Reflections on Nation Building: A Gypsy in the World of Ideas

Reflections on Nation Building: A Gypsy in the World of Ideas

Rajen Harshe

Publisher: Pentagon Press


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The present collection of essays has been a spontaneous outcome of my intermittent efforts to put together a few of my ideas and thoughts in diverse areas. In my writing career, this is an unconventional book. For, in the past I invariably wrote on problems related to political and international studies with scientific dryness. In this book, rather than making any formal intellectual statement, I have run the risk of allowing my soul and mind to talk to my readers. A number of passions that inhibit me have stimulated the essays in this collection. Consequently, my love for memorable poems, respect for inspiring leaders, metaphysical inclinations, sense of history with acute sensitivity towards traumatic historical events as also processes, understanding of existential thinkers, genuine interest in the younger generations, passion for India and deep concern for higher education obviously get reflected in these essays. In essence, reflections on these apparently diverse themes sincerely voice my relentless concern for nation-building. In a kaleidoscopic manner it is unveiled through the teachings of inspiring leaders and social thinkers, processes and traumatic events of history and the nature of education systems that I have perceived and visualised. Even though I must have been living with most of the themes covered in this collection the genesis of this collection is rather unusual. I initially published a few of these essays under a column entitled, ‘VC’s Diary’ due to constant encouragement by Sandeep Kumar, correspondent 11 12 Reflections on Nation Building: A Gypsy in the World of Ideas of Hindustan Times (HT) of the Allahabad edition. The column became so popular that a large number of citizens of Allahabad began to read it and offer intellectual responses to some of these essays. Thus, the ‘VC’s Diary’ provided a debating forum to intellectuals in Allahabad. Without my realizing, I had started stirring the intellectual atmosphere in Allahabad which has been a well-known seat of learning. Even though I stopped writing the column for the HT, I continued to ponder over the themes that were dear to my intellectual, philosophical and artistic sensibilities. Thus, I kept writing on them to eventually ensure the completion of this travail. Let me present a condensed version of this bunch of essays.