For a person to latch onto this insurmountable bulwark of truth, it must accept the magnitude of diversities which permeates all over the world.

Most of the Indians, not to mention Westerners, fail to recognize the real meaning of Hindutva. The author zooms in on this outspread concept in order to have a glimpse into its substance.

Savarkar invented or created “Hindutva” to showcase the virtues, qualities, and opportunities for living life as a Hindu. In addition, it’s good to know that this notion embodies the cultural, religious and national ideals.

In layman’s terms: A person who practices Hinduism, accepts India as his/her motherland (matrbhumi) and defends the holy land of his/her ancestors (pitrbhumi) can be “branded” a Hindu.

Evidently, not all things were easily distinguishable.

Hindutva and Hinduism still cannot find common grounds on a handful of topics, and many misinterpretations have risen to the surface as a consequence of this stalemate. The trove of Indian antique and mystique treasure is not on the same wavelength as Hindutva, to say the least.

The identity of India-ness struggles to incorporate the Hindutva element into its core message. A topic that raises a lot of eyebrows and instigates a personal and political debate.

If we take into consideration the King-subordinate aspect, we might conclude the ruler can hold the reins according to his raj dharma. This constitutional way of governance, mustn’t be underlined by the king himself, but by the unattached humanitarian rishis.

Indeed, some Indians reckon that the Indian Constitution was made on a whim. The creation process wasn’t not fueled by dharma and nobility, and it seems like the Indian Constitution is a brainchild of Britain.

The concept of dharma omits from its essential elements.  

Shashi Tharoor finds it incredibly hard to agree with the follower-base of Hindutva. He strongly disagrees with the atrocities committed in the name of Hinduism and openly confronts them.  

For precisely the same reason he asserts that liberalism as a political ideology is intertwined with Hinduism, to some extent. It advocates for freedom of thought, open-mindedness and that’s why he considers himself to be one.

In this book, he also points out Obama’s recent talk about cultural tolerance, according to which, Indians must live by as they did for centuries.

Key Lessons from “Why I Am a Hindu”

1.      Religious Diversity is a Powerful Weapon
2.      Total Disregard for Thought-Police
3.      Liberalism and Strength

Religious Diversity is a Powerful Weapon

Economically, India lacks behind its Western counterparts, but when it comes to psychology and tolerance – it was and still is years ahead of its own time.

From the ancient scripts to modern-day interpretations of life, we can see that Indians have immense broadness in their way of perception.

Hinduism incorporates various forms and allows its believers to seek salvation in the way they deem fit.

Total Disregard for Thought-Police

Unlike most other faiths and doctrines, Hinduism prompts you to be yourself; and you’ll rarely be pestered about your religious convictions.

It’s a mental and philosophical luxury that should be exploited to the maximum extent.

Liberalism and Strength

Indian national identity is not easy definable as it is with most other countries. The main reason for this disputed point is the different understanding of being “Hindu” and “Indian.”.

We leave you be the judge of this ambiguous outlook.

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“Why I Am a Hindu Quotes”

We tend to reduce everyone else to the limits of our own mental universe and begin privileging our own ethics, morality, sense of duty and even our sense of utility. All religious conflicts arose from this propensity to judge others. Click To Tweet Hinduism professes no false certitudes. Its capacity to express wonder at Creation and simultaneously skepticism about the omniscience of the Creator are unique to Hinduism. Click To Tweet The soul continues from life-cycle to life-cycle, hopping from body to body as a caterpillar climbs onto a blade of grass and jumps to a new one. Click To Tweet Be good so that you are reborn in a better situation in your next life than in the present one; if you are good, you may reappear as a king or a sage, whereas if you are bad, you might come back as an invalid or a mosquito. Click To Tweet The Vedas teach that the soul is divine, only held in the bondage of matter; perfection will be reached when this bond will burst and the word, they use for it is, therefore, mukti—freedom, freedom from the bonds of imperfection, freedom… Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In all honesty, we didn’t have much knowledge regarding Hinduism prior to reading this book. It opened our eyes to the drawbacks of other religions and made us aware of the strongest features that describe Hinduism.

We find it highly informational and philosophical even. A remarkable assemblage of quotes, thoughts, and insights!

You should definitely pass through its key takeaways.

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One Indian Girl PDF Summary

One Indian Girl PDF SummaryChetan Bhagat is back at it again.

And this time he’s writing from the perspective of a girl.

One Indian Girl.

Who Should Read “One Indian Girl”? And Why?

One Indian Girl is dedicated “to all Indian girls, especially the ones who dare to dream and live life on their own terms.”

And these are the women who should read this enticing Bhagat novel.

Chetan Bhagat Biography

Chetan BhagatChetan Bhagat is an Indian writer, motivational speaker, and screenwriter, “the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history.”

One of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” according to Time magazine, Bhagat has so far published ten books, eight of which are bestselling novels, almost each of them adapted for the big screen.

Find out more at http://www.chetanbhagat.com/

Plot

One Indian Girl is the story of Radhika Mehta, a vice president in the Distressed Debt Group at Goldman Sachs in London. She… but then again, let us allow her to introduce herself – as well as the main premise of the book:

Hi, I am Radhika Mehta and I am getting married this week. I am twenty-seven years old. I grew up in Delhi. I now work in London, at Goldman Sachs, an investment bank. I am a vice president in the Distressed Debt Group. Thank you for reading my story. However, let me warn you. You may not like me too much. One, I make a lot of money. Two, I have an opinion on everything. Three, I’ve had sex. Now if I was a guy you would be okay with all of this. But since I am a girl these three things don’t really make me too likable, do they?

Well, Radhika, they probably would have made you at least somewhat likable in the US or most of the countries in the Western hemisphere.

In India, however, feminism and premarital sex are frowned upon.

So, to see if you are likable or not, we’ll have to fill out the details.

A good place to note that most of Radhika’s story is told in three extended flashbacks framed between a prologue and a tentative epilogue.

Let’s see what we can make out of them.

Prologue

It’s 3 in the morning, and Radhika Mehta is tossing and turning in her bed for at least the last two hours. She is about to get married in no less than fifteen hours.

“We have over 200 guests in the hotel,” she informs us, “here to attend my grand destination wedding in Goa. I brought them here. Everyone is excited. After all, it is the first destination wedding in the Mehta family.”

However, the only thing on Radhika’s mind is how to get out of some undisclosed mess, because, as she tells us, she is in a situation where she doesn’t have the slightest clue what exactly is going on.

It’s quite simple, though – which doesn’t mean that the solution for the chaos is as straightforward.

Namely, Radhika is about to get married to Brijesh Gulati, an intelligent and caring person who works at Facebook in San Francisco and for whom Radhika has some fond feelings.

Well, what’s the problem, you ask?

To start with, it’s Debashish “Debu” Sen who has just messaged her – after more than three years! – a heartfelt apology ribboned with an expression of love: “For the past few months I have been thinking of you constantly. Only had the courage to text you now. I made the biggest mistake. I didn’t value you. I love you.”

And if that isn’t enough, Debu has landed in Goa and wants to speak with her. Finally, they arrange a meeting.

Radhika is furious and starts insulting him for coming to India and infiltrating the bhajan ceremony at the wedding reception. “Don’t you remember the days in New York?” Debu asks her later. “We had issues, yes, but how can you forget all the happy memories?”

“No, Debu, I have forgotten nothing,” replies Radhika with a soft voice.

New York: Four Years Earlier

And we move across the globe to New York, where the bulk of the book is happening.

Also, we move back in time.

Apparently, Radhika Mehta is “a bit of a nerd.” She and her sister, Aditi – just a year older than her – went to school together in Delhi at Springdales, Pusa Road.

As she later found out, her parents had hoped that she would be a boy. And most probably they tried making Radhika and Aditi a brother on two more occasions – but their mother aborted twice because in both cases they would have gotten a third sister.

Unfortunately, not that of a rare occurrence in Indian families.

Radhika’s intelligence and work discipline eventually got her to Goldman Sachs, New York, where one evening, her batchmate from IIMA, Avinash, introduces her to the Debu, the so-called “dreamer-philosopher” of the group.

However, for a dreamer philosopher – with a beard and an uncombed hair – Debu has a pretty mundane job, working for an advertising agency on Madison Avenue, BBDO.

Apparently, the most creative thing he could find.

Anyway, Radhika learns that he is just one batch senior to her and holds a master’s degree from the very same school.

Also, that he is not only handsome, but also smart and intelligent. And that she really wants him. Like, really, really wants him.

Of course that’s a euphemistic cue for Radhika’s first sexual experience, which leads to a revelatory moment: “Why don’t people do this all the time?” Radhika thinks to herself while Debus is pleasuring her. “Wow, why didn’t anyone tell me sex feels so damn good?”

Radhika and Debu start dating and eventually even living together. Unfortunately, not everything is going smooth and well, mostly because of Radhika’s hectic working schedule.

Things turn from bad to worse when Radhika decides that she wants to plan a future together with Debu and starts implicitly pressuring him into marriage.

And they escalate after Radhika gets a bonus of 150,000 dollars (70-lakh rupees), which, in itself, is twice Debu’s salary. Could she go on living with someone who earns so little? Especially when he is not that happy with Radhika’s achievements, reacting to her bonus with the underwhelming “these banks!”

In fact, Debu seems even less interested in going out with Radhika. He would rather have a simple housewife for a partner, than a strong, independent woman who earns so much than him and is never around.

They separate, and the separation gets Radhika into thinking whether she was right to prioritize her job to Debu.

So, she tries to amends.

A month after the separation, after having a few glasses of wine, she decides to quit her job: “No deal or company or job was worth it. I only enjoyed all this when I had Debu. I needed love.”

She goes instantly to Tiffany and buys a wedding ring worth 2,000 dollars.

Then, she heads off to Brooklyn Heights, where Debu has in the meantime moved back into with his old roommates. She finds the keys of the apartment under the potted plant outside the flat and enters Debu’s room.

She wants to “give him a complete surprise [coming] with news of a resignation, a bouquet of roses and a ring.” Instead, she is the one who ends up surprised:

I gently opened the door. I just wanted to slip into bed with him. A tiny bedside lamp was switched on. It took me a second to process what I saw: Debu and a white girl lay there naked, intertwined with one another. I couldn’t breathe. In hindsight, I realize I should have shut the door and dashed out. Instead, I froze.

Hong Kong: Two Years Earlier

So, it’s time for a transfer to the Goldman Sachs offices in Hong Kong.

“A compact, brightly lit and buzzing” city of seven million inhabitants, Hong Kong overwhelms Radhika upon arrival “with its insomnia and beehive activity.”

However, what really leaves her without words is her boss, Neel Gupta, who, though 20 years older than her, is incredibly smart and charming. In fact, at forty-five, he is already a senior partner at Goldman Sachs!

The thing is Neel Gupta is also pretty smitten with Radhika especially after she manages to land a big deal at the Philippines.

His feelings grow deeper and become pretty apparent when he sends her 26 roses for her 26th birthday. And in the 26th chapter of the book, at the beaches of the Pangulasian Island Resort at the Philippines, just after the deal-closing celebration dinner soaked in quite a few drinks, this happens:

We looked at each other and smiled. I don’t know why, call it girl intuition or whatever, I felt like something was going to happen. I could have moved away. But I didn’t. Maybe because I wanted it to happen. He leaned forward. He placed his lips on mine. They felt as warm and gentle as the water on my ankles. I closed my eyes. My hands moved halfway to stop him but lost the resolve to do so as the kiss felt amazing. He kissed me long and deep as dozens of waves broke and touched the soles of my feet. He lifted his arm to draw me closer. Neel Gupta, partner, two decades older and my boss’s boss, held me tight and kissed me. This was not supposed to feel good. But never had a kiss felt this good. I didn’t protest. Maybe I should have. But when something feels so right it is hard to do so. I placed my palm on his face. The face I had seen every day for so many months, but never touched. I felt connected to him. I felt like the entire island existed only for this one reason, our kiss.

And you know what happens next. If you’re wondering how does this experience compares to Debu, don’t: “this was a completely new level of sensation and pleasure,” informs us Radhika. “If Debu was French fries, this was a gourmet six-course meal. If Debu was beer, this was champagne. If Debu was a boat, this was a luxury cruise.”

Unfortunately, there’s a problem lurking beneath all of this – you know, other than that of having sex with your boss who is twice your age.

You’ve guessed it:

Neel Gupta is married with kids.

But this doesn’t stop Radhika and Neel taking a few more business trips together and using each of them to the max – if you know what we mean.

It would take Radhika a year before realizing that Neel is not the man for her. The sudden revelation occurs to her during a discussion about motherhood.

When she says that she wants to have children and be a good mother, Neel laughs off “this mundane stuff” and tells her that she is getting carried away. “I never thought of you as the maternal type,” he tells her. “I don’t know if you were even meant to be a mother.”

A few days later, a letter of resignation signed by Radhika Mehta reaches Neel.

“Leave me if you have to,” says Neel to her. “Don’t quit the firm… You can take a transfer to another office. New York. London. Wherever.’

Well, “wherever” and “New York” are not going to work for Radhika: she is obviously running out of places due to her “relationship wrecks.”

So, London it is!

London: One Year Earlier

While Radhika is working in London, her mother discovers WhatsApp.

And you know what that means: constant bugging. And if you are an Indian, there’s one more thing coming you’ve probably already guessed: shaadi.com, the most famous matrimonial online service for Indians.

One day, Radhika succumbs to the pressure and decides to look through some profiles on the website – through her own profile set by none other than her mother.

She eventually connects with the Brijesh Gulati from the Prologue. They go out once, Radhika’s family likes him, and, well, you know where this all leads to: Radhika sighs a “yes.” “Maybe not an ‘oh my God wow’ type yes, but at least ‘there’s no reason to say no’ kind of yes.”

And that’s how we get back to the present and the $150,000-wedding at the Marriott Hotel in Goa.

One Indian Girl Epilogue

We left you there with Debu apologizing and begging Radhika to come back to him.

Complicated already, sure, but, wait, it gets even more complicated: Neel also contacts Radhika out of the blue and, out of the bluer (is that even an expression?) he too shows up at her wedding in Goa!

Apparently, he regrets leaving Radhika as well and to prove this, he has brought his divorce papers with him.

“My beautiful Indian princess,” he says to her after a brief explanation, “rather I should say smart, analytically sound and extremely beautiful Indian princess, will you marry me?”

Still wondering what kind of mess Radhika was talking about in the Prologue?

Her decision?

To quote a film we really like – this one – “in chess, it’s called Zugzwang. When the only viable move – is not to move.”

And Radhika decides not to.

She calls both Debu and Neel the morning before the wedding and at 5:28 AM, at a coffee shop, she relates to them her feelings:

I am not coming with you, or with you. There are fundamental things about both of you that won’t change. Debu, you say you will be supportive, but the fact that you couldn’t handle even a bit of my success means it’s an intrinsic part of you. You can’t change that. And I plan to be a lot more successful than what you saw. So, sorry, no […] And Neel, you are amazing, no doubt. The chartered plane, tempting, of course. Now with the divorce and everything I know you love me too. But you know what, you love only half of me. My other half is Kusum, the woman you left. You want a party girl. Someone young, who allows you to cling on to your youth. The same youth you work so hard in the gym for. Well, I won’t be this young girl forever. I don’t know what Neel Gupta will do with me then. He likes Radhika, his young vice president, but will he like Radhika, the diaper-changing wife and mom?

Just two minutes after this, as Neel and Debu leave, Brijesh enters the coffee shop. And Radhika – boy, she’s on a roll! – tells him that she wants to cancel the wedding as well.

For the next few months, Radhika travels around the world to find out what she really likes. Eventually, she contacts Brijesh while on a route to San Francisco.

The two meet for a coffee and reconnect.

“Brijesh, would you like to come to the Arijit Singh concert with me?” Radhika asks.

He says yes.

And then they start laughing.

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“One Indian Girl PDF Summary Quotes”

Women lie about their feelings all the time. It’s amazing how easily it comes to us. Click To Tweet If it is too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Click To Tweet Some people are good at making decisions. I am not one of them. Click To Tweet This is how we girls are. At times we want to be wanted, even when we deny it. Click To Tweet If God hired an architect to design heaven, this was how it would be done. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

One Indian Girl is a romantic comedy with both chick-lit and feminist undertones, which reads as if originally written to be instantly adapted for the big screen. In fact, we predict that very soon it will be (as all of Bhagat books have been).

We mean, four cities, three men, one independent woman, first sexual experience, a passionate love affair with an older man, an arranged marriage gone haywire, lots and lots of humor – this is obviously a book which checks all the boxes!

The best part: it’s not dull for a second!

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Ignited Minds PDF Summary

Ignited Minds PDF SummaryThose of you that don’t know – this book has received wide acclaim mostly due to its exclusiveness. The author exerted himself in the effort to convey a message of sheer importance.

By creating a spark inside the hearts and minds of people, it instigated a change that India ought to follow.

Without further ado, let’s see what is the fuss all about!

Who Should Read “Ignited Minds”? And Why?

Even Abdul clearly states that this book is mostly written for the young and brilliant minds of Indian society.

In other words, “Ignited Minds” revolves around the topic of transforming India’s mentality by inciting the blossoming youth to take action.

We’ll see what will happen in years to follow.

A. P. J. Abdul KalamAbout A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

P. J. Abdul Kalam needs no introduction anywhere in India, and pretty much the rest of the world. He was designated as India’s President from 2002 to 2007 and was hailed for his contribution in physics and aerospace engineering.

While giving a lecture, Kalam died at the age of 83. He left a legacy of valuable insights for Indians to follow, and as a result, he was buried with full state honors.

“Ignited Minds PDF Summary”

In the Preface, the author addresses the young Indian population, and it urges them to ignite India with their creativeness. Without question, India, as a developing country, has unlimited potential in terms of resources, education, business, energy, you name it.

Abdul Kalam pondered about India’s recent decisions as a nation. What needs to be revolutionized, added, removed, achieved? It’s a long-term process that has to be addressed as soon as possible. According to him, it is the attitude in Indians which hinders the prospect of prosperity.

The book ruminates on a lot of topics but starts with the most important one – peace of mind. Without it, no country can soar to new heights, and as a result, stagnation will prevail.

The Dream and the Leader

The author recalls the thoughts swarming in its head after the helicopter crash. On 30th September 2001 – Kalam and the crew in that chopper looked death right into its eyes when the helicopter’s engines shut down in mid-air, and they started losing altitude, which resulted in a crash.

Miraculously, no one was injured, but they all started seeing the truth of this existence with different eyes. The doctors prescribed a tranquilizer to calm him down so that he could rest.

A strange dream followed.

One particular thought filled him with dread and confusion – Why is the human race so prone to violence? Then, he dreamed about five characters (Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Emperor Asoka, Abraham Lincoln, and Caliph Omar) who he so deeply admired. This dream engrossed him, made him aware of the reality.

These personalities were the answer to this puzzle, all living in different times but exerting a great influence on the upcoming generations.

It was perhaps the missing link to the fulfillment of its longings. Education in India became the battleground for this endeavor.

It became crystal clear to him that by integrating spirituality with education, one can achieve full satisfaction. Without one of these elements, a person can’t cope with the reality of today. Such strides will undoubtedly improve the wellbeing of a nation and add to world peace.

Kalam wholeheartedly argues that there is nothing wrong with having a desire for material things. Although a life with minimal possessions can help you grow inwardly, you mustn’t discard the effects of merging spirituality with the outer world.

One cannot do without the other, and due to this correlation – you must integrate both because nature doesn’t endorse half measures.

India’s wealth, in particular, is not reflected in the resource-rich areas, nor powerful tycoons but by the development of a smarter generation. Who are the role models for the Indian youth, who will act as a leader of the ignited minds?

Throughout life, we can’t help but be subjected to various treatments. In this process, one absorbs the knowledge of different figures, skilled or excelling at different things. When a child matures and strives to gain self-sufficiency – it patterns its life path after a role model.

Not emulating its trajectory, but building its own road based on the “dimensions” which are proven to be effective. It’s a great metaphor that will illuminate the upcoming generations regarding the real wealth of a nation!

Visionary Individuals and Saints

How many times have you been encouraged never to stop dreaming? It’s critical for a person who puts an accent on growth to hear this encouragement over and over again! – Kalam, apparently, thinks alike.

As an illustration of this unquenchable thirst, the author puts Einstein in the limelight.

He was so impressed by the compass and the movement of the needles, that he spent countless hours trying to understand why and who controlled their motion.

What was it made of, how can you stop it from spinning, etc.? These were few of the questions that propelled the young genius into exploring and looking at the depths of everything.

Dyer also adds to this lecture by pointing out that desire or urge incentivizes the Universe to bring those items/facts/opportunities/changes closer to you.

It’s science, not some faded theory!

One other example is India’s battle for independence. It’s entirely false to think that Mahatma Gandhi launched an unprecedented struggle for sovereignty. Indians embarked on this journey officially from 1857. It took them 90 years to achieve this, but it happened because the nation was united.

No one can deny the fact that India still struggles to maintain a stable economy, and a large portion of Indians live below the poverty line. However, it is moving forward, and that’s precisely why Kalam places the emphasis on the young folks.

India was able to withstand the storming hordes of colonialism and preserve its identity. The invaders tried to break India from within and incite divisions, but they faced stiff resistance throughout their reign.

Nonetheless, the effects of imperialism have taken a toll on India’s development.

In the process, India slumped to a lower position in the global arena, and it faces a brick wall when trying to rejuvenate its structure. The new generation now must revamp the fragile architecture of India while drawing strength from its roots depicted through spirituality and ancient wisdom.

Technology is not the spiritual adversary, but a guiding hand which can facilitate this transition. People with vision want to tackle the sociological impasse by scrutinizing the effects of inherent strengths. Indeed, India that needs to be brought into line with the 21st-century thought.

True Patriotism and Real Knowledge

Well, when you are invaded multiple times in the past 3000 years, you ought to learn how to defend yourself. That’s the message Abdul Kalam tried to convey while teaching at Alma University. Nehru spoke against the Nuclear Arms Race and pointed out that India should remain neutral in terms of developing nuclear capabilities.

Nonetheless, the author with regards to current circumstances indicates that two of India’s neighbors are armed with ballistic missiles, and that’s a force to be reckoned with.

The question is – Why did India never launched an onslaught against the nearby nations with whom they share their borders? Were the kings too afraid and pathetic or perhaps India is the core of diversity and always has been? You get the idea! Indians are tolerant people, but that attitude was used against them for centuries!

With more than 10,000 Nuclear Warheads in their arsenal, both the US and the Russian Federation dictate the terms in the Security Council of the United Nations. It stands to reason that without a proper defensive mechanism, India will never be able to play a significant role in worldly events.

When it comes to the belief system, Abdul Kalam was fortunate enough to learn the key elements of religions that are widespread on Indian soil. He arrived at a conclusion that all of them accentuate the importance of spiritual well-being.

The greatest adversary in India are not religious differences, but the people seeking divisions. It is those whose ideology differs from the heart of India, and they try to expand their interests by advocating for a cultural massacre.

In the process, the sense of unity crumbles underneath the never-ending desire for domination. It weakens the mission of the nation, and make it more prone to conflicts and recession not just in terms of economy.

This ultimately incites disappointed and a full-scale dejection. To avert this possible catastrophe, which is a direct consequence of selfish intentions; the youth must look beyond their noses and adjust its viewpoints.

In all honesty, a one billion people nation is tough to govern, especially when you have all the cultural and historical patterns engraved deep in the societal structure.

The best way to address the current impasse is by adapting the implementation program regarding the mission-mode – Kalam regularly concentrated on. The national and human resources are yet to be utilized by focusing on the policies enforced!

The Power of Goals

Maharishi Patanjali once said:

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world.

No one can break your spirit if you are driven by sincere motives that further incentivize you to handle the obstacles down the road.

The same thing applies to historical events that shaped India’s mindset.

Perhaps, there is not a country in the modern world that can match India’s history, culture, and all the facets that go with it. It’s needless to say that ancient India had a significant role in the rise of civilization by sharing its insights into human evolution and social well-being.

Yes, there were hard times that most Indians wish they never happened, but let’s draw positives from the past in efforts to rebuild the future.

The spirit of eager and proud Indians will never be crushed, and that’s the new generation Abdul Kalam is trying to bring to the surface. He exerted himself to portray them as real heroes who should care for prosperity stretching beyond their agendas.

Key Lessons from “Ignited Minds”

1.      Growth doesn’t happen overnight
2.      Attitude is key
3.      Governing doesn’t mean ruling

Growth doesn’t happen overnight

We hate to say it, but this is not a lottery. It’s a long and exhausting process that should help India to stabilize its key aspects and convert into a global Superpower.  

The young generation ought to lay the groundwork for this endeavor.

Attitude is key

Perhaps, Kalam didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but his core message revolves around India’s character.

He voiced grave concerns in terms of the nation’s determination in achieving strategic and personal goals.

We sincerely hope that – Indian Youth will deal with this issue, once and for all.

Governing doesn’t mean ruling

Indians are tired of ruling elites; ranging from the Mughal Empire to European Colonization. They simply don’t like to be ruled but guided and led by true reformers!

It’s a big difference, because in doing so – the country should safeguard their interests and care for their well-being.

Not many rulers did that in the past, to say the least!

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“Ignited Minds Quotes”

I realized then that if something is at stake, the human mind gets ignited and working capacity gets enhanced manifold. Click To Tweet Thinking is the capital; Enterprise is the way, Hard Work is the solution. Click To Tweet Change is crucial. It brings new thought; new thought leads to innovative actions. Click To Tweet Behind the parents stands the school, and behind the teacher the home. Click To Tweet If parents and teachers show the required dedication to shape the lives of the young, India would get a new life. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

As we said previously, this book is an excellent addition for all those ignited minds who want to bring about change in Indian society.

We found it highly amusing and immensely valuable due to its on the point narrative.

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A Brief History of Modern India PDF Summary

A Brief History of Modern India PDF SummaryThe problem with Indian history is the scope which stretches way back from the earliest form of civilization and first settlements.

The culture is so diversified and unique that almost all individuals who seek a higher meaning to life want to go in-depth in terms of India’s mindset.

Don’t take our word for it, and just take a glimpse into their cultural arc.

Who Should Read “A Brief History of Modern India”? And Why?

Usually, we would say that this book is best suited for Indians eager to dig up their history, but that’s not the case. This book is enriched with facts that almost any person regardless of its origins and background will find it highly amusing.

In other words, “A Brief History of Modern India” is an extensive book that can quench the thirst of all knowledge seekers regarding India’s transformation.

Check it out.

“A Brief History of Modern India PDF Summary”

European Power Struggle for India

Upon discovering the sea route to India in 1498, the world started to change at an alarming speed. 50 years earlier, when Constantinople fell under the weight of the Ottoman sword, the Europeans were compelled to fulfill the imperialistic ideas elsewhere.

As the economy began to recover, the demand for luxurious goods grew dramatically. The Spanish and Portuguese led by Vasco da Gama planned a joint venture to establish trading posts in India and did just that in 1502.

Over time, the Portuguese and Spanish influence in India was fading away, as they turned over to other lucrative opportunities like Latin America. The author outlines several reasons that fueled the collapse of the Portuguese Supremacy in India:

  • Corruption, greed and destructive policies
  • British and Dutch influence in the region
  • The rise of many Indian empires

In the 17th century, the Dutch couldn’t withstand the pressure from the British for much longer and shifted its attention toward the Malay Archipelago.

The French history in India is linked to war and struggle for influence. Due to exercising their dominance and expansion of commercial interest in the South of India, Europe was plunged into bloodshed.

The three Carnatic Wars (1740 – 48) (1749 – 54) (1758 – 63), weakened the French influence in India and a Treaty was signed between France and England. They were allowed to use Indian Settlements for trading to safeguard their commercial interests, but nothing more.

Queen Elizabeth I, formed the East British Company in 1600 and gave it a full monopoly over the trade in India. After the victory against the Portuguese, the British established their first factory in 1613 at Surat. The company managed to maintain its status up until 1858 when it was dissolved.

The Expansion of British Influence and Collapse

At the height of its power, The British Empire controlled or had interests in many parts of the world. The Europeans wanted to split India into areas of influence, which they would manage, but that wasn’t the only factor for India’s demise. The ineptitude displayed through ineffective succession plan led to many wars and further decentralization of India.

According to the author, the leading cause of the collapse of the Mughal Empire was the disintegration caused by a wide array of factors.

Indeed, India’s large territory and the fact that the power was vested in the monarch induced chaos and ineptitude on a colossal scale. Law-enforcement and governing were nearly impossible, a situation that only encouraged Durrani and Irani kingdoms to attack its borders.

The predicament stimulated by continues conflicts, agricultural stagnation, economic malaise was a recipe for destruction. The royal treasury ran out of resources to vitalize the economy, and thus the state policies were a fizzle.

The peasants were forced to work for a bare minimum while helping the Imperialist Powerhouse by producing sugar, wheat, rice, cotton, pepper, opium, spices, dried fruits, coffee, porcelain, pearls, tea, silk, etc. Although many industries flourished under the guidance of the British Empire, the profits went straight back to Britain.

In the absence of education, basic schooling in technology, science, philosophy and other branches, the Indian plight was only extended. Hindus and Muslims were divided based on their status, influence, and tribe with regards to the British’s outlook of the region.

In order to get an aerial perspective of what was going on in India at the time, you have to understand the overall British strength displayed through:

  • National Pride
  • Military Superiority in Both Weaponry and Discipline  
  • Civil and Trade Discipline
  • Harsh but Exceptional Leadership  
  • Financial Support

This is not another scrutinization, but a real perspective on what gave them the edge to conduct the embezzlement. The battle of Plassey in 1757 laid the foundation for British dominance in India. Robert Clive (Major-General) presided over a greater and stronger military organization and defeated Siraj-ud-daula, including the armies of Nawab of Bengal, Nawab of Awadh and the Mughal at Buxar in 1764.

After finishing off the Mysore and Marathas by 1819, it was already safe to say that India was a part of the mighty British Empire. Although other wars and conflicts followed such as the Anglo-Sikh War, the real threat to their sovereignty emerged with Gandhism and other figures of the national movement.

The backlash against Britain rule hastened in the 19th century. The considerable income disparity permeated every aspect of the struggle an ordinary Indian faced in its lifetime.

Peasant and Tribal movements rose to the surface, demanding better rights, lesser cruelty and sometimes bigger autonomy. Nonetheless, the 1857 revolt which put an end to British East India Company marked the beginning of the liberation stage.

The riot was caused as a consequence of the policies imposed by the Company. Taxation of the low class became an unbearable burden followed by higher tariffs for Indian products, summary evictions, and other discriminatory policies.

The British added insult to an injury by destroying India’s most valuable industries that the peasants, artisans, craftsmen, and small zamindars relied upon. It was evident that British politics gravitated toward socio-religious interference, among other things.  

Sepoys (Indian soldiers serving under the British) also voiced their discontent due to the industrial, socio, and economic slump that hit the nation.

It resulted in a total abolition of the East India Company and returning the authority to the Queen in 1858. While the administration underwent massive modifications and the army was under a wave of reorganization, ethical tensions were on the rise.

The economic and sociological predicament galvanized the Indians into action. Rejuvenating the Indian society after so many wars wasn’t straightforward, but it was a process of utmost importance that had to be done.

The Movement of Reforms and Modernization

On the ground that Indians could no longer cope with obscurantism, polytheism, superstition, idolatry, degraded status for both men and women, the need for changes cropped up. Their position rendered the demands impossible, therefore, only an organized protest could salvage the situation.

No country up to that point could have easily escaped the British hegemony and slipped from its grasp. What caused this outrageous call for changes, was the lack of education and opportunities for the average Indian.

The impact of Western culture infiltrated their society and endangered the national pride. As a result, the idea of democracy and nationalism came into play during the late 19th century.

The Positive Aspects of the Movements

  • Liberating the oppressed and tackling the fearful mindset.
  • Worship became a personal affair.
  • Restoring the cultural pride to the middle class, earning self-respect and abandoning the feeling of humiliation.
  • Introducing the secular agenda
  • Fostering modernization by exploiting the social environment
  • Putting an end to India’s cultural, economic, and intellectual isolation.

The Negative Aspects of the Movements

  • Limited social reach
  • Instigating mysticism
  • Accentuating religious and philosophical while neglecting moral and secular ones.
  • Hindus lavish praises upon the ancient Indian culture, while Muslims bestow blessings upon the medieval period, thus creating two separate disintegrated nations.

Gandhism and Independence

Gandhi’s activism and influence spread far beyond the scope of Indian history. His methods and non-violence protests became a worldwide sensation and attracted wide publicity.

During his stay in South Africa, Gandhi presided over the Natal Indian Congress, and founded “Indian Opinion.” He publicly opposed the restrictions imposed on Indian migration, and many other policies that induced racial hatred.

In the meantime, he established his rhetoric and became hailed as a great leader and political figure. Also, Gandhi managed to polish up his techniques of opposition by gathering influential people and leading the civil-rights movement.

Gandhi’s early activism in India didn’t get off on the right foot, but it laid the groundwork for the creation of a united and independent state. He was involved in the following protests:

  • Champaran Satyagraha (1917)—First Civil Disobedience.
  • Ahmedabad Mill Strike (1918)—First Hunger Strike.
  • Kheda Satyagraha (1918)—First Non-Cooperation.
  • Rowlatt Satyagraha (1918)—First mass-strike.
  • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and the Inquiry Committee

The aftermath of WW2 was intertwined with the Anti-Imperialist movement raging throughout Asia and Africa. The last two years of British Rule in India were followed by a series of demands and by 1946 it seemed inevitable that Britain is losing its power in India.

The demoralization among bureaucracy and the loyalist only hastened the downfall. On February 20th, 1947, the British House of Commons declared that Britain would be leaving India. Prior to the announcement, the Congress rejected the possibility of Partition or the creation of a self-governing Muslim state (modern day Pakistan).

During the tensions, it’s been reported that many Muslims moved to West Pakistan for fear of violence and many Hindus and Sikhs fled their homes for the same reason. Jinnah was transformed into the voice of all Indian Muslims, and his demands ultimately changed the Cabinet Mission plan.

With the Partition, Pakistan was recognized as a sovereign state on 14th of August, 1947, while India declared its independence a day later. Although many believed that the Partition would allay the fears and alleviate the tensions, the dispute continues between these neighboring nations.

The Indian National Congress won the first general elections in 1952 and remained the leading political force in India up until 1977 when the Janata coalition seized control.

Key Lessons from “A Brief History of Modern India”

1.      Understand your enemy
2.      Never end the fight
3.      Strive for broadness

Understand your enemy

For centuries India has been a battleground for material-thirsty conquerors who plundered the people. By reading the mind of the enemy, you’ll be able to stand your ground and preserve your status.

Not many can discern positives from this strategy, but it’s the same that drawn Sun Tzu into battle.

Never end the fight

It’s been a long time since India gained its independence, but the sequence of reforms must go on. The fight for sovereignty represents the foundation that should be used for further economic and social improvements.

Play wisely and move with eagerness to alleviate the plight of those who struggle to make a living.

Strive for broadness

If there’s one thing we learned from India’s cultural diversity is the freedom permeating the air.

The very embodiment of freedom is expressed through tolerance and broadness; something that India espouses wholeheartedly.

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“A Brief History of Modern India Quotes”

Although limited in its objectives, the Landholders’ Society marked the beginning of an organized political activity and use of methods of constitutional agitation for the redressal of grievances. Click To Tweet The Indian National Congress represented the urge of the politically conscious Indians to set up a national body to express the political and economic demands of the Indians. If the Indians had convened such a body on their own. Click To Tweet The offer of Cripps really gave us nothing. If we accepted his offer, we might have cause to rue it in future. In case the British went back on their word, we should not even have the justification for launching a fresh struggle. War had… Click To Tweet Our time in India is limited and our power to control events almost gone. We have only prestige and the previous momentum to trade on, and these will not last long. – Lord Wavell (October 1946) Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

For centuries various nations and cultures have been keen to conquer India due to its resource-rich status and geography.

Gaining independence was just a phase one because the struggle unfolds to this very day. India is in full swing in terms of technology and progress; let’s see what will happen in years to come.

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Everyone Has A Story PDF Summary

Everyone Has A Story PDF SummaryWell, not everyone is willing to share it, but every person has a story to tell.

Savi Sharma moves away from the pretentious lifestyle and brings everyday anecdotes to light.

Let’s find out how three different stories are entwined together.

Who Should Read “Everyone Has A Story”? And Why?

The first thing a reader will lay eyes upon is the target audience to whom this novel is addressed. Anyway, you should be honored for having something devoted exclusively to you.

In our opinion “Everyone has a Story” is not only amusing but also practical, due to its casual style that covers the daily lives of the vast majority of people.

We urge you to take a quick glance and unearth the takeaways.

Savi SharmaSavi Sharma Biography

Savi Sharma is an Indian novelist and a celebrated author. She has risen to fame not just in India, but throughout the world as India’s best selling female author.

One thing is for sure, a lot of good things are coming up from Savi.

Plot

First and foremost, you should know that the author puts three characters in the spotlight:

  • Meera – A passionate writer who is on the lookout for life-altering stories.
  • Vivaan – An employee at Citibank and a person who wishes to explore the world.
  • Kabir – A café manager who seeks a higher meaning to his life; and Nisha who happens to be there.

Meera starts the journey by sharing her desire to interact with other people, listen to their stories and expand her horizons. She recalls her life struggles and how every interviewed individual had something of value to share with the world.

Perhaps this revelation utterly destroys the concept of mediocrity or the idea of being labeled as a drop in the vast ocean. The narrative is in the first person as Meera tries to share her encounters at the café “Coffee & US.”

She says: So there I was at Coffee & Us, my hands wrapped around a warm, soothing cup of coffee. I could listen to the world around me, hear the songs of life, or I could put my earplugs in and mute out the world.

Kabir jumps out of nowhere and responds – When are you going to stop dreaming about being an author, Meera, and finally write a book?

We can only imagine the power from this wake-up call. Kabir became her trusted friend, and yet another storyteller on her list. Nonetheless, she wasn’t prepared to write that fantastic story just yet, and the search continued.

In a short conversation with Kabir, her eyes opened to the possibility of living the life in moments. Although she felt like something was holding her back, the truth that resides in our hearts is worth exploring.

Arjun Mehra (the Author)  joins the scene and casts doubt on everyone’s life ideology. His hands, eyes, and heart pointed at Meera, and her voice started to tremble.

He asked: What’s your story girl?

She was mesmerized by his openness, smile, and intelligence. She replied: To write like you. Meera was impressed by the people, their everyday struggle, their exit points from this endless circle, but still, the life-changing story hasn’t emerged.

We all live in a bunch of lies, and a good storytelling can surely bring balance to this delusional outcome. People require stories, motivation and something to keep them going. Every piece of information, fable, anecdote which can bestow blessings upon them will be considered a noble lie.

Well, let’s call it a day, okay? Not quite, as the author turned over to the person sitting behind Meera.

What’s your story – he asked? The air filled with confidence, money, and influence as the person replied – I am an assistant branch manager at Citibank.

The room waited for the next query because it seemed like the person became a victim to scrutinization with regards to his willingness to share as much as he deemed appropriate. Mehra became curious about the person’s incentives and what propels him to push in life?

Was it the money, or the status generated from it?

Vivaan uncovered the pain that follows his every move, because the money came at a certain price, often at the cost of freedom and real-life pleasures. He also said that traveling is his passion; the very embodiment of freedom.

The big question struck him like a lightning bolt when he was asked to amplify his answer. How will this journey change his life, and why does he put a lot of belief in it? Vivaan expressed his worry due to the daily problems which place a stranglehold on his happiness.

He knew that hinging on material things to fill that void is absurd, but on the other hand, he stormed out of the café, with a lot on his mind. A strained silence is what followed, an unusual moment of deep contemplation!

At that moment, Meera taught that she finally got a story that will lit a fire in the heart of those who read it. It was indeed a breathtaking moment, which filled the air with hope, regardless of all the other predicaments.

It seems like every cloud has a silver lining.

The story about the traveler rose from the ashes, as Meera set her heart on exploring the journey of a traveler. Kabir approached her and asked to share more details regarding the story and perhaps read a few paragraphs.  

Upon hearing the central premise of it, he was amazed and urged her never to stop writing. He also said that the rest of it would be even better!

Later on, a young girl approached Meera and gave her a napkin. She was surprised at first, but she was instructed to open the napkin. The unfolded napkin had one word written in it – Beautiful! Surprised, and flattered Meera asked – Who wrote his?

It was the traveler!

She lost him, again, but that gave her a new impetus to persist in the same fashion. Indeed, there’s no point in wallowing around in pity but take a firm, decisive step.

It’s never easy to conceive a plan, dispel the doubts and follow your heart. That’s the lesson Vivaan had to learn, the hard way. He despised the very idea of going to work. Every bone in his body was filling with anxiety upon hearing the word – must.

He was obsessed with the woman who he met during the Arjun’s speech at the café. His mind wanted to go there, but his legs played a different tune. The meaning of the note (Beautiful) was twofold. Vivaan couldn’t get the brown skin and the twin dimples out of his head, and it became a real struggle to choose a path.

I wouldn’t hurry away a third time” – he said. Vivaan had to summon every ounce of strength to handle the storyteller (Meera) who wholeheartedly wanted to go in-depth regarding the story.

Thinking about Vivaan became somewhat an everyday matter. Reluctant to visit the café once more, Meera pondered about a lot of things. Nonetheless, she got up and hit the road. Upon arriving, she saw Vivaan sitting in the corner, as far away from the crowd as possible.

The conversation began.

She was acutely aware of his body language and embraced a gentle and balanced approach. – “I am eager for you to tell me about yourself “– Meera said.

It wasn’t easy to break the ice, but there was a positive atmosphere as if something was cooking. Meera was brimming with excitement to hear more about his endeavors. Vivaan responded by divulging some information regarding his private life, and how he lost his mother as a young boy.

He also lavished a mountain of praises upon his father, who raised him with love and kindness. Meera’s eyes filled with tears, but it turned out that Vivaan was not too keen to talk about his loss.

She breathlessly waited for some new fresh information that could pump her up.

He continued – I completed my master’s in finance and joined the banking sector. After a few years of hard work and a lot of struggling, I became the youngest assistant branch manager in our company.

The uttered words were filled with pride and satisfaction. The stalemate that occurred shortly afterward took Meera by surprise. That’s all – he said.

She couldn’t be fooled so quickly, as she felt like something was hiding beneath the surface which manifests status, money and worldly achievements. Vivaan expanded on his “misery” by explaining how his life has very little to do with the term “interesting.”

Meera was like a journalist who persists on having the best story at her fingertips. She didn’t fall for it and decided to leave no stone unturned. Do you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend? – Meera asked.

Vivaan burst into laughter and said – No, I don’t have any. Isn’t that a shock? How can someone be so neglected, to the point where sharing a single story seems like a big deal.

Kabir brought the second cup of coffee, and Vivaan implied – Don’t you see it, perhaps Kabir has something to share. Meera was not convinced, but she didn’t disregard this opportunity as well. Well yeah, his smile is something special, and every customer gets a piece of that cake.

Surely there must be something that incentivizes him to continue down this path, something worth exploring even though you are not privy to his intimate thoughts.

He was given a seat, as they ruminated on his ability to bring joy without uttering a single word. It was a special gift, and perhaps a hack worth sharing with the world.

We’ll stop here, and urge you to take a glimpse into this amazing novel. The story is now delivered to your doorstep, all you have to do is receive the gift!

Two years have passed from the moment Meera laid eyes upon Vivaan. His story became the epicenter of the storytelling style she intends to convey. Nothing could deflate the morale now since the book is published.

Meera started alone, but they finished it together.

Kabir has the honors of introducing Meera to the public, and he did so with passion. “The fledgling author” now had to withstand the pressure of the crowd, as she addresses them.

Remember, everyone has a story. It might or might not be a love story. It could be a story of dreams, friendship, hope, survival or even death. And every story is worth telling. But more than that, it’s worth living.”

The audience burst into applause, as they realize that the story was actually nothing shorter than a pure masterpiece.  

Nisha takes Kabir’s hand and put it on her belly; that was just icing on the cake. Vivaan gets up from his seat and strolls into the stage, and the crowd realizes who he actually is.

A girl from the audience asks them: Where will you go?

Vivaan replies – “Anywhere and everywhere. But always together”. He kisses her on the forehead and implies that their story is far from over.

Everyone Has A Story 2 – Sequel

Well, Savi decided to give us a sequel to one amazing journey. We’ll refrain from revealing much of it, but one should really plunge into this story.

Life tests you, even when you don’t hear a shuffle of approaching feet and feel stranded on a deserted island.

One way or the other – Meera, Vivaan, Kabir, Nisha, and many others exist in our lives. In other words, this book’s narrative revolves around a central premise – the power of storytelling.

It’s perhaps the best surprise looming out of the darkness! Does this idea fill you with dread or you are ready to extoll the virtues of people whose stories are unheard?

We are here to help you find out!

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“Everyone Has A Story PDF Quotes”

Every single day, another page is added, and as one book finishes, another one starts. Click To Tweet In the end, we always regret the choices we didn't make, the love we didn't accept & the dreams we didn't fight for. Click To Tweet Everyone is a writer, some are written in the books, and some are confined to hearts. Click To Tweet When feelings are pure, and the heart is true, even God is forced to change destiny. Click To Tweet Every day, I woke up; I tried to find reasons to live. Every night, when I slept, I tried to find reasons not to die. Every moment, I tried to find reasons to hope, dream and love. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Truthfully, we only gave you a glimpse into this transformative novel, which will surely arouse a sense of uniqueness from within.

It’s needless to say that this life-altering story chronicles the lives of everyday people, which are often neglected and cast aside.

There are plenty of heroes, and Savi undoubtedly knows how to dig them up!

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India’s Struggle for Independence PDF Summary

India's Struggle for Independence PDFThe Indian national movement driven by the idea of self-governing state marked the beginning of a new era.

With many political ideologies on the rise, India had to reform or risk a civil war.

In this summary, we try to cover the events which shaped India’s inner fight for independence.

Who Should Read “India’s Struggle for Independence”? And Why?

Gandhi and other leaders comprised the Indian national movement as the single largest anti-apartheid organization in the 20th century.

The difficulties they faced under the British rule impelled the Indians to fight back and drive this mighty empire out of their land. However, it didn’t end here.

When it comes to the recommendation, we believe that “India’s Struggle for Independence” is a must for every Indian!

Bipan ChandraAbout Bipan Chandra

Bipan Chandra was a renowned Indian historian and specialist in economics. He was also hailed for his contribution to Indian society by divulging valuable info regarding different periods.

He wrote several books, almost all related to the political and social climate in India.

“India’s Struggle for Independence PDF Summary”

The end of World War II triggered a decisive blow to the British colonial rule. Their grip on power was slipping, and the powerful thrust delivered by the national movement compelled Britain to leave India, once and for all.

The first collective protest – 1857

The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was not a riot but an uprising triggered by the unlimited power and oppressive policies of the British East India Company. In Indian books, this rebellion can be associated with different names such as The Great Rebellion, The Indian Mutiny, the Revolt of 1857, etc.

It signified India’s first wave of independence which commenced on May 10th, 1857.

The rebellion began in the form of a small riot against a wide variety of repressive politics – northeast of Delhi. The rage spread like wildfire, and it quickly reached many parts of India. The British realized that the rise of nationalism posed a threat to their rule, and they managed to subside it by June 20th, 1858.

A few months later, the British officials tried to ease off the pressure swarming in the region by granting amnesty to those protestors who weren’t directly involved in any shooting. Nonetheless, the tension and hostilities remained a big issue.

Fed up with the destructive policies, heavy taxes on poor peasants and special treatment for princes and other landowners – the Indian bitterness continued. Not for a single moment that they were convinced in the British “modernization” of India.

Divide and conquer was a powerful blow for united India since many of them served in the British army or remained submissive to British influence. Indian independent fighters and leaders didn’t have the full support from the people, at least not yet.

At the time, hatred and crime became an integral part of everyday life. British officials and ordinary citizens faced the consequences of this riot. It backfired on the rioters since their supporters were injured during the process, as a result of British retaliation.

In Meerut, the protestors unleashed a reign of terror on the British authorities and appointed their 81-year old Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar, as the Emperor of Hindustan. They spearheaded a campaign and took control over a large portion of the North-Western Provinces and Awadh.

The East India Company surely wasn’t going to let the rebels wrest control over large areas. They responded fiercely and seized control of Kanpur soon after the reinforcements arrived. By the end of September 1857, Delhi was retaken, and rebellion put in control.

Other regions weren’t so inclined to help their Indian counterparts and remained relatively neutral throughout the conflict. In the Punjab area, the British mobilized Indian soldiers to support their campaign to the North.

The other provinces ruled by princes such as Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, and Kashmir, didn’t support the rebellion as well.

At the end of the conflict, Britain was urged to rearrange its structure and reform the army in India. The protestors demanded more rights, which inflicted a significant blow to the East India Company. Through the enforcement of India Act 1858 – the administration was revolutionized, and the East India Company dissolved.

Free Press and World War 1

From 1870 to 1918, the national movement was still on the rise, without a clear policy on how to continue its struggle. Active mobilization and awakening were critical to the “funding” of the fight against the oppressor.

The leaders wanted to stimulate national pride and enforce this nationalist ideology through the press. Propaganda became an essential asset, and scattering this information was easier said than done.

Many newspapers thrived under pressure led by fearless and just journalist. Let’s mention a few of those:

  • The Hindu and Swadesamitran under the editorship of G. Subramaniya Iyer, Kesari
  • Mahratta under B.G. Tilak
  • Bengalee under Surendranath Banerjea
  • Amrita Bazar Patrika under Sisir Kumar Ghosh and Motilal Ghosh
  • Sudharak under G.K. Gokhale, Indian Mirror under N.N. Sen,
  • Voice of India under Dadabhai Naoroji

At the time, newspapers and journals were something similar to public service. They were not private organizations which had the freedom to express their viewpoints.

Therefore, it wasn’t easy to publicly criticize one or several aspects related to the government. To continue their work, they’d often absorb the role of an adviser, or someone who warns the government of their wrongdoings in order to expose some radical and nationalist ideas. It was a good cover, for the time being.

Many Indian newspapers emerged in the 1870s with a strong narrative against Lord Lytton and its policies. In those days, the main topic was the famine in 1876, which was preventable but the authorities decided to do nothing in that regard.

To counter these allegations, the government initiated an act, according to which, the Indian language newspapers weren’t allowed to publish any more columns and stories. It was because of their rhetoric and penetrating terminology.

The act was enacted in secrecy to avoid potential riots and disagreements to sprout up.

As expected, the Indian nationalist movement voiced grave concerns about the act. The British attempted to silence their voice, and as a result, several demonstrations emerged. One of them was the journalist coup in 1905.

Surendranath Banerjee was given the “honor” of becoming the first Indian journalist who was imprisoned. He was also one of the founders of the Indian national movement.

The onset of World War I, back in 1914, was seen as an opportunity by the Indians. They believed that while Britain is engaged in defending their own shores, they could seize this opportunity and gain independence.

The Ghadarites advocated for putting an end to British rule in a violent manner, but that didn’t pan out as hoped.

Gandhi’s Rise as a Political Figure and the Movement

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is not only Indian but a global figure whose actions helped the establishment of a free Indian state. In March 1919 he called upon his countrymen to start or should we say launch Satyagraha (non-violent resistance) against the Rowlatt Act.

Although this moment has had a massive influence on his political career, we ought to get back in order to get a bird’s eye view of his life. As a 24-year-old barrister, he was shocked by the racial tensions and discrimination in South Africa.

He even declared that while in London, the racial topic wasn’t as heated as it was in South Africa. Upon its arrival there, he immediately engaged himself with the Indian community. During those meetings, he offered his services as an English teacher, because he believed that knowing the oppressor is a vital tool one can possess.

Just so there’s no confusion, we are not criticizing the British people, who had very little influence on the policies enforced by the elite. However, the system was wrong, and thus Gandhi managed to convince his people to inveigh against colonial despotism targeting the Free Press.

In the 1930s, there was a huge awakening among the poor Indian peasants, who even to this day struggle to make a living. They advocated for a better working environment to feed their children and protect them.

Many political parties arrived on the scene, claiming to be the voice of the people.

The Bolshevik revolution in 1917 somehow contributed to the creation of two left-wing parties: The Communist Party of India, and the Indian National Congress.

The political diversity striving for independence was also enriched with political and right-wing activists. They joined the Congress and added fuel to the national movement. Incarceration, arrests, and riots were common.  

During the anti-imperialist campaign, the political parties also opposed the autocratic society, which was built on exploitation and hardship. The political solidarity united the nation, which will prove to be crucial to the establishment of India a bit later.

Post War Structure

After the defeat of Nazi Germany, the world found itself on the edge once more, divided between two ideologies. For India, this was seen as a way out; a real opportunity to end the political saga. In 1947 that actually started to take place.

The Congress had to acknowledge the fact that the country must integrate various political opinions and secure independence. During that time, the Congress endeavored in uniting the leaders against a common threat and raise nationalist consciousness.

Britain was out, but that didn’t solve the Muslim issue in the country. It became evident that the Muslims led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) wanted to break away from India and form their own country – a modern-day Pakistan.

The British dominance collapsed in the region, but they won against Hitler. That was some kind of a consolation prize for them.

30th of June 1948 remained the official date when the British would pack their bags and leave India. The Congress announced the date to urge the political figures into finding an acceptable solution and thwart an escalating institutional crisis.

The Congress received British confirmation for leaving the country and allowing the Indian people to self-govern themselves. This news was greeted with enthusiasm among the Indian public, as things started to move to the desired direction.

The Constituent Assembly faced some obstacles from the start. It was decided that if Muslim provinces don’t join the proceedings, then the power will automatically be transferred to more than one central Government.

Between 3rd of June to 15th of August 1947, there was a heated political debate about the transfer of power. The Congress discreetly allowed Jinnah to violate the sovereignty of the Constituent Assembly. Probably, the Pakistanis would disagree on this one, but we are not here to judge.

The Muslim League was driven by communalism (allegiance to an ethnic group rather than on the broader society), and that was something neither Nehru nor Gandhi could have stopped. Nehru, on one occasion, stated that he doesn’t want to be blackmailed, and abide by someone else’s rules.

He also didn’t want his people to be in any danger due to riots that plagued the nation.

It came to the conclusion that once Pakistan is established, there will be nothing left to fight for. He assumed that the Partition would signify the peaceful resolution of the issue.

It’s needless to say that the Muslims weren’t very fond of neither Gandhi nor Nehru. According to Bipan, Mahatma Gandhi should have done better at communicating with its people, because as it turns out, Jinnah was not his greatest adversary.

The stalemate was over, and on August 15th, 1947 people danced on the streets. Even though their nation was split into two (India and Pakistan), they were overwhelmed with joy and excitement.

Note: We don’t take sides with either country, nor we support violence.

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“India’s Struggle for Independence Quotes”

There was a greater truth — that of a glorious struggle, hard-fought and hard-won, in which many fell martyrs and countless others made sacrifices, dreaming of the day India would be free. That day had come. The people of India saw that… Click To Tweet If today we fail, tomorrow we will try and if tomorrow we fail, we will try again. Click To Tweet Kings are made for the people, not peoples for their Kings. Click To Tweet The deceiver loses when there is correct response from the deceived. Click To Tweet Would go to the length of giving the whole Congress organization a decent burial, rather than put up with the corruption that is rampant. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

To sum up, the Indian national movement manifested the will of the people, which wasn’t on the same wavelength as the colonial interest of Britain.

It will be inaccurate to say that the fight is over. India still faces a lot of problems, such as poverty and social class differences but continues to recover.

As well as, external issues with its closest neighbors.

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