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Books to watch out for the 74th Independence Day!

Indians have already begun the celebration of the country’s 74th Independence Day, which would fall on the 15th August 2021, with the Olympic wins and medals brought to the country in the 2021 Tokyo games. 

15th August is a significant day in the Indian history, as it reminds us of the courage and struggle of our freedom fighters. We pay homage to our brave freedom-fighters who have struggled relentlessly for our freedom and martyred while winning us independence. This day ignites a feeling of nationalism and patriotism across the country. This year, the celebration of Independence Day would be different as the entire world faces the pandemic crisis. The plan of celebrating would be; with lesser people, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, using technology to maintain these things. While you are at home, why not read more books about India’s ancestry and get yourself well-acquainted with the country’s freedom struggle!

Here is a well-curated list of a few fiction and non-fiction books which can give you an insight of the nation’s leaders and the Independence Movement:

Non-fiction


Morarji Desai by Arvindar Singh

India’s first non-Congress Prime Minister, Morarji Desai was a statesman who strode tall and erect on the vast stage of India’s political life for the major part of his life.

The book captures the quintessence of this great leader and takes the reader through glimpses of certain aspects of his personality that were not common knowledge, providing an insight into his true persona.

Available Now - https://amzn.to/3fqmzLR


A Bonsai Tree by Narendra Luther

This is an autobiography, the story of one of the millions of families whose lives were shattered by the Partition in 1947. Hilarious snippets of a young bumbling couple keep you glued to the book. The scenario then changes to an epic private battle with the ‘bottled devil’. 

Narendra Luther tells you his own gripping story with his trademark wit, optimism and unusual candor. Looking back, he finds a pattern emerging out of a chequered life, bringing him to questions of destiny.

Available Now- https://amzn.to/3il1SD2


Faith and Freedom by Professor Mushirul Hasan

This book offers a meticulously researched account of Gandhi—his historical background, campaigns, impact on Indian life, and the guidance he still continues to offer in dealing with contemporary problems. 

 Written by one of India’s leading historians, this book is a must read for everyone interested in understanding the political landscape of modern India.

Available Now- https://amzn.to/3ylbLWI


Islam. Pluralism. Nationhood by Maulana Azad

A powerful writer and an equally stimulating orator, Maulana Azad’s sway over the Muslim communities were considered a threat by the government which looked for every opportunity to clip his wings and restrain his activities. Like his pen-name Azad, which meant free, here was a man who relentlessly strove to remove the shackles of uncapacious thinking, challenging its rigidity, wisely integrating the munificence of Islam and pluralism into the folds of nationhood.

Available Now- https://amzn.to/3jlcqRA


Lost Addresses by Krishna Bose

 Lost Addresses is Krishna’s story of her childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. It vividly describes Calcutta, Bengal and India in the 1930s and 1940s and the early years after Independence. Krishna’s memories of growing up and coming of age are set in the social, cultural and political milieus of the time. The East Bengal heritage and the life of the Calcutta intelligentsia at its prime feature prominently, but this is neither private nor provincial memoir. Bengal, India and the world were then in great ferment and transition.

Available Now- https://amzn.to/3jgIztG


Sarojini Naidu by Professor Mushirul Hasan

Freedom and freshness of outlook gave Sarojini Naidu the astonishing insight to see the significance of compositeness in Indian history. In 1906, she introduced an amendment at the Indian National Conference substituting ‘India’ for ‘Hindu’. It was carried.

In sharp contrast to the prevailing orthodoxies, intolerance, and religious dissension, the Golden Threshold was a haven of liberalism and enlightenment. She projected the ‘modern’ face of Indian womanhood -confident, assertive and politically motivated.

Available Now- https://amzn.to/2ViVdjV


Article 370 by Sumit Dutt Majumder

Article 370 of the Constitution of India had granted the state of Jammu & Kashmir a special status. This special status was abrogated and the state more closely integrated into the Indian union, with the passing of the Jammu and Kashmir Re-organisation Act, 2019, by both houses of the Indian Parliament. 

This book seeks to clarify the issues surrounding Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution, thus making readers more informed about this important constitutional, political and legal matter. The beauty of Article 370: Explained for the Common Man lies in the fact that the author writes in a simple and lucid language, avoiding journalese, jargon and legalese, thereby making the issues accessible to the common man.

Available Now-  https://amzn.to/3lqzMYT


Muhammad Ali Jinnah by J.B.P. More

M.A. Jinnah entered politics as a Congressman and as a nationalist. Exasperated by the rise of Gandhi in Indian politics, Jinnah left the Congress and dissociated himself from the Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movements. He continued to be a leader of the Muslim League. The Communal Award came as a shot in his arm to re-affirm the separate political existence of the Muslims and their special destiny.

The Government of India Act of 1935 along with the subsequent provincial elections of 1937 gradually pushed Jinnah to radicalize his stand, related to the separate political existence of Muslims in India, ending in the demand for a separate Pakistan in 1940.

Available Now- https://amzn.to/2Vl2U9l


 Fiction


Jallianwala Bagh by Rakhshanda Jalil

Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the butchering of unarmed innocents, is a historic event that haunts the human mind even after the lapse of a century. 

Through a selection of prose and poetry – the direct outcome of this horrific event and an introduction that traces the history of events leading to the massacre – Rakhshanda Jalil, a literary historian and translator from Urdu and Hindi, attempts to open a window into the world of possibilities that literature offers to reflect, interpret and analyse events of momentous historical import. 

Available Now- https://amzn.to/2ViYLTh


Bridge Across the Rivers by Jasbir Jain

The Partition narrative exceeds the bounds of history, to the large scale exodus often referred to as the third partition—most painful and long-lasting in its emotional, political and social contexts. It impacted both collective and individual identities. In some ways it rendered the individual invisible, with identity being transformed into a stereotype, which evoked conventional patterns of behaviour.

The narratives unfold expectation, hope and harmony, flight and violence, psychological fallouts, gender issues, and questions of guilt and reflection. As the stories trace the shifts in emotions and focus on individual wills, the undercurrents of cultural oneness form a counter discourse.

Available Now- https://amzn.to/3jjIF3S


Dissevered by Samaresh Bose 

Belonging to what one may best describe as representative of the culture of the ‘urban popular’, the novella Dissevered (Khandita), published seventy years after independence, incorporates the birth pangs of a newly emergent nation experienced by the so-called ‘gully boys’, Gora, Biju, and Satu, in a form that presents historical events through the techniques of fiction.

This novella perhaps best illustrates Samaresh Bose’s genius as a writer, who could translate his experience of historical time in all its multiple complexities without the imposition of any doctrine. It remains a unique depiction of the conflicting emotions experienced by ordinary folks on the eve of India’s independence.

Available Now- https://amzn.to/3xfYX2A


Niyogi Books | 15-Aug-2021