India’s struggle for freedom from an alien rule went hand-in-hand with a cultural renaissance and an attempt to liberate minds from the shackles of orthodoxy and rigid tradition. The struggle on the political front was hard enough but the challenge of bringing about change on the socio-economic level was a much greater one. Several great men and women of India have contributed immensely in ideas as well as action to create a free and modern India. Among these greats, Gandhi, Nehru and Tagore have an importance that is conceded even by their most bitter critics. Their ideas may be controversial, not unanimously accepted, but they were striking enough to provoke a response from others and have an impact on the masses. In this book an attempt has been made to put together the life, thoughts and achievements of the three illustrious personalities. Besides, brief sketches of other eminent personalities have been included—admittedly far from being exhaustive. We have enlarged the gallery of personalities in this edition.
The ideas and achievements of these leaders are not to be found in any single source. Many a book and encyclopaedia have had to be consulted for the research. We hope the book is of interest to our readers. Any suggestion for improvement is welcome.