Title: After Midnight – A History Of Independent India
Author: Meghaa Gupta
Age group: 12 years+ (publisher’s recommendation is 10 years+)
This book review is written by Abhishek Dwivedi who otherwise is a Tech Ninja but is equally a History Buff like our son Medhansh. When Medhansh was not able to finish the book due to tight school schedule, Abhishek took up the assignment and here is his submission on the same 🙂
Medhansh will soon be sharing his part of review too.
The book is an unbiased account of what our beloved country, India stands for. It has been written without lacing an opinion on various struggles we have gone through but as reflections for us to understand the nuanced past. The author provides us a great account through the story telling on how every government and their prime ministers have made an impact to fend , envision and make India what it is today. Understanding the past by reading these books helps our readers provide context to present and respect plus empathize with situations we have overcome in our past.
For example how interconnected Operation Flood and Green Revolution were in terms of working models and how every challenge led to formation of systems within the country to fight that for present and future. But on the other side the author then talks about Union Carbide something linked to the green revolution which is possibly the worst industrial accident of our times. This allows the reader to connect the past with context and realize how under equipped we are but still resilient.
For people having interest in politics it provides a glimpse of how equations have continuously changed for independent India with one party to present heavy regional bias though this bias was always rooted, The emergence of strong leaders in regional context has always challenged our federal governance structure! You come to know these aspects through excellent story telling from the author. Imagine a country where the author makes a statement to the fact that we have a democratically elected communist government in one of our states. Such is the fabric of our nation!
The most fascinating part is about how India was stringed together with accession of princely states to what we know of India today. For readers in the present and future this book will serve as a great source of knowledge, our struggles, and our achievements! A bitter sweet experience on what it has taken for us to be the nation we are and aspire to be.
I would recommend a read for this book starting at round about senior middle school when historical and civic context is being built. At that time using this as a reference book is highly recommended whilst the author could have done a better job reflecting on our advancements in the field of sports and evolution of cinematography both of which are of high prominence and a great unifying factor for such a diverse country as India is.
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