Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review: Krantiveer Chandrashekhar Azad aur Unke Do Gadhar Sathi

Krantiveer Chandrashekhar Azad aur Unke Do Gadhar Sathi Krantiveer Chandrashekhar Azad aur Unke Do Gadhar Sathi by Dharmender Goud and S.N. Sharma
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is actually two-books-in-one. The first part of the book is a biography of the famous Indian revolutionary Chandrashekhar Azad who attained martyrdom while fighting with British police in February 1931. For a long time, a debate has raged as to who betrayed the whereabouts of Azad to the police. While Virbhadra Tiwari has usually been seen as a traitor, the second part of the book - which consists of parts of an earlier book by a British secret service agent, Dharmender Goud - points to another man also. According to Goud, it was noted Hindi writer, Yashpal, who too was an informer of the police and had leaked the news of Azad to the police. As I had already read the book by Goud earlier, this was not news to me but since Yashpal is a renowned author whose books are prescribed in Universities and who was also also awarded the Padma Vibhushan by the Govt. of India, these charges should be investigated thoroughly.

*

First Line: San 1857 ki asafal sainya aur jan-kranti ke baad bhi, Bharat ki janta azadi ke liye sat prayas rat rahi.

Publication: Delhi: Bhagat Singh Vichar manch, 2016
Pages: 224

Source: Bought at WBF, Delhi in 2016.

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Review: Lajpat Rai: Life and Work

Lajpat Rai: Life and Work Lajpat Rai: Life and Work by Feroz Chand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Our writing the freedom struggle has so favoured the Gandhi-Nehru families that other stalwarts - even of the Congress - have been totally sidelined. One such person is the 'Lion of Punjab' Lala Lajpat Rai. This biography by one of his closest disciple does fill the lacuna somewhat.

*

First Line: Barely ten days to the opening event of the season of Christmas festivity, and, of a sudden, Sir Hugh Gough, the British C-in-C, cancels his grand ball fixed well in advance for the eleventh evening of December.

Publication: ND: Publications Division of India, 1978.
Pages: 590

Source: Bought 2006.

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Review: Dekha, Socha, Samjha

Dekha, Socha, Samjha Dekha, Socha, Samjha by Yashpal
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

An okay read which I read just for the first essay in the collection: a visit to Sevgram by the author and his meeting with Gandhi.

*

First Line: San 1939 mein doosra mahayudh aarambh hua to british samrajyavadi sarkar ne Bharat ki ichha ke virudh bhi desh ko us yudh mein lapet liya.

First Published: 1951
Pages: 143
Source: CL[891.433]


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Review: The shadow guest

The shadow guest The shadow guest by Hillary Waugh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I knew of Hillary Waugh as the author of policeprocedurals and that's what I expected this book to be. However, it is a very different book with just that touch of the supernatural that sent shivers down my spine. Read it in the dark of the night as rain poured outside and it added to that delicious creepy feeling.

Highly recommended.

*

First Line: Though I am well inland now, when the wind blows stiffly over the moors and the low dark puffs of cumulus roll across the sky, or when the rain beats its heavy, steady siege and the dampness crawls into my clothes with me, I swear I smell the sea and hear the gulls again.


Pages: 268
Source: Open Library

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Review: aapbeeti: Kale Pani ki Karawas Kahani

aapbeeti: Kale Pani ki Karawas Kahani aapbeeti: Kale Pani ki Karawas Kahani by Bhai Parmanand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The writer was a Professor of Modern European History at National College, Lahore and thus was a teacher of Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev. This was his memoir of his days in captivity at the Andamans. The book was proscribed by the British. Reading it, I realised, how much we have abused and continue to abuse our freedom.

*
First Line: Meri Khanatalashi hue aaj char din beet chuke the.

Pages: 171

Source: OTS since 2004

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Review: Gandhi Benaqaab

Gandhi Benaqaab Gandhi Benaqaab by Hansraj Rahbar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a brave book since many authors would shy away from exposing the 'Mahatma'. However in doing so Rahbar exposes his own prejudices. Nevertheless, it is a well-researched critique of Gandhi and his politics.

First Line: Desh ki shashya shyamla bhumi par Shiv ka tandav naach ab hona hi chahiye.

Pages: 287

Source: Bought at WBF, Delhi in 2006


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Monday, December 11, 2017

Review: Gandhi and Bhagat Singh

Gandhi and Bhagat Singh Gandhi and Bhagat Singh by V.N. Datta
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Could Gandhi have saved Bhagat Singh from the gallows is a question that raises itself periodically. Professor V.N. Dutta lists the previous arguments and presents his own take on the subject. I am not thoroughly convinced by his argument but agree wholeheartedly with him when he says that Bhagat Singh's closest comrade, the fire-brand, Sukhdev, has been neglected for too long. If anybody deserves a text, it is Sukhdev.

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