Nehrus revisited in new book
Any attempt to trace the personal life of the Nehrus, the first family of Indian politics whose hold on the people's hearts and minds still continues, cannot escape from turning into a lively history of the period in which the members of the clan lived.
This is what eminent historian Mushirul Hasan's pictorial biography The Nehrus: Personal Histories has charmingly portrayed. And it was not intended otherwise by the writer himself too.
"It is a total experience of reliving the Nehruvian era. You get a sense of India on the move, a modern society in the making, a sense of democracy taking root," says the author, who is also Vice Chancellor of Jamia University, about his work.
While the text of the book, released here last evening, has been written by Mr Hasan, photo research has been done by Priya Kapoor, editor of Roli Books, which has published the book.
"Jawaharlal Nehru has always fascinated me as the architect of the modern Indian society. It is because of his vision that the country is still intact, while other contemporary societies have come under destabilising strain," he said.
The biography includes rare photographs from private collections of family members and those closely associated with them.
The book traces the family roots from the period when the first Nehru migrated to the Mughal court to the present day, producing in the process a fascinating story of a family whose history has come to be inextricably linked with that of modern India.
"We had to do a lot of research and survey in finding pictures for this work. Some of the oldest pictures, which includes a miniature painting of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's court, we obtained from Arun Nehru and Mrs B K Nehru, and for that I had to go to Kasauli where she lives," Ms Kapoor said.