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Freedom at Midnight

Freedom at Midnight

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Instead, they are depicted as contending with historical inevitabilities far more powerful than themselves. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. The authors use the mass communal slaughter that was taking place at the time as a device to keep the tension building. Because, they could’ve simply left the country without forming a proper assembly or a constitution, leaving behind all their responsibility to the newly formed nations but they didn’t do so and I completely admire Britishers for it. The book was an international bestseller and achieved enormous acclaim in the United States, Italy, Spain, and France.

Indians - even Gandhi, at points - come off looking like a pretty debilitated bunch and certainly not fit for self-rule. Few of the people in the hall could talk to each other in their native language; their only common tongue was the English of the colonizers, whose rule was about to end. Ten million other Indians died each year from malnutrition, undernourishment and diseases like smallpox, eradicated in most parts of the earth. One possible reason for this lack of crucial details: the authors want the readers to believe that the violence of partition, and partition itself, was largely the fault of Muhammad Ali Jinnah - the political force behind the creation of Pakistan.

It opens with a full description of all the scriptural and other sacred referents involved in a Brahmin man heading out to the fields to take a dump in the early morning. It is all here: maharajas and tigers, filth and squalor, extravagance and macabre sex, massacres, smells, starvation, cruelty and heroism. The India represented by those men and women would be a nation of 275 million Hindus (70 million of them, a population almost twice the size of France, Untouchables); 50 million Moslems; seven million Christians; six million Sikhs; 100,000 Parsis; and 24,000 Jews, whose forebears had fled the destruction of Solomon’s Temple during the Babylonian exile. Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item.

This book is recommended for anyone interested in knowing our freedom fighters, freedom movement, the Raj, the Maharajas and the Mahatma very substantially, if not wholly or in full measure. Lastly, I am sorry if I ended up writing a eulogy instead of an honest critical review, but such is the place of this book in my life, that it is almost impossible for me to view it in a critical way. I would say this book is a must-read for someone who wants to know about the events around the Partition; a reign that ruled India for decades and whose policies and governance can still be seen in our very country. The most astounding achievement of this book is that it rips out the aura of myths that have agglomerated around our political figures associated with the freedom movement, and humanizes each and every one of them, while being totally neutral, and being absolutely honest with the facts.They were part of a campaign of psychological warfare being conducted by the Moslem League to create panic among Sikhs and Hindus. It details the last year of the British Raj, from 1947 to 1948, beginning with the appointment of Lord Mountbatten of Burma as the last viceroy of British India, and ending with the death and funeral of Mahatma Gandhi.

I have no doubt if I had rated back then it would have been five stars and included in my favourite books and ones that I would read again.

No part of this Blog can be reproduced in any manner without prior permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non commercial uses permitted by copyright law. Every Sikh and Hindu officer spoke, often with tears in his eyes, to bid farewell to the Moslem Colonel Mohammed Idriss, who had led them through some of the bitterest fighting of World War II. One cannot but be consumed with admiration for all that industry, that cross‐checking, that burrowing investigation, the doggedness, ruthlessness, the leaving no stone unturned. The Muslims who wanted a separate Muslim state went to the newly formed Pakistan and the people who wanted to be in a secular state remained in India or came to India, as simple as that.

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