Understanding Indian Political Thought

O P Sharma
Professor Raju Goyal, has authored another book titled ” Indian Political Thinking: An Interpretation” depicting the graphic account of the evolution of political philosophy of India and given details of major figures of political leaders who practised their idealogy in life. They not only preached nationalism but through their participation in the freedom movement.
The book has put searchlight on stalwarts like: Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Dadabhai Naoroji, , Justice M G Ranade, Bal Gangadhar Tilak,  B C Pal, Sri Aurobindo, Gopal Krishan Gokhale, Lala Lajpat Rai, as also Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Iqbal, Swami Vivekanand, MN Roy, Jawalarlal Nehru and MK Gandhi devoting a chapter each for detailed study. It has purposely been designed for the students of Indian political thought and is also a research work. Prof Goyal has already written a number of books on politics.
In-depth Study
The chapter on Mahatma Gandhi spread over in about 50 pages is focused on his life which has unique and gave exemplary message of truth and non-violence which is relevant not only in India but all across the globe.
He was a man of the masses and ignited their spirit for freedom and sowed seeds of moral ethos in politics. His relentless service to the nation is singular and tallest indeed. The author has put sharp focus on life, philosophy and attainments and readers will certainly learn a lot many lessons.
The depiction of political philosophy of Gopal Krishan Gokhale, whom Gandhiji considered his guru;  Raja Ram Mohan Roy, a social reformer who energized the people; Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a revolutionary political activist; Sri Aurobindo Ghosh, who tempered politics with spiritual values; freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai as also great thinkers like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Mohammad Iqbal have also made significant contribution in their own way to the political thought process while MN Roy has a distinct philosophy and Swami Vivekananda’s contribution in creating awakening among the masses to ”  awake, arise and achieve the goal”. A full chapter has been devoted to the first Prime Minister , Pt Jawaharlal Nehru who turned a new leaf in life of Independent India. It may be pointed out that many great thinkers and political leaders who should have also been mentioned are missing in this study. I think that all other shades of political thinkers or leaders should have been subject of this valuable research study and evaluated their contribution in modern political thought.
“Nationalism in India” is the first chapter wherein its roots, concept and concretization has been thoroughly deliberated upon by Prof Raju Goyal. He has vividly depicted the steady growth of modern political thought process and the contribution of the academic thinkers and noted political leaders.
Detailed Study
In the Preface of this book, Prof Goyal says “an attempt has been made to present a critical commentary on political thinking in India and is intended to be both descriptive and analytical”. He has given true meaning and proper perspective to the political thinking of the modern times.
It is noteworthy that the author has given a modern interpretation to the political thinking of our stalwart leadership in the modern history. This study is based on well researched work and has given detailed references to source material.
Prof Goyal is MA Gold Medalist from MDU Rohtak and has distinction of being a UGC career awardee and ICSSR fellow. He has authored a number of books and has to his credit a number of research papers published in some prestigious journals.
The author, who is son of noted scholar OP Goyal, has lived upto his reputation and given a complete insight into modern Indian political thinking.
When this reviewer interacted with Prof Raju Goyal, he elaborated on his proud work done on the major political and social leadership. He disclosed that his another book on the political philosophers of yester-years is being given final touches and will be published shortly.
Authentic Work
A significant feature is that the book has been written based on authentic sources and penned in a simple and easy to understand language. At the end of each chapter, a detailed references to source material which establishes the authenticity and objectivity of the work done in this volume. For the facility of the readers, a separate Index has also been added which indicate the hard work put by the author of this book.
This 307-page book has quality printing and well produced in paper-back edition which has made the price at Rs 275 which is reasonably well within the paying capacity of the students and scholars or an average readers interested in political thinking in India. Prof Raju Goyal has made a contribution and the Saksham Books International has also rendered service to the society by publishing this valuable book which gives true outline political history of our country. It is hoped that many students, scholars, political leaders and members of civil society will go through this book and certainly derive benefit by intimately knowing about the roots and evolution of Indian political thinking.

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