The Nehrus and the Gandhis

Published by Picador, 2005

The Nehrus are a dynasty without precedent in the modern world; nowhere else and at no other time in recent history has a single family wielded such enduring and pervasive power over the country—and the electorate—they serve. From Jawaharlal Nehru to his daughter, Indira Gandhi, and from there, via Sanjay and Rajiv to—most recently—Sonia, this remarkable family have consistently established both the parameters and rhetoric of India’s political development.

In the eighties, Tariq Ali made several trips to India, meeting a wide range of political and public figures, including Mrs Gandhi, and leaders of both the Congress and Opposition parties. The Nehrus and the Gandhis, first published in 1985, was the result. Now updated to include the most recent chapters in India’s political history, it remains as relevant as ever, offering an intricate and revealing portrait of power, seen through the continued rise—and eyes—of one family.

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From the archive

  • Interview: ‘The Time is Right for a Palace Revolution’

    November 13, 2008

    ‘The Time is Right for a Palace Revolution’, an interview with Tariq Ali by Malcolm Azania for Vue Weekly, November 30, 2009

    Tariq Ali spoke with Vue Weekly by telephone from his home in England a week before the recent American election. Here is some of what he had to say on Afghanistan, US hypocrisy and what the Obama presidency might mean.

    Vue Weekly: Some say recent US airstrikes in Pakistan will quicken the rise of Pakistan’s Taliban to state power. Will they?

    Tariq Ali: [The imminent fall of Pakistan] has been the standard view of many mainstream western journalists for five or six years now. And it’s completely misguided. I think the big problem in Pakistan is not the danger of Talibanization. These people who are pro-Taliban are a tiny minority. The real problem is the social  …

  • Tariq Ali’s speech at the National Demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

    August 13, 2014

    Here is a video of Tariq Ali’s speech at the largest UK demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

  • The Nehrus and the Gandhis

    January 1, 2005

    Published by Picador, 2005

    The Nehrus are a dynasty without precedent in the modern world; nowhere else and at no other time in recent history has a single family wielded such enduring and pervasive power over the country—and the electorate—they serve. From Jawaharlal Nehru to his daughter, Indira Gandhi, and from there, via Sanjay and Rajiv to—most recently—Sonia, this remarkable family have consistently established both the parameters and rhetoric of India’s political development.

    In the eighties, Tariq Ali made several trips to India, meeting a wide range of political and public figures, including Mrs Gandhi, and leaders of both the Congress and Opposition parties. The Nehrus and the Gandhis, first published in 1985, was the result. Now updated to include the most recent chapters in India’s political history, it remains as relevant as ever, offering an intricate and  …

  • Tariq Ali’s speech at the National Demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

    August 13, 2014

    Here is a video of Tariq Ali’s speech at the largest UK demonstration for Gaza on 8th August, London.

  • ‘This is the real outrage’

    February 13, 2006

    ‘This is the real outrage’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, February 13, 2006

    Amid the cartoon furore, Danish imams ignore the tragedies suffered by Muslims across the world

    The latest round of culture wars does neither side any good. The western civilisational fundamentalists insist on seeing Muslims as the other—different, alien and morally evil. Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons in bad faith. Their aim was not to engage in debate but to provoke, and they succeeded. The same newspaper declined to print caricatures of Jesus. I am an atheist and do not know the meaning of the “religious pain” that is felt by believers of every cast when what they believe in is insulted. I am not insulted by billions of Christians, Muslims and Jews believing there is a God and praying to this nonexistent deity on a  …