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175. Discovery of India

From the jail, Nehru wrote pages of history everyday to his daughter. It was published as Discovery of India. When Indira visited the USSR, she exclaimed that on whichever side she turned it was Discovery of India that she thought of. His autobiography published in England in the thirties was the best of autobiographies published that year. Admirers of Nehru, rather every patriot in the 40's and 50's lost their hearts to these two books of Nehru. To them they were almost sacred documents. Such books are borrowed from the libraries, not usually purchased.

There was a well-read professor who had collected over 5000 books in his personal library. He had purchased Discovery of India, but put off reading it for various reasons. As his own reading in history was wide, though he belonged to another faculty, he needed to read the book only out of love for Nehru. He was an atheist and prided in calling himself a rationalist. At last he came to the book. Before he crossed the first ten pages, a news distracted him and the book went back to the shelf. This happened a few times and each time he now remembered it was bad news. The rationalist in him awoke. He said to himself, "I am not going to be a victim to all these superstitions. This time let me complete the book". He started reading. A telegram came saying his brother had died in an accident.

The atheist and rationalist disappeared into thin air. The brother in him was outraged. "I am not going to touch it anymore" said he. Sri Aurobindo calls it psychological Ignorance, the ignorance of the subtle worlds, occults worlds, causal worlds that are around us. All this happened in the fifties.

When Sanjay died in a plane crash, Indira was assassinated by her own guards and Rajeev welcomed the murderers in spite of the abundant warning, the dark vicious atmosphere that had enveloped Discovery of India explained itself. Rationality is not defined as defying the unknown.

story | by Dr. Radut