Thanks to Jaswant Singh, former External Affairs Minister of India for writing ” Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence” a scholarly treatise on what actually happened before the calamity of the Partition of India way back in 1947. The publication of the book ( Rupa & Co 2009) stirred up a great deal of controversy. Singh was expelled from the BJP- in which party he had grown to be an admired leader. There was a school of thought that he did wrong in praising Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Actually that makes for an interesting debate which is the central theme of the book.
For those who remember Calcutta- as Kolkata was then called- in the 70’s, images of the city will probably reek of strikes, gheraos and cries of ” cholbe na”. You can see the crowds gather for yet one more union or political rally. The strident speeches of the leaders, the dutiful acknowledgements of the followers. The grime and the crowds are everywhere yet the city had a certain charm. Set largely in Kolkata is Neel Chowdhury’s “The Inheritors” published by Random House India. Rahul Jayaram’s review in Businessworld pretty much sums it up.
By the time I was born in 1951, Mahatma Gandhi was dead for three years. He was killed on January 30, 1948. Everyone knows who killed Gandhi. Not many know why he was killed. Every school child in India- at least of my generation- knows he was killed by Nathuram Godse. But who was Godse? And why did he kill someone who was called The Father of the Nation? Not too many know his story. I didn’t- to be honest- until I came across ” The Men Who Killed Gandhi“.