Book Reviews

Singing Gandhi’s India by Lakshmi Subramanian

Book – Singing Gandhi’s India – Music and Sonic Nationalism

Author – Lakshmi Subramanian

Genre – History, Non Fiction

Publisher – Roli Books

No. of pages – 222

Ratings – 3.75/5

About the book –

Here is the first ever and only detailed account of Gandhi and music in India. How politics and music interspersed with each other has been paid scanty, if not any, attention, let alone Gandhi’s role in it. Looking at prayer as politics, singing Gandhi’s India traces Gandhi’s relationship with music and nationalism. Uncovering his writings on music, ashram Bhajan practice, the Vande Mataram debate, Subramanian makes a case for a closer scrutiny of Gandhian oeuvre to map sonic politics in twentieth century India.

Book Review –

I honestly appreciate the amount of research that might have gone through behind this book. It is a very detailed and insightful book.  

Kinjal Parekh - Book Blogger - Mumbai, India

The book is divided into 4 parts –

  1. Decoding the Nation’s Soundscape: A history of sound in Modern India
  2. Crafting a Community: Prayer as Politics
  3. Amplifying Politics and Spinning the Wheel: Private and Public Sound
  4. Spinning in Silence, Praying in public: The Last Years

Each section talks in detail of how music emerged and how it aided in politics and to our political leaders.

There indeed wasn’t any such historic information which talked about music and politics at the same time. The book played a major role in shaping my views on how music emerged during the Gandhi’s period looking at it through a different perspective.

If you are not a history buff or do not like to read non-fictions, this isn’t a book for you. But if you are someone who loves to read, explore and understand the old and historic stuff – this is something which will offer you fresh takes on the same.

You can buy the book from here.

About the author –

Lakshmi Subramanian is an Indian historian with a long and distinguished teaching and research career, having taught history in India and elsewhere. Her work in the fields of maritime history and the social history of Indian music is widely recognized. Post her tenure as Professor of History at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata, she has been researching with the Godrej Archives in Mumbai. Currently, she is Professor at the Humanities and Social Sciences Department, BITS Pilani (Goa), and also Associate Member at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Nantes, France.

– Kinjal Parekh

Kinjal Parekh

Book Blogger || Finance Blogger || Mumbai, India || Indian Booktuber. Kinjal Parekh is highly passionate about reading books and learning about history. Her favorite genres include historic fictions, history non-fiction, mind-body-spirit and poetry books. She loves when a book makes her cry and make her feel vulnerable and emphatic. Apart from books, Kinjal loves to explore and understand how the financial and the economic world works for which she keeps reading economic, financial and business books. One book at a time, she aims to motivate non-readers cultivate the reading habit. She can talk about books all day and night and often tends to cancel out-side plans to stay back home and read a book.

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