"Long Years Ago We Made A Tryst With Destiny, And Now The Time Comes When We Shall Redeem Our Pledge, Not Wholly Or In Full Measure, But Very Substantially. At The Stroke Of The Midnight Hour, When The World Sleeps, India Will Awake To Life And Freedom."
Saturday, 22 August 2015
Freedom at Midnight
This is a free and relaxing weekend, and I have no mood to do any housework. After lunch, I was standing in front of my small home library and searching for a book to read. Suddenly, I saw one admirable novel. I use the word 'Admirable' with an intention of showing respect. Respect, for all the brave soldiers, who gave lives for the nation. I read this novel 4-5 months before.
'Freedom at Midnight'! A book with a specific release on the political climate surrounding Indian Independence in 1947. Book starts with the meeting of Lord Mountbatten as the viceroy of India. The title of the book comes from the famous speech of the first Indian Prime Minister Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru delivered at midnight, August 15, 1947, when India gained its independence. This book is written by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins. It was first published in 1975. It depicts the last days of Britishers in India and then covering up the events of Indian independence, the partition, and death of Mahatma Gandhi.
In this book, I find three major stories -
First, related to India's partition into India and Pakistan,
Second, the Partition and its consequences,
Third, shaping of new India and the death of Gandhi.
The most critical thing that I find in this book is the partition of the boundaries. Partition became more complex by the long-standing dispute between Hindus and Muslims. Major problem in dividing the nation was, how to divide it on basis of religious & spiritual differences. That was obliged to have effects not only on the lives of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, etc. but also on the economy of India, Pakistan & Bangladesh. The violence between Hindus, Muslims & Sikhs is described in depth. There are many sad anecdotes of involving normal men & women. The book makes various incursions into different but related incidents. Well defined Father Mahatma Gandhi character makes the reading more attached. Also, the conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi portrayed in a magnificent detail made me sad.
I find this book, simply written with all the relevant details. I can not think of any other easy way to explain the complexity of Indian Independence. Though I am not a historical book lover, but I must say that not for a single moment, I felt bored while reading this book. It also made me cry many times.
Conclusion - Freedom at Midnight is an excellent tale of India’s freedom and destiny. Perfectly written by the writers in the simplest way that anyone can understand and appreciate the history of India's independence. It is a best history books I have read and one of the must-read books.