India Since Independence by Bipan Chandra

One more book that has been left unfinished this year. I did start it with the best of intentions, especially since I had enjoyed another book by the same author, but had to abandon it within a few chapters.

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Why didn’t it work ?

1. Certain issues that I felt should have been discussed in depth and should have received at least a full chapter to their credit get only one paragraph. That was a huge let down for me. We can get one paragraph summaries like that from Wikipedia but that is not what we want, is it ? I expected that issues such as Princely States, creation of new States, secessionist movements, tribal movements would be subject to the kind of analysis that was seen in India’s struggle for Independence but instead we get “A person X did this in year 1234 and then this happened.” 😐

2. In an earlier post about India’s struggle for Independence by the same author, I had written how the writing was objective and free from bias. I wish I could say the same about this one too. Most of the time, the debate on social media regarding representation of history takes a sharp turn towards ideology and from then on the discourse is more about proving that the other person is wrong. When I say this book is biased, I mean it from a purely neutral view. I don’t want to go in depth about the bias and its nature but let me put it this way – when the first 13 chapters are dedicated to just one person, you know something is amiss.

Since I didn’t read it fully, I can’t give a final verdict but based on what I did read, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Have you read the book fully ? What do you think ?

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4 thoughts on “India Since Independence by Bipan Chandra

  1. What a pity after you’d enjoyed his earlier book. However, selfishly I’m quite glad not to be reading a glowing recommendation for another huge history! It’ll give me time to read the Guha book… 🙂

    PS You’re so right about these covers – they’re so similar they actually look like the same book unles you see them side by side…

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