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FREEDOM AT MIDNIGHT (Book Review) - A mandatory read for every single person interested in knowing the real, revealing history behind the bloodshed of 1947's freedom struggle.

16 Jul, 2013 | NOSTALGIA, BOOK REVIEWS, VINTAGE MAGAZINES & MORE / Articles on Music, Poetry and Life / BTC Exclusive

Before reading this critically acclaimed and widely appreciated epic tale about the most decisive year of the last century, I thought as if I have read a lot on Indian Independence and have a quite elaborate picture in my mind about the real happenings of that era, particularly involving the Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs living in Delhi, Punjab and adjacent areas. But after reading FREEDOM AT MIDNIGHT, I would like to admit that I was pretty wrong in thinking so as the book made me aware of many more unknown facts related with the year 1947 which were both shocking as well as enlightening for people like me who were born decades after that redefining event of the 20th century.

In few words, I would like to add that if you haven’t read this highly informative, captivating,  engrossing and horrifying tale of that crucial year, then probably you still don’t have a clear picture of what actually happened in those six months before and after 15th August 1947, the day two nations got their independence from the Britishers. The book not only makes you understand the unimaginable trauma felt by 3 different communities together in those terrifying days but in a way it makes you re-live those dark moments of the history once again like a real ‘Time Machine’ transforming you back into those bloody lanes of its deserted cities in a magnificent manner.
First published in 1975, the book is written by a French and American duo of Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins who certainly did a painfully extensive research of 3 long years to come up with this realistic and enthralling documentation before the whole world about the Indian independence movement in 1947-48. Beginning with the appointment of Lord Mountbatten as the last Viceroy of British India in 1947, it ends with the cruel assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and his funeral in February 1948 and describes all the crucial months in between in a highly realistic, appreciable and thrilling style. The book strongly reminds you of all those sacrifices made in the last year of our Freedom struggle, which is still remembered as one of the biggest mass slaughters ever seen in the world history till date.
FREEDOM AT MIDNIGHT will help you understand the psyche behind the leaders of both India and Pakistan in a different manner altogether. It will make you meet a completely different Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and Jinnah who were the four key names involved in all the major political movements of the country in those 6 months before and after August 1947. For many readers, the book might turn out to be too violent and upsetting in its various chapters, extensively describing the cruel bloodshed of those times when neighbors turned enemies instantly and humanity cried like never before on the lonely roads of various major cities of the country. The significance of this impressive work can be judged by the fact that its writers Lapierre and Collins have written all those scary instances after interviewing the real people who have personally lived those deadly days and somehow survived. To portray the historic assassination of Mahatam Gandhi, they even tracked down the surviving members of the actual group who planned the conspiracy, as a part of their research work and brought them all together at the same places to re-enact the events as they actually happened on 30th January 1948.
To sum it up, I would like to say that if one ever wants to know about the real amazing facts behind the partition of the country in the year 1947, then he cannot get a better engrossing & revealing documentation of that critical era other than FREEDOM AT MIDNIGHT. Hence ideally this should be made a mandatory read for every student at the graduation level (in both India and Pakistan), so that they can understand their own past realistically and then help to build a better future for the generations to come in both the countries, after we are all gone.

Tags : FREEDOM AT MIDNIGHT Book Review by Bobby Sing, A must read for every person in India and Pakistan, Books To be read as a must, Articles on Music, Poetry and Life by Bobby Sing, Vintage Books, Nostalgia Books, Important Book Reviews by Bobby Sing
16 Jul 2013 / Comments ( 3 )
amit vig

Bobby ji i love this book very much, i read it so many times.
Great source of historic events on before and after independence

Bobby Sing

Dear Amit,
Really glad that you have read and love the book as an authentic account of those tragic years.
I hope the article can inspire many more friends to read this book and get a better understanding of our independence and the year 1947-48.



Hi Bobby, I would recommend the book "India Wins Freedom" by Shri Maulana Azad. It is superb. Written by the man himself. His wisdom in leaving out certain portions for a period of 30 years is extra ordinary. The new edition includes all the left out portions. These are marked by asterisk. It is a first hand account. The chapters after the partition is done will make any human being's eyes wet. It is brilliant. Just brilliant.      

Bobby Sing

Hi Kumar,
Thanks a lot for the valuable recommendation.
Would surely get it soon and get back.

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