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Tag Archives | Jawaharlal Nehru

Indian History Carnival–77: Cultural Treasures, Maratha and Deccani Paintings, Ehrenfels, Margaret Lee Weil

  1. As the new government has taken over, Vijay makes an important point that it should pay attention to safeguarding India’s national treasures and in recovering it from around the world.
  2. The Asian and African studies blog has Part 2 of the Maratha and Decaani paintings.

    The remaining five paintings in the album are all from a large Hyderabad-type series of the Rasikapriya, the classic text by Keshavdas on Hindi poetics that the author wrote at Orccha in 1594 for Kunwar Indrajit Singh, the brother of the ruler Raja Ram Shah of Orccha (1592-1605). Although a literary work, it was written in the context of the Vaishnava revival in northern and western India in the 16th century. Keshavdas took the love of Krishna and Radha out of the pastoral settings of the Gita Govinda and placed it in a courtly ambience. He used their relationship to explore all the different kinds of literary heroes and heroines and the erotic sentiment (sringara rasa) in all its variety

  3. The 1980 Gregory Peck movie, The Sea Wolves, was based on an attack on a German ship which had been trasmitting information to U-boats from Goa. Maddy goes behind that story and writes about the The Story of Ehrenfels at Goa

    The story of these four ships and their crew is what this is all about and one which was kept secret by the British and Indian governments until 1978. Interesting, right? Well, that it certainly was and as we unfold events around this story, we will travel down from Assam to Calcutta, then to Cochin and finally north to Goa. We will meet many nationalities, Indians, Germans, Brits and what not. As events turned out, the previously introduced motely group called the Calcutta Light horse were to get connected to this somewhat important operation of the SOE in India.

  4. In 1952, Margaret Lee Weil reached India to write about and photograph a man she admired – Jawaharlal Nehru. India Ink blog has an entry on her trip following Nehru and Indira on their vacation in the valley of Kashmir.

    Ms. Weil asked Mr. Nehru if she could take pictures of him for Collier’s, an American magazine. “I don’t care who takes my pictures as long as they don’t get in my way,” he snapped, according to one entry. A 34-year-old Indira Gandhi, according to Ms. Weil, had “long dark hair and a narrow sensitive face – a double of her father’s.” Mr. Nehru, in Ms. Weil’s words, appeared “every inch the statesman,” and “amazingly youthful for a man in his sixties.”

That’s it for this month. The next carnival will be up on July 15th. Please send your nominations to varnam.blog @gmail

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Nehru and Uniform Civil Code

Jawaharlal Nehru with school children at Durgapur (via Wikipedia)

Jawaharlal Nehru with school children at Durgapur (via Wikipedia)

Six Thousand Days: Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister by Amiya Rao and B.G.Rao has a section on the first Prime Minister’s politics regarding the introduction of Uniform Civil Code in India. He had sponsored the Hindu Code Bills because the personal laws of Hindus had to be modified to come in line with modern thought and attitudes. It was also intended especially for, “freeing our people, more especially our women-folk from the outworn customs and shackles which have bound them.”

Even though President Bourgiba of Tunisia and President Ayub of Pakistan had changed Muslim personal law in their countries, Nehru was not willing to do so in India. The book accuses him of conceding that only the Ulema and not the Parliament had the power to make rules for Muslims purely for the vote bank. In a speech Nehru mentioned

“We have passed one or two laws recently and we are considering one … in regard to Hindu marriage and divorce … These are personal ingrained in custom, habit and religion … Now we do not dare to touch the Muslims because they are a minority and we do not want the Hindu majority to do it. These are personal laws and so will remain for the Muslims until they want to change them … We do not wish to create the impression that we are forcing any particular thing in regard to Muslims’ personal laws.”

Thus, even though Article 44 stated that the state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout India, that was one path Nehru was unwilling to travel.

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