Nirad C. Chaudhuri

Indian Bengali−English writer and man of letters

Nirad Chandra Chaudhuri (23 November 1897 – 1 August 1999) was an Indian Bengali−English writer and man of letters. He was born in a Hindu family in 1897 in Kishoreganj, then part of Bengal, British India.


  • The immense noisy crowds that greeted the end of British rule in India with deafening shouts of joy on August 15, 1947, did not recall the old saying: they thought nothing of British rule would survive in their country after the departure of the White men who had carried it on. They never perceived that British rule in India had created an impersonal structure.... a system of government for which there was no substitute.
    • Three Horsemen of the New Apocalypse: Nirad C Chaudhuri, Oxford University Press, 1997. quoted in S. Balakrishna, Seventy years of secularism.
  • I understood the life around me better, not from love, which everybody acknowledges to be a great teacher, but from estrangement, to which nobody has attributed the power of reinforcing insight.
    • The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian
  • By the time the Muslims established their rule in the country (circa 1200 A.D.) the old inhabitants of the country, i.e. the Hindus, had lost their vitality to such an extent that they became incapable of dealing with or even facing a situation if it was difficult or unpleasant. So they surrendered to any situation that was created for them by history and tried to be at peace with their conscience by banishing it from their mind with soothing words.
    • Quoted from (1997). Time for stock taking, whither Sangh Parivar? Edited by Goel, S. R. [31, Baljit Rai]
  • As soon as the English mind came in contact with the Hindu's, which was a very different kind of mind, it completely lost its temper, and so became incapable of dispassionate analysis. But the display of temper was at least spectacular, like fireworks.
    • 'On Understanding the Hindus', Encounter June 1965
  • Do you know what religion is? It is a revolt against death. A revolt against biology, a reaction against decay.
  • I am often asked: `We hear so many stories about you. Are they true?' I reply, `If they are for me, you should discount 95 per cent, but if against, the whole of 100 per cent.
  • When I write in English I am not writing as an Indian or an Englishman. I am just a writer. Writers know no nationality.
  • I would also set down, as a matter of moral obligation, that I consider Kipling to be the only English writer who will have a permanent place in English literature with books on Indian themes, and who will also be read by everyone who wants to know not only British India but also timeless India.
  • Salvation is never the object of religious observances and worship of the Hindus. The main object is worldly prosperity, and this absorption in the world has made the doctrine of rebirth in it the most appealing and strongly held belief among all notions put forward by them about existence of life after death. They so loved the world that they made the possibility of leaving it for good even after many cycles of rebirth as remote and difficult as possible.

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: