Three passions dominated Maulana Azad’s life: love of learning, Hindu-Muslim unity and freedom of India. This comprehensive and sensitive study, using extensive source material offers, for the first time, a critical portrait of a remarkable intellectual who fought for his country’s freedom.
He never ceased cultivating his own garden even when, as a rebel against British rule, he had to live in gaol for about a decade.
Shy and reserved by nature and temperamentally a private person who would rather commune with the minarets of the Tajat Agra on moonlit nights than mix with crowds, this scholar extraordinaire was pushed into the arena of political battle and consecrated his life to the service of the country.
Forsaken by his own community and distrusted by others, he never compromised on his integrity. Jinnah refused to shake hands with him.
In high politics he showed a rare sagacity but his advice was disregarded on some crucial occasions for which the country has had to pay a heavy price. Towards the close of his life he was a sad man.
His thwarted love affair, like Dante’s, had given him a new, exalted vision of life. But the ideals he stood for lay shattered and the sense of utter failure in his mission seized him.
This work captures the unique spirit of this remarkable personality, torn by conflict and caught up in paradoxical situations.
It also provides a sound understanding of the inner turmoils of the man by reviewing them in the broad historical perspective of his times when the destiny of the country which he helped to shape was taking a new turn.
Badr-ud-Din Tyabji’s first volume of memoirs is a personal record encompassing half a century of India’s recent history. The momentous changes this period witnessed are chronicled by Tyabji from a unique position of vantage. Diverse cultural and intellectual influences – an enlightened Islamic and strongly nationalist family tradition, tempered by a liberal Western education – shaped his forceful personality and distinguished career. This volume traces the author’s childhood and youth under the Raj, his experience as a civil service officer, the rough crossing over into Independence under the shadow of Partition, the shaping of the new sovereign republic, and his experiences of the Indian Foreign Service in its infancy.
The Tyabji family rose from a background of entrepreneurial prosperity to social prominence in an age when emerging nationalism was propelling the country swiftly towards a final confrontation with its colonial identity. These memoirs bring to life personalities and events of this vibrant period, not too distant but already sadly fading from national memory. The value of the book as a historical documentation is greatly enhanced by the author’s robust wisdom, eye for detail and wry sense of humour. But his sharp observation, unflinching candour and cutting wit are always mellowed by a lively curiosity and instinctive generosity of heart. A self confessed egoist, Tyabji counter – balances his nostalgia for the past with pragmatic evaluation without detracting from its essential period charm. ISBN: 9694020174 Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS