Monday, July 24, 2006



The book by Bipan Chandra delves too much into details, which is my only complaint with the book. But otherwise I found this book really informative. To thirst to know more of the history of your motherland needs to be inculcated in every citizen of India We all have heard, read or seen glimpses of what constitutes the struggle for Indian independence and have been fed on a healthy dose of Tipu Sultan, Rani Laxmi Bai, Bhagat Singh, Mangal Pandey, Nehru and Gandhi. The details that were left out are discussed in this book.

It tells us that Indians were relatively non-violent even before the Gandhian-era. Prolonged oppression & injustice pushed them to the limits & they resorted to violence. But the chunk of the damage was done not by the Britishers, but by Indians themselves, because Indians were happy to be suppressed by someone of higher authority, as long as they took good care of their interests. Initially, the revolts were against zamidars and not the Goras. The Brits sided with the Indians and won their trust, and over time took over their lives. Even then, Indians were fairly tolerant. They paid their taxes regularly. But it was still a life of oppression. The Congress govt had been formed at that time, and was for independence. It tried to arouse a feeling of pride in the populace and to entice them to revolt against the brits. Unfortunately, the revolts were sporadic and poorly organised, thus they failed repeatedly.Not till Gandhi came into the picture, did some semblence of order permeate into the independence struggle

Even then, the British played their cards well, and understanding the mentality of Indians, exploited them and used every political trick in the book to delay independence for several decades. Rivalry between Indian political parties made their job that much easier. The RSS had used its ideological bullcrap against the Congress even then! But after a prolonged organised campaign, thousands of arrests, deaths and protests, India finally won her independence from the firangs. The book deals mainly with the various movements that contributed to this momentous event, and even though most of them failed, how - drop by drop, the ocean was filled...

Jai Hind !

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