Talk Summary

When India became independent, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel were the foremost leaders of the movement that had won this independence from the British. They had worked closely together for close to three decades, from non-cooperation through civil disobedience to Quit India, and then the tortuous negotiations leading to independence and Partition. They shared the core vision of a sovereign, democratic and secular and egalitarian India.

There were many occasions on which they differed from each other, but these differences were handled with courtesy, humility, and mutual respect, and never allowed to reach a breaking point. 

This talk will take up some of these examples, and show how the reality was very different from the currently popular mythology which portrays Nehru as Patel as rivals and even adversaries, and Nehru as the usurper who grabbed the Prime Minister’s chair which rightly belonged to Patel. 

MRIDULA MUKHERJEE

"Gandhi-Nehru-Patel: Unity in Diversity"

About

 Prof Mridula Mukherjee is a renowned historian.

She has taught History at the Centre for Historical Studies, JNU, for over four decades.  

She was Director, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, from 2006 to 2011, and Dean, School of Social Sciences, JNU from 2012 to 2014. She has been a Visiting Professor and Fellow at La Sapienza, University of Rome; Institutes of Advanced Study at Nantes, France, at University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Lancaster, UK: the University of Tokyo, Japan, and Duke University, USA. 

She was member of the External Advisory Board, Long Room Hub, Research Institute for Arts and Humanities, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. She co-authored India's Struggle for Independence and India Since Independence, both best sellers published by Penguin with multiple reprints and translations. She also authored Peasants in India's Non-violent Revolution, and Colonialising Agriculture: The Myth of Punjab Exceptionalism, Sage Publications and RSS, School Textbooks and the Murder of Mahatma Gandhi: The Hindu Communal Project, Sage (co-author). She is also co-editor of the Sage Series in Modern Indian History in which 18 manuscripts have already been published.

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