Tariq Ali's new book, The Nehrus and the Gandhis, an Indian Dynasty, covers the lives of three successive generations of the same family, the history of India from the struggle for independence against British domination to the present day. For all but three years since India gained independence in 1947, the position of Prime Minister has been held either by Jawaharlal Nehru or his daughter, Indira Gandhi. Now her son, Rajiv has followed in her footsteps.
It is this aspect – the creation of what is called the Nehru Gandhi dynasty – which preoccupies the author most, especially since he sees it as taking place in what is still called the world’s largest democracy. However, it is notable that each generation of the Nehru/Gandhis has had