Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, Part II by Nirad C Chaudhuri

By Nirad C Chaudhuri

Anyone who needs to appreciate what has occurred in India within the 20th century politically and culturally needs to learn Nirad C. Chaudhuri. between her males of letters he's detailed; for the fertility of his brain and the polymathic variety of his pursuits, in addition to for the lucidity of his prose and his sheer integrity.— Geoffrey Moorhouse(Chaudhuri) has spent an entire life kicking opposed to the myths and shibboleths held by means of nearly all of his fellow countrymen: he has ridiculed the pacifism of Mahatma Gandhi...he has castigated Indian nationalism for being corrupt, selfseeking, and destructive... (he has) vented his spleen on the stupidity and philistinism of the British in India. His most modern (book) is sort of one thousand pages lengthy. It testifies to (his) eloquence, wit, and highbrow brilliance that he can pass on at such size with no as soon as changing into a bore.— Ian Buruma, the hot York evaluate of Books

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The really dangerous aspect of decadence in human communities is the insensibility to it which it always creates. As it happened, my experience made me look at the changes through which I was passing in a different way. I began to feel alienated from the society in which I was living even from the time I entered the world in 1921, when I was in my early twenties. e. during the previous five years when I was engaged in my studies]. The changes were negative as well as positive. Certain things and qualities, dominant in the old order in which I was born and brought up, had disappeared or were disappearing.

Furthermore, as a Bengali, I have to record a decline which has a poignant relevance to me. During the same period of political and cultural decline in India I had also to observe the eclipse of Bengal as a force in Indian politics and culture. From the beginning of British rule down to 1920 the Bengali people dominated the political and cultural life of India. How positive their domination in politics was will be realized if I recall the curious idea which the British administrators in India held about the extension of self- government to Indians.

This might help others if they adopted it. I would, however, assure the reader that I have not allowed my knowledge of after events to colour my account. There are in the book historical verdicts made in retrospect. But I have kept them distinct from my description of what I saw, and from the recording of my opinions, forebodings and malaise as they were, retaining their immediate intensity. But whatever there might have been of imprecision or uncertainty in my diagnosis of the historical situation in which I was placed there was none whatever in my prescription for the disease.

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