The journey to independence was paved by the unwavering efforts of our freedom fighters who dedicated themselves to breaking free from British dominance. This day holds immense significance for all citizens, nurturing a deep sense of patriotism and national pride. Over the years, numerous writers have delved into both fiction and nonfiction to explore and chronicle the pivotal events that led to India’s independence. As we prepare to celebrate the 77th Independence Day this year, here are some novels you might want to read to learn more about what happened back then.
1. Train To Pakistan by Khushwant Singh
The novel is about a picturesque village called Mano Majra, which became entangled in one of the worst riots in Indian history during the country’s war for independence. For many years, the Sikh and Muslim communities in Mano Majra have coexisted peacefully. But things changed one day when a train carrying dead bodies of Hindus arrived from Pakistan, sparking bloodshed.
2. Jallianwala Bagh, 1919: The Real Story by Kishwar Desai
This book was written by Kishwar Desai, based on a real story after the brutal massacre at Jallianwala Bagh, where many people who had gathered to peacefully protest against the British Empire were shot dead. Despite the passage of time, Punjab and its people are still fighting to recover from the awful time. In this book, the author reconstructs the events of that day in Indian history.
3. India Divided by Rajendra Prasad
This book delves into the root causes of the Hindu-Muslim conflict and the subsequent partition, leading to the creation of two separate nations. It analyses the concept of the conflict between the two countries and discovers that the solution lies in the establishment of a secular state with cultural freedom for the communities.
4. Remnants of a Separation by Aanchal Malhotra
This is a one-of-a-kind endeavour to relive the Partition through artefacts brought across the border by refugees. Aanchal Malhotra explores the stories embellishing the artefacts that have been dormant and undisturbed in the memory of a period and place for generations. This novel was nominated for the 2018 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize.
5. An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India by Shashi Tharoor
In the book, Shashi Tharoor, the author skillfully dissects the harsh realities of British colonial rule in India using meticulous research and his signature wit. He investigated the various methods by which colonisers exploited our country, draining all of our national resources and shipping them to Britain.