So after a short hiatus finally I have been able to get some precious time to get started with India After Gandhi. Although it is hard to complete a 770 page book in a span of 15 days but nonetheless, I would try and cover as much as I can at my own leisurely pace.
It is hard to describe in words the pleasure of doing what one likes on a sunny winter day in the comforts of our home. I am lucky to have this opportunity and surely will try to make maximum use of it.
So, today I completed the first chapter of the book. In the prologue, Ramachandra Guha beautifully highlights the challenges that were before him while writing this book. He explained – For a contemporary historian it is more challenging and difficult to write for his readers as they are more likely to have their own strong views over the topic as it was something that occurred more close to their lifetime. Thus, the reader is himself less trusting on the author for the account which he lists. Whereas, in writing on figures and issues of further back in time the reader is more trusting and relies on the author to guide and teach him about them.
The major theme of the chapter was how much Gandhi was disturbed with the barbarism and violence that followed the Partition and his travels all over India appeasing the raging emotions of the Hindus and Muslims who were displaced through the Partition. However, by the time I finished reading it – the accounts of violence, the shady role of RSS and assassination of Gandhi; it had left a bitter taste in the mouth.
For now, this much for what I have covered. Will write more as I progress further!
P.S: I came across this interesting piece of trivia which might feature in the next season of KBC (who knows!)
On the night of 14th-15th August, 1947 who were the three main speakers? One was Pt. Nehru and who were the other two?
Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman (represented the Muslims) – proclaimed the loyalty of the minority to the newly free land
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (praised the sagacity and courage of the British)
Pt. Nehru (As the first Prime Minister of India)