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India's Struggle for Independence - Bipan Chandra

Updated on March 3, 2012
India's Struggle for Independence
India's Struggle for Independence | Source

India's Struggle for Independence is an intricately woven account of the last century of British rule in India. Renowned Indian historian Bipan Chandra is the main author of the book which also has contributions from 4 others.

Its starts with the rise of Indian Nationalism which culminated in the Mutiny of 1857. It also traces the social and economic evolution of British Rule in India since its inception. The organization of the book is in the form of a rational arrangement of a series of essays.

This book is not an exhaustive text on the subject of Indian Freedom Struggle and does not serve as a reference work. Nor have the authors intended it to be this way. It is a passionate work remembering the consequential and complex set of events which resulted in the division of Indian Sub-continent.

Unlike other textbooks, this book has a fiction like appeal and is quite engrossing from starting to finish. The point of view of the authors can be said to be centrist at best. Some essays also try to analyze the rationale of various movements and their leaders who orchestrated them.

The essays are a scholarly work. They are successful to drive the point home quite convincing. A large part of the book hovers around Indian National Congress, perhaps because the Organisation was central to the independence struggle. Through a large part of the book you may feel that the Muslim League has been ignored. But you will find it get its due coverage during the later half of the book. This part also brings up communal politics to the helm of affairs.

Persona of Gandhi ji are central to the book. It can be said to be a mini biography of him. The contribution that Gandhi made to the freedom struggle can never be forgotten much less sidelined.

This book must be read by every Indian reader.For students, it is a condensed history of Freedom Movement and very useful in concept building. Some areas which this book should have covered in greater detail are the advent of British rule and the Partition Politics.

The book tries to compare the Indian National movement from the lens of western philosophies and revolutions. Authors have tried to invoke the philosophies of Antonio Gramsci as a yardstick. They must be influenced greatly by the Italian Political Philosopher. It is advised to read about Gramsci for better understanding the essence of the writer in some key parts of the book.

The book is able to strike the cord with the Indian reader with the philosophy of warm hearts and cool brains. It is a cherished work by the scholars of Indian History. Available at a low cost and easy on the mind and eye, this work is must for every shelf which can afford it. Thanks!


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