Jinnah vs. Gandhi

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Hachette India, Nov 30, 2012 - History - 336 pages
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The modern history of South Asia is shaped by the personalities of its two most prominent politicians and ideologues – Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi. Jinnah shaped the final settlement by consistently demanding Pakistan, and Gandhi defined the largely non-violent nature of the campaign. Each made their contribution by taking over and refashioning a national political party, which they came to personify. Theirs would seem, therefore, to be a story of success, yet for each of them, the story ended in a kind of failure. How did two educated barristers who saw themselves as heralds of a newly independent country come to find themselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum? How did Jinnah, who started out a secular liberal, end up a Muslim nationalist? How did a God-fearing moralist and social reformer like Gandhi become a national political leader? And how did their fundamental divergences lead to the birth of two new countries that have shaped the political history of the subcontinent? This book skilfully chronicles the incredible similarities and ultimate differences between the two leaders, as their admirers and detractors would have it and as they actually were.'

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I find this book really engrossing. Over all it is an unbiased book but at certain points, I felt that the author was too inclined towards Gandhi. Perhaps the occurrence of these points was quite frequent. Nevertheless it is a nice piece of work.

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About the author (2012)

Roderick Matthews is a freelance writer specializing in Indian history. He lives in London with his wife and two children. Born in 1956, he studied Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford, and has written for a number of British and Indian publications, including the Observer, the Literary Review, and the Times of India. He has his own website at historydetox.com. His interest in Indian history was first awakened when he discovered that one of his great-grandmothers, Lady Cecilia Roberts, had looked after M.K. Gandhi when he fell ill on a visit to London in 1914. Lady Cecilia unknowingly made Gandhi break his vow not to drink cow’s milk, but the Mahatma, as recorded in his autobiography, generously forgave her. Roderick’s first book, The Flaws in the Jewel: Challenging the Myths of British India (HarperCollins India), was published in 2010.

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