Indian National Congress

The Other Liberal Light
June 22, 2012

Recovering Liberties: Indian Thought in the Age of Liberalism and Empire By C. A. Bayly (Cambridge University Press, 383 pp., $29.99) Democracy and Its Institutions  By André Béteille (Oxford University Press India, 228 pp., £27.50) I. THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA is the most reckless political experiment in human history. Never before was a single nation constructed out of so many diverse and disparate parts. Partitioned at birth on the basis of religion, India now has almost as many Muslims as the Muslim homeland of Pakistan.

White Man for the Job
April 23, 2007

Last month, a little-known British historian named Andrew Robert swas swept into the White House for a three-hour-long hug. He lunched with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, huddled alone with the president in the Oval Office, and was rapturously lauded by him as"great." Roberts was so fawned over that his wife, Susan Gilchrist,told the London Observer, "I thought I had a crush on him, but it's nothing like the crush President Bush has on him." At first glance, this isn't surprising.

The Rescuer
October 28, 2002

A Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America, and the Holocaust by David S. Wyman and Rafael Medoff (The New Press, 269 pp., $26.95) Twenty-five years ago, while researching Holocaust history for the Joint Distribution Committee in New York, and as I was preparing to immigrate to Israel, I came across a clipping from The New York Times from 1936.

States of Emergency
December 17, 2001

Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi by Katherine Frank (Houghton Mifflin, 448 pp., $35) I. The glassy memorial that stands in the garden where Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards in 1984 is among the most visited secular sites in India. Morning and afternoon, busloads of Indians arrive from across the country, whole families together, young and old, noisy but respectful. Nearly twenty years dead, Mrs. Gandhi stays vivid in popular memory. In the view of most Indians, she was the best prime minister that they have ever had.

Rebel India
April 28, 1937

History will say, when it records contemporary events in India, that destiny fulfilled itself with  punctual and implacable logic. The new Constitution has just come into operation, and already over the greater part of the Peninsula it is a dead letter. The nation refuses to work it. What else could one expect? The British government prepared the mind of this people to receive its gift by two years of intensive coercion. It would discuss the details of the new settlement only with hand-picked delegates of its own choosing.