Writing a book is an individual-cum-co-operative project which involves a number of people and institutions. My first and foremost debt is to Prof. Bipan Chandra (ex-Chairman, National Book Trust, India) for inviting me to write this biography of Rameshwari Nehru. It took me two years for collecting, collating and organising the material from variety of sources. I am deeply grateful to him for not only giving me full freedom to make methodological experiments but also for his extraordinary patience. Throughout my professional career, he has encouraged my creativity in unexpected ways.
I deeply appreciate the co-operation of the staff of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) where I consulted books, private papers of Rameshwari Nehru and files of recorded interviews of women activists and leaders of Indian national movement and microfilms of relevant newspapers. I am thankful to Gandhi Sanghralaya (Samarak Nidhi) where files of Harijan weekly are available. I am highly indebted to the staff of the Library of Panjab University, Chandigarh, for their ungrudging help in locating rare books and literature on Mahatma Gandhi.
The Nagari Pracharini Sabha, Benares, enabled me to consult the files of Stree-Darpan. I have no words to express my thanks to its trustees and the librarian for their generous help. I must thank my sister-in-law Ms Pammy Mohan for taking notes for me from various women's magazines and thus sparing me time for exploring other sources, lying in the library under reference.
Last but not the least is the debt I owe to my father Janab K.L. Zakir, an Urdu writer of international repute. Despite his extremely busy schedule, he read the draft of the present book. His valuable suggestions enabled me to remove ambiguities and sharpen my argument.
My computer-typist Gurmeet Singh deserves my thanks for preparing a flawless script. Finally, my appreciation for the Chief Editor Dr. Baldev Singh and Dwijendra Kumar, Assistant Editor of National Book Trust, India, who looked after the slick printing of the book. I am grateful to Mr. M.A. Sikandar, Director, NBT, for his personal interest in its publication.
Scripting lives of women, (whether ordinary or extra ordinary) who had participated in the Indian national and women's movement as well as in the crusade for Harijan rights, is a challenging task. It has been even more formidable with the publication of Erik Erikson's path-breaking work Gandhi's Truth: On the Origins of Militant Non-Violence (1970). Erikson found the raw material in the form of experiences in Gandhi's life-story entitled An Autobiography or My Experiments with Truth (1927). It has changed the face of biography which regards psychological issues and insights as an essential ingredient. Much more is required for writing the biographies of Indian feminists-cum-political activists whose concern for human rights, democratic values and peace had drawn them into international arena. These unusual women had functioned in a complex socio-historical milieu. The process of collating stories of their experience with descriptions of contexts in which they occur shows that their lives were not free-floating but socially constructed. It is not very meaningful to focus solely on the search for an individual's cohesive identity but rather to locate the greater complexity that exists across civil societies and across individuals. Ruth Behar, an anthropologist, has rightly pointed out how inclusion of social and cultural contexts facilitates a more complex telling than is otherwise possible.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Art & Culture (810)
Emperor & Queen (494)
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend