Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the Forgotten Indian Martyrs

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Author : Reginald Massey
Publisher: Abhinav Publications, New Delhi
(Pp 232, ISBN 81-7017-547-X, Rs 390)

The author of the book Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the Forgotten Indian Martyrs, makes his thinking very clear in the first paragraph of the book when he says, “There is a widely held perception, propagated by the devout well meaning Gandhians, that India’s independence at the midnight hour on August 15, 1947 was just the fruitful result of Gandhi”…but the facts regarding Indian independence present an entirely different picture. And that is the thrust of this book.” This book though has been carefully researched to bring his point of view home. Massey is author of several books on India ranging from history and culture to classical music and dance.

The book starts with the history of India from the times of the Mughal Empire when not only the British, but the French, the Dutch, and the Danes and before them the Portuguese sailed to India in search of spices and fortune. The author has brought to limelight those Indian heroes who deviated from the non-violent strategy of Mahatma Gandhi and made their mark in their own way.

The book sketches the life and times and the environment in which Indian freedom fighters like Tilak, Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh and others who contributed in their own way to the freedom struggle and who according to the author has not been given their due.

The chapter on Gandhi makes an interesting reading. The author describes Gandhi, ‘A complex character compounded of high principles and political craft’. He further says that ‘Gandhi’s followers could see no good in Jinnah and vice versa. Hence the seeds of Partition were sown decades before mid-August 1947.

I must compliment the publisher for providing an index to the book which most publishers have forgotten as part of the book.

– GS Jolly

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