India Today August 30, 2021

India Today is the leading news magazine and most widely read publication in India. The magazine’s leadership is unquestioned, so much so that India Today is what Indian journalism is judged by, for its integrity and ability to bring unbiased and incisive perspective to arguably the most dynamic, yet perplexing, region in the world. Breaking news and shaping opinion, it is now a household name and the flagship brand of India’s leading multidimensional media group. Additionally, the weekly brings with it a range supplements like Women, Home, Aspire, Spice and Simply which focus on style, health, education, fashion, etc. and Indian cities.

Living Media India Limited
SPECIAL: Get 40% OFF with code: READ40
52 Issues

in this issue

4 min

On August 15, 2022, India celebrates 75 eventful years of being the world’s largest democracy. There is much to be grateful for. At Independence, we were an impoverished, underdeveloped nation, where just over 18 per cent of the people could read or write, the average citizen could hope to live up to the age of 32, and everything, from food to healthcare centres, doctors, institutions and industries, was in short supply. This, when our population was 350 million compared to 1.3 billion currently. At the end of 74 years, we have made impressive strides in our journey towards gross national wellbeing. Over three-fourths of our people are now educated. Average life expectancy has more than doubled. We are self-sufficient in food production and have belied fears of becoming an economic…

3 min
the pathbreakers

While describing two extraordinary pathbreakers who changed the world, US civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr observed, “Man has thought twice in our century, once with Albert Einstein and then with Mahatma Gandhi. Einstein’s thought transformed the understanding of the physical world, Gandhi’s thought transformed the understanding of the political world.” Einstein himself would say of Gandhi, “In our time of utter moral decadence, Gandhi was the only true statesman to stand for a higher human relationship in our political sphere. Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked the earth.” What made Gandhi one of the most influential personalities of the era? Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner, in his book Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership, puts Gandhi in the…

1 min
mahatma to the world m.k. gandhi (1869–1948)

Gandhi remains the model politician, a man who put his belief in altruism above personal considerations and consistently maintained respect for all spiritual traditions For me, Mahatma Gandhi symbolises ‘Ahimsa’, or non-violence, as well as ‘Karuna’, or compassion. One of my main commitments today is to promote these two principles, and I believe that India is the only country with the potential to combine its ancient knowledge with modern education. Gandhiji exemplified both Ahimsa and Karuna, and I think of him as my teacher. On my first visit to India in 1956, I made a pilgrimage to Rajghat, on the banks of the Yamuna river, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. As I stood there in prayer, I experienced great sadness at not being able to meet him in person, but also great…

2 min
nation builder jawaharlal nehru (1889–1964)

He was called an immense banyan tree under whose shade no one could grow, but as an institution-builder sans peer, he ensured a variety of flora flourished in the forest When Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India’s first prime minister, died in 1964, his legacy to the nation and the world seemed secure. A towering figure in national politics and on the international stage, the reflective, mercurial Nehru—in innumerable books and speeches, and in his conduct as prime minister—developed and articulated a worldview that embodied the aspirations of his generation, of his country and (many believed) of the developing post-colonial world. For the first 17 years of India’s independence, Nehru—a moody, idealist intellectual who felt an almost mystical empathy with the peasant masses; an aristocrat, accustomed to privilege, who had passionate socialist convictions; an…

2 min
the states man sardar vallabhbhai patel (1875–1950)

Brief and biting in speech, in action firm, Patel became India’s welder From an easy chair six feet away, Sardar Patel seemed to be mocking me. I was 14. When I looked closely, there was affection in his eyes. Four decades later, I would write his biography. Born to impoverished peasant proprietors in central Gujarat, this neglected middle son relied on himself. Working as a vakil in Godhra and Borsad, he lost his wife Jhaverba early but used his savings to study law in London. Returning as a barrister, he dazzled Ahmedabad with earnings and bridge-table skills, but in 1918 chose to throw himself at Gandhi’s side for India’s freedom. In 1928, after he had led a successful satyagraha against a hike in land tax, Bardoli’s peasants bequeathed on him the title of…

2 min
scripting democracy bhimrao ramji ambedkar (1891–1956)

The powerful written framework that he laid down has paved the way for socioreligious reform As India celebrates the diamond jubilee of its independence next year, how do we judge Bhimrao Ambedkar, who, as the chairman of the drafting committee, inscribed a Constitution that has helped ‘We the people of India’ survive as a democracy? This would not have been possible but for the Constitution’s path-breaking ideological framework that addressed the country’s graded, unequal caste/ class structures with a view to reframe socio-spiritual and graded economic inequalities and opportunities. Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel would not have foreseen the impending dangers that could break the democratic Constitution with the existing caste-untouchable and multi-religious social fabric of our society as it existed till 1947. It was Ambedkar who could foresee…