About the Book
The Discovery Of India was written by Jawaharlal Nehru when he was imprisoned by the British in the Ahmadnagar Prison. He was arrested for taking part in the Quit India movement. To keep himself occupied during his time there, Nehru started writing a book on the vibrant history and culture of his ancient land.
Nehru has encapsulated the history of this vast land right from prehistoric times to the pre-independence period. He has covered, in around 600 pages, the Indus Valley civilization, the Vedic period, the different great empires in both the North and South, the Mughals, the arrival of the European powers in India, and the British rule.
Sweeping across topics in its scope, the book discusses the Vedas, Upanishads, the Buddha, and even Mahatma Gandhi, covering every region and notable personality in India’s history. This is an ambitious work that is considered to be a classic in Indian literature.
Nehru’s main aim in writing this book was to highlight the rich past of the country and assert India’s right to establish itself as an independent and sovereign nation that did not need any outside guidance to govern itself.
Nehru mentions the help he received from his fellow prisoners. They read his manuscript and made many valuable suggestions. He discussed various aspects of Indian history with them and says that such discussions helped him clarify the ideas expressed in the book.
About the author
Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India and a freedom fighter. He played a key role in the Indian independence movement and was a close ally of Mahatma Gandhi.
Other books by Jawaharlal Nehru include An Autobiography: Jawaharlal Nehru, Glimpses of World History, and Letters From a Father to His Daughter.
Nehru was born in Allahabad in 1889. Because of his fondness for children, his birth date, November 14, is celebrated as Children’s Day in India. He was the son of Motilal Nehru and Swaruprani. They were an affluent Kashmiri Brahmin family. He served as India’s Prime Minister for seventeen years, and was the father Indira Gandhi, one of the later Prime Ministers of India.