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HVK Archives: Andre Malraux on Hinduism

Andre Malraux on Hinduism - Biblio: A Review of Books

Jawharlal Nehru in his book Discovery of India ()
1996. November

Title: Andre Malraux on Hinduism
Author: Jawharlal Nehru in his book Discovery of India
Publication: Biblio: A Review of Books
Date: November 1996.

Eight or nine years ago, when I was in Paris, Andre Malraux put me
a strange question at the very beginnig of our conversation. What
was it, he asked me, that enabled Hinduism, to push away orgainsed
Buddhism from India, without any major conflict, over a thousand
years ago? How did Hinduism succeed in absorbing, as it were, a
great and widespread popular religion, without the usual wars of
religion which disfigure the history of so many countries? What
inner vitality or strength did Hinduism possess then which enabled
it to perform this remarkable feat? And did India possess this
inner vitality and strength today? If so, then her freedom and
greatness were assured.

For Malraux the question was obviously not just an academic one.
He was full of it and he burst out with it as soon as we met. It
was a question after my own heart, or rather the kind of question
that my own mind was frequently framing. But I had no satisfactory
answer to it for him or for myself. There are answers and
explanations enough, but they seem to miss the core of the problem.

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