04 December, 2020

An Old Nehruvian

A clue to Narayanan's actions in coming days lies in his political and intellectual past

An Old Nehruvian

LONG years ago, a generation of young men and women made a tryst with their newborn nation-state. From their midst came the first draftsmen of the Constitution, the first ambassadors of independent India and the first economic planners. And from their ranks comes our 12th president, Kocheril Raman Narayanan. They were the youth of the 1930s and 1940s, the first Nehruvians, animated by principles of anti-fascism and the welfare state, by the modernist political poetry of Stephen Spender and W.H. Auden and by the example of Roosevelt's New Deal in the US and of the William Beveridge Plan for economic and social restructuring in Britain.

 Says A.K. Damodaran, an old friend and colleague of the president, a comrade-in-arms in doctrine and profession: "Narayanan is very much part of a generation for whom socialism rather than any other doctrine was the great political principle." With the publication of Nehru's autobiography, a generation of young men were introduced to the thoughts of T.S. Eliot, Arnold and Auden....



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

In this article:

More from Sagarika Ghose

Latest Magazine

December 07, 2020

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section