We’ve picked out five books that give you an understanding of the freedom struggle – inside out. The details, the events, the emotion – from all perspectives.
India Wins Freedom: The Complete Version, by Abul Kalam Azad
One of the most explicit articulations of the freedom struggle, this book sheds light on the distinct perspectives of the members of the Indian National Congress (INC). The author, Maulana Azad has shed light on the hardships that the members of the Khilafat Movement had to go through as well as his personal struggle to resurrect political harmony in a nation on the verge of attaining independence.
Freedom at Midnight, by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre have penned down an unbiased account of each event during the last few years before independence. The book has a detailed and chronological explanation of all that a history buff would want to know- the division of the princely states, the partition of the subcontinent, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and the politics of Jawaharlal Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
‘An Era of Darkness’ by Shashi Tharoor
The British rule, from an Indian’s point of view that’s what this book is all about. While history is manipulated with glorification of the empirical hegemony, this book still stands to be the most realistic narrative of the British rule over India. Shashi Tharoor justifies his untarnished reputation for calling a spade a spade. He does that with his unmatched wit and his sesquipedalian expertise. This beautiful yet depressing account of how the British invaded our land, exhausted all our resources to ship them to Britain, and exploited the innocent Indians for over a century under the masquerade of progress is nothing but a masterpiece.
‘India: A Portrait’ by Patrick French
Patrick French being the legendary historian he is, travelled across India post-independence and interviewed people from all sectors of the society-political leaders, dons, bureaucrats and entrepreneurs. That’s how he came up with such a wonderful portrait of the country. It is one of the most dramatic illustrations of India’s journey from a country robbed off its wealth to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
A Flag, A Song, and A Pinch of Salt, by Subhadra Sen Gupta
Last but definitely not the least, this is one of the most thought-provoking books on independence of all time. Subhadra Sen Gupta, a children’s author has beautifully elucidated stories of several freedom fighters from different parts of the country and their great struggle towards making India an independent nation. This one is certainly going to bring out the hidden patriot in you can be rest assured of a fair amount goosebumps too.