Independence day comes every year and we are elated with the unmatchable feelings of patriotism within us, so much in the dimension that we cannot let anything bad happen to our country, India, for the day at least. Next day onwards, we are back to the usual routes and country, of not invisible altogether on our priority list, certainly takes a position which is below our personal priorities. Well, I can understand the compulsions and we all have our own. However, why not make this independence day and the independence month a little productive by reading the best available literature about Indian independence! I am here with the suggestions that you will certainly love. Here are a few books about Indian freedom struggle, Indian independence and India after 15th August 1947 that you will certainly enjoy reading.
Pakistan or the Partition of India by Dr B. R. Ambedkar: This is a book that comes to the mind of a conscious reader readily as we discuss Indian freedom in details. Indian freedom did not come only with all the flowery news to us. We are also thrown, without very much of thing known as consent, into the hearth of partition and the bloody aftermath of this partition engineered by Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi. Bloodshed, murders, rapes, robberies, and repeat of all these many a time! In this book, Pakistan or the Partition of India, Ambedkar has tried to establish what led to the partition and why it was destined to be. You should read this book if you don’t know much about the pre and post of the birth of Pakistan, an Islamic republic or the partition of India. Buy the book from Amazon – click here to get a copy now
The Indian Struggle by Subhash Chandra Bose: This is a book that you don’t get to know more often compared to the books by Nehru or Gandhi written in either the ‘comfort of jail’ or isolation by self-imposed exile. Subhash Babu was one of the freedom fighters who actually believed in fighting rather than begging for the freedom from the oppressors themselves and soothing the eyes of the ‘free thinkers’ and intellectuals with optics. In short, the book chronicles the episodes of strategy, consultations, pacts, compromises and the attempts of overthrowing the British government from India. The book captures various events and build-ups in the period between 1920 and 1942. You will certainly get a very fresh perspective on everything going in Indian National Congress (being razed to playing anti-India roles now) before Independence and the follies on which the so-called leaders stood. A must-read by all the possible means! Buy the book from Amazon – click here
Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past, 1883–1924 by Vikram Sampath: Well, many people will tell you that you don’t need to read Savarkar as he was merely a Hindu fundamentalist or so and so, whatever, just don’t read Savarkar. May I ask, why? They will not reply to you or just this much that Savarkar wrote mercy petitions to the British because he was in jail. Was that a jail? Well, that wasn’t a jail where Savarkar was being imprisoned – you can see it for yourself as it has been turned into a memorial now. Savarkar was facing the inhuman, brutal, murderous and what not in his cell of a one-person sized space and he was not enjoying a TV set, a sofa, a bed, a fan and books and diaries and luxury pens like Nehru to write his books in jail… In this wonderful book, Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past, 1883-1924, Vikram Sampath has done the best to clear the air of doubt and let the version of Savarka’s struggles for freedom and his immense contribution to the Indian freedom struggle come to the fore. Click here to buy from Amazon directly
Amar Karantiveer Chandrashekhar Azad by Bharat Bhushan: Next time someone sings in front of you the song de di hame azadi bina khadag bina dhal, throw this book on the table and ask the singer why did many freedom fighters like Chandra Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose had to lay their lives for the sake of freedom if it was to come at no cost – just at the cost of sainthood? This book, written in Hindi and having little imperfections which are visible, wonderfully summarises the role that Chandra Shekhar Azad played in the freedom struggle of India and punctures the narrative that it was only Gandhi who did all the magic and all others played to the chords. A must-read if you want to know Azad and his heroics in details. Buy the book here: Click to buy from Amazon India
Amar Shaheed Bhagat Singh by Mahesh Sharma: Like the above-mentioned biography, this is also a book on another freedom fighter who did his best to awaken the conscious of sleeping Indians who were desperate for freedom but relying on political pursuits and asking for freedom rather than willing to do something for it and getting it from the oppressors. This is a biography that narrates how Bhagat Singh turned into a revolutionary freedom fighter and how he and his friends turned the narrative of freedom struggle in India. The book is in Hindi; a very simple language and a powerful narrative add further insight into it. A book that you must read! Buy the book here: click here to get a copy from Amazon India
So, this is the list for your independence day reading list and I am sure you will get to know about the side that is otherwise hidden from most of the Indians because they grow up mostly like me, singing Nehru-Gandhi songs and thinking that Sabarmati ke Sant brought independence to Indians just like that… The contribution of Gandhi was there, I agree. However, it was not as much as we have been told or narrated to us in the history books that tell us that Bhagat Singh and lies of him were terrorists! Can you believe that? Subhash Chandra Bose was referred to by Nehru as a ‘war criminal,’ and what not… We, at the least, deserve to know the story from ‘others’ who laid their lives for Indian freedom only to be ignored by the ‘historians’ and biographers. Let us uncover the secrets by reading the books that you must read about the Indian freedom struggle. Happy Independence Day to all of you!