The Discovery of India

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The Discovery of India
Jawaharlal Nehru - The Discovery of India.jpg
The Discovery of India centenary ,edition cover.
Author Nehru, Jawaharlal
Country India
Language English
Subject Indian history, Indian culture, Politics of India, Religion in India, Indian philosophy
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 584 pp (centenary edition)
ISBN 978-0-19-562359-8
LC Class DS436 .N42 1989

The Discovery of India was written by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during his imprisonment in 1942–46 at Ahmednagar in the Ahmednagar Fort.

Nehru was jailed for his participation in the Quit India movement along with other Indian leaders, and he used this time to write down his thoughts and knowledge about India's history. The book is widely regarded as a classic in India since its first publication in 1946, and provides a broad view of Indian history, philosophy and culture, as viewed from the eyes of a liberal Indian fighting for the independence of his country.[1]

In The Discovery of India, Nehru argued that India was a historic nation with a right to sovereignty. (Calhoun, Craig, Nations Matter: Culture, History and the Cosmopolitan Dream, Routledge, p. 63.)

In this book, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru tries to study the history of India starting from the Indus Valley Civilization, and then covers the country's history from the arrival of the Aryans to government under the British Empire. He says that India in the past was a country that lived in harmony and peace, but the evils of society corrupted the people. The effect of these various people on Indian culture and their incorporation into Indian society is examined. This book also analyses in depth the philosophy of Indian life.

This book was dedicated to the Prisoners of Ahmednagar jail.

Life in jail[edit]

During his stay in the jail as a prisoner, he talked about the ruins that were there but were covered up by soil or had collapsed as it was very old.He talks about a courageous, beautiful lady, named Chaand bibi, who fought against Akbar to protect the fort(where he was staying as prisoner). But at the end she was killed by her own army man.

He asks himself that what is his ancestral gift? He discovers that, India is his ancestral gift. It is in his blood. he is the predecessor of victories and defeats of the past kings, brave works of human from the earliest past to now.



The book became the basis of the 53-episode Indian television series Bharat Ek Khoj (1988), directed by Shyam Benegal, first broadcast in 1988 on state-run Doordarshan channel.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Das, Taraknath (June 1947). "India--Past, Present and the Future". Political Science Quarterly 62 (2): 295–304. doi:10.2307/2144210. JSTOR 2144210. 
  2. ^ "What makes Shyam special...". The Hindu. Jan 17, 2003. Retrieved June 6, 2013.