India & Democracy

India & Democracy

India & Democracy

India & Democracy

Excerpt

In planning the study which is the foundation of this book my desire was to see the issues of to-day in their true significance and proportion as part of the unfolding scroll of India's destiny -- to survey the past acts of an age-long drama not merely as an aid to interpreting the present scenes, but also as revealing trends which have characterised the past and which are likely to continue in the future. "Politics", as Seeley wrote, "are vulgar when they are not liberalised by history, and history fades into mere literature when it loses sight of its relation to practical politics." A proper sense of proportion in the appreciation of present problems may provide both a reassurance to those who are intimidated by their apparent difficulty and a safeguarding restraint on others who, feeling that their urgency brooks no delay, might be led into hasty courses. To a political leader, filled with a passionate enthusiasm, it may well be intolerable to see the years of his span of life passing without the realisation of his ideals, but in terms of Indian history this is a little matter, and the true friend of the Indian people may well be he who, without losing his enthusiasm, is yet able to temper it with patience.

For the fulfilment of the purpose which I have thus described, it seemed to me that it would be advantageous to get the review of the broad drama conducted by one who had not been concerned as an actor in it or formed his views from special kinds of contact, official or otherwise, but yet could devote sufficient time to gain more than the superficial impressions of a casual visitor. At the same time, I wanted to combine with my own the . . .

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