Discovery of India was written by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, when he was imprisoned for five months in the Ahmednagar fort during the Indian independence movement. The book was published in 1946, a year before India gained independence. Many scholars who have published elaborate studies in the field of Indian History have called the book as a classic. Jawaharlal Nehru in his work has narrated in this book India’s rich and complex past from the prehistoric times to the final years of colonial rule in India. Nehru begins his account from the beginning of the Indus Valley Civilization and outlines the country’s geography before introducing the native tribes.
The highlights of the book are Nehru’s own readings of the Indian epics, rituals, and scriptures like the Vedas and Arthshastra (economics). Nehru has also explained in detail the growth of new religions and religious sects, such as Buddhism, and Jainism and the changing social structure. The effect of foreign invaders, such as the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turkish, and Mongols, their rule and the impact on the Indian society can also be understood by reading the book. Since Nehru Himself was part of the Indian independence movement, readers can have a subjective view of the movement from the time it had begun to the time when it gained momentum till the final years of the movement.
The book captures in essence and brings to life one of the world’s ancient culture encompassing all aspects of it - philosophy, art, religion, science, society and social movements. The Discovery of India is a wonderful read for any student of history, who wants to learn about India and its rich past. It is also a wonderful read for anybody who is interested in knowing about the country which holds within its boundaries so many regions, religions, sects, races, languages,cuisines, and sub cultures.