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India, Old and New   By: (1852-1929)

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India, Old and New by Valentine Chirol is a compelling exploration of the vast and diverse country of India. Chirol takes readers on a captivating journey through time, providing a comprehensive understanding of India's past and present.

The book delves into various aspects of India's history, unravelling the complex tapestry of cultures, religions, and traditions that have shaped the nation. Chirol meticulously examines the significant events that have left indelible imprints on India's socio-political landscape. From the era of the Mughals to the British Raj, and ultimately to India's independence, the author skillfully uncovers the multifaceted layers of India's past.

What sets this book apart is Chirol's ability to seamlessly blend historical analysis with firsthand accounts of his experiences in India. His personal anecdotes enrich the narrative, offering readers a vivid glimpse of the country's enchanting landscapes, bustling cities, and vibrant communities. These anecdotes also highlight the author's passion for and deep connection to India, which further deepens the reader's engagement with the book.

Moreover, Chirol goes beyond history and delves into the contemporary issues faced by India. He candidly addresses topics such as political struggles, social divisions, and economic challenges. By examining these realities, Chirol expertly captures the complexities that India grapples with in its pursuit of progress and development.

The author's prose is eloquent and evocative, allowing readers to visualize the vivid landscapes and immerse themselves in the narratives. Chirol's writing style is accessible, making the book appealing to both history enthusiasts and those seeking an introduction to India's rich heritage.

One of the book's greatest strengths is its comprehensive nature. Chirol traverses diverse regions, engaging with various communities and their respective histories, languages, and traditions. This breadth of coverage ensures that readers gain a holistic understanding of India, avoiding a narrow focus on a specific region or era.

However, the book does have some limitations. At times, the author's perspective may be seen as reflective of a colonial mindset, particularly when discussing the relationship between India and Britain. Despite these moments, Chirol succeeds in presenting a balanced view of India's history, acknowledging its strengths and weaknesses.

In conclusion, India, Old and New by Valentine Chirol is an engaging and informative book that offers a comprehensive exploration of India's past and present. Chirol's eloquent prose, personal anecdotes, and extensive research make this book an invaluable resource for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the multifaceted nation that is India.

First Page:

(Transcriber's Note: [=x] notation indicates a character with a macron.)




"We shall in time so far improve the character of our Indian subjects as to enable them to govern and protect themselves." Minute by Sir Thomas Munro, Governor of Madras, Dec. 31, 1824.



It is little more than ten years since I wrote my Indian Unrest . But they have been years that may well count for decades in the history of the world, and not least in the history of India. Much has happened in India to confirm many of the views which I then expressed. Much has happened also to lead me to modify others, and to recognise more clearly to day the shortcomings of a system of government, in many ways unrivalled, but subject to the inevitable limitations of alien rule.

At a very early stage of the Great War the Prime Minister warned the British people that, after the splendid demonstration India was already giving of her loyalty to the cause for which the whole Empire was then in arms, our relations with her would have henceforth to be approached from "a new angle of vision." The phrase he used acquired a deeper meaning still as the war developed from year to year into a life and death struggle not merely between nations but between ideals, and India claimed for herself the benefit of the ideals for which she too fought and helped the British Commonwealth to victory... Continue reading book >>

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