Thursday, April 3, 2008

Freedom At Midnight By Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins

Freedom At Midnight is supposedly a non-fiction book written in fiction style by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins, first published in 1975. Although I would say that it is more fiction that actually a non-fiction book - some of the facts mentioned in it are controversial and biased. With all the fiction and fact thing being mixed, you will be left wondering if this book is a fiction book or factual one. The book covers the events around India's independence, starting from Lord Mountbatten's association with India to the death of Mahatma Gandhi. This book is surely one of the better accounts of the most important phase in the Indian subcontinent - especially India and Pakistan. The book covers different aspects to the Indian independence very effectively - who were the main people driving the whole process, who actually prepared the maps of India and Pakistan, what happened to the royal palaces/property/grandeur of pre-independence princely states, and many other such questions are handled.

One thing which I realized in this book is that it is somewhat biased towards Indian National Congress political leaders of that time and portrays Muslim League leaders in the negative shade. Well, I may not agree entirely with the authors - no one is just black or white - everyone has grey shades. And INC leader surely had their fair bit of share in grey shades.

Even though I would say that this is a better way to learn about those events. It is surely not a historical commentary of events - the writing style is simple and engrossing. Surely a one time read.

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