Tuesday, July 17, 2007


What would be the virtues to possess if one wants to be a near-perfect historian? I think, it'd be patience! Patience of telling the story as it happened, from all angles, from all possible points of view; without actually passing any opinion about it.

Thankfully, the reader need not possess that virtue (or the lack thereof). He is allowed to create an opinion, to nurture it as he turns more pages and probably dumps it at a later time. At times, he may even find a feeling of triumph when his prophecy is found to have become true (in the future of the past, so to say!).

At times, reading India After Gandhi, I have come across many such pages. At times I have felt, I'd been rather better off if I had been living in those pages of history. And at multiple times, I have felt pity and admiration (in that order) for the author who held his own (or rather who as a matter of profession, had to) and restrained from passing any judgment on the situation.

No wonder this book is running strong on the best-seller list for some time now.

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