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BOOK REVIEW: SIDDHARTHA–An Indian Tale by Hermann Hesse

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    Hermann Hesse is a Nobel Laureate. The copy of the book that I read, is published, by Amazing Reads—an Imprint of India Book Distributors Ltd. The discounted price of this book in Amazon is Rs 79. The subject book is a novella of 127pages.

     I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way, we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value. It is always possible—says the author in the book.

    Before I move forward let me give you brief about the author. Herman Hesse was born in Calw, Germany on July 2, 1877 to Johannes and Marie Hesse. They came from different European cultures and were involved in missionary work in India. On account of the parental influence Hesse too, was encouraged to follow the same path, but his love for poetry drove him to spend his early years publishing poems and writing prose.

    In 1904, Hesse published his first novel Peter Camenzind, which was well received and gave him his first breakthrough. He followed this book by another one titled, ‘Beneath the Wheel. In 1904, along with the release of his first novel, Hermann also found marital bliss with Maria Bernoulli and they went on to have three children. He continued to write novellas and short stories and, in 1910, he published Gertrude, (meaning a female, derived from Germanic roots that meant “spear” and strength). Hermann Hesse, while facing a personal crisis at home, protested German fighting in the First World War that brought him a lot of criticism.

    Mirroring his own travels and experiences, Hesse wrote Siddhartha in 1922 and many more books like Steppenwolf in 1927 and Narcissus and Goldmund in 1930. His last novel, The Glass Bead Game, which was published in 1943 took the longest time to complete, following which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1946—a laurel he could not receive personally owing to his deteriorating health condition, which led to his demise on August 9, 1962.

    Hermann Hesse was deeply influenced by the boundless nature of Indian philosophy—and that inspired him to write Siddhartha one of the most widely read novels of the twentieth century.

    Siddhartha, was born into an affluent and privileged Brahmin family, and was loved by one and all. Finding himself dissatisfied with the life he is expected to lead, he forsakes his place among the Brahmins and sets out on a spiritual journey to discover nirvana—a higher state of being. This pursuit leads him through a journey of suffering, self-denial, allurement of wealth and temptations of sensuality; eventually giving up the material world at the bank of a river, where he meets a ferryman who guides him towards his ultimate destiny and shows him how achieving nirvana cannot be taught but persevered by one’s own will. Here, at the river, he stops searching and submits to the oneness of all.

    The story is set up in the ancient Indian kingdom of Kapilavastu. Siddhartha decides to leave behind his home in the hope of gaining spiritual illumination by becoming an ascetic wandering beggar of the Samanas. Joined by his best friend, Govinda, Siddhartha fasts, becomes homeless, renounces all personal possessions, and intensely meditates, eventually seeking, enlightenment.

    Later, both Siddhartha and Govinda acknowledge the elegance of the Buddha’s teachings. Govinda, hastily joins the Buddha’s order, but Siddhartha does not follow suit, claiming that the Buddha’s philosophy, though supremely wise, does not account for the necessarily distinct experiences of each person. He argues that every individual seeks an absolutely unique, personal meaning of life that cannot be presented to him by a teacher. He thus resolves to carry on his quest alone.

    Siddhartha crosses a river where a generous ferryman, whom Siddhartha is unable to pay, merrily predicts that Siddhartha will return to the river someday to compensate him in some way. Venturing onward toward city life, Siddhartha discovers Kamala, the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Kamala, a courtesan, notes Siddhartha’s handsome appearance and fast wit, telling him that he must become wealthy to win her affections so that she may teach him the art of love. Although Siddhartha despises materialistic pursuits as a Samana, he agrees now to Kamala’s suggestions. She directs him to the employment of one Kamaswami, a local businessman, and insists that he have Kamaswami treat him as an equal rather than an underling. Siddhartha, easily succeeds in that, providing a voice of patience and tranquility, which he had learned from his days as an ascetic, against Kamaswami’s fits of passion. Siddhartha gradually becomes a rich man and Kamala’s lover, though in his middle years he realizes that the luxurious lifestyle he has chosen is merely an illusion that lacks spiritual fulfillment. Leaving the fast-paced bustle of the city, Siddhartha returns to the river fed up with life and disillusioned, contemplating suicide before falling into a meditative sleep, and is saved only by an internal experience of the holy word, Om. The very next morning, by sheer coincidence, Siddhartha briefly reconnects with Govinda, who is passing through the area as a wandering Buddhist.

    Siddhartha decides to live the rest of his life in the presence of the spiritually inspirational river. He thus reunites with the ferryman, named Vasudeva, with whom he begins a humbler way of life. Although, Vasudeva is a simple man, he understands and relates that the river has many voices and significant messages to convey provided someone wants to listen to it.

    Some years later, Kamala, now a Buddhist convert, is traveling to see the Buddha at his deathbed. She is accompanied by her reluctant young son, and is bitten by a venomous snake, near Siddhartha’s river. Siddhartha recognizes her even after years and realizes that the boy is his own child. After Kamala’s death, Siddhartha attempts to console and raise the furiously resistant boy, until one day the child flees altogether. Although Siddhartha is desperate to find his runaway son, Vasudeva urges him to let the boy find his own path, much like Siddhartha did himself in his youth. Listening to the river with Vasudeva, Siddhartha realizes that time is an illusion and that all his feelings and experiences, even those that of suffering, are part of a great and ultimately jubilant fellowship of all things connected in the cyclical unity of nature. After Siddhartha’s moment of illumination, Vasudeva claims that his work is done and he must depart into the woods, leaving Siddhartha peacefully fulfilled and alone once more.

    Towards the end of his life, Govinda hears about an enlightened ferryman and travels to Siddhartha, not initially recognizing him as his old childhood friend. Govinda asks the now-elderly Siddhartha to relate his wisdom and Siddhartha replies that for every true statement there is an opposite one that is also true; that language and the confines of time lead people to adhere to one fixed belief that does not account for the fullness of the truth. Because nature works in a self-sustaining cycle, every entity carries in it the potential for its opposite and so the world must always be considered complete. Siddhartha simply urges people to identify and love the world in its completeness. He then requests Govinda to kiss his forehead, and when he does, Govinda experiences the visions of timelessness that Siddhartha himself saw with Vasudeva by the river. Govinda bows to his wise friend and Siddhartha smiles radiantly, having found enlightenment. The book ends there.

    This indeed is the true picture of life. We run after innumerous things yet we don’t find peace and enlightenment.

    It’s a very fast paced book. I did not like the construct of its sentences nor the punctuation yet the book carries a great message and a great story worth going through for which I would give it seven out of ten.   

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES-37

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A river is a permanent body of running water. The United Nations, recognizes in all 193 countries, some of which host impressive rivers like the Amazon and Mississippi. In fact, some countries have a network of more than 1,000 rivers. For example, Russia has approximately 100,000 rivers, which is more than any other country in the world. Rivers are important sources of livelihood, as they provide water, and are important sources for fish and hydroelectric power. Additionally, rivers such as Amazon even attract thousands of tourists annually. However, there are 17 countries that do not have any rivers. They are Bahamas, Bahrain, Comoros in Africa, Kiribati in Pacific, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, Malta, Maldives, Nauru in Oceania, Libya, Monaco, Marshall Islands in Central Pacific, Tuvalu in Pacific, UAE and The Vatican city.

    The British pound is the world’s oldest currency still in use – it is 1,200 years old. Dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. Pound has gone through many changes before evolving into the currency we recognise today. On the other hand Sterling silver pennies have been around since 775AD, with King  Offa, of Mercia, generally credited, for being responsible for the widespread adoption of the coins. The first fully printed banknotes were introduced in 1853. Before that, following its establishment in 1694, the Bank of England only issued partially printed notes with the ‘£’ sign as well as the first digit. The numbers had to be added by hand and each note had to be signed by one of the bank’s cashiers. Today’s banknotes developed out of these original handwritten notes.

The smallest bird is the bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) of Cuba and the Isle of Youth. Males measure 57 mm (2.24 in) in total length, half of which is taken up by the bill and the tail, and weigh 1.6 g (0.056 oz). Females are slightly larger. This is believed to be the lowest weight limit for any warm blooded animal.

A research study on worry reveals that more than one-third of what people worry about, are things that never happen. Another one-third of worry deals with things that have already happened in the past and that cannot be changed. The remaining one-third of the worry is divided between worrying about things that concern other people, and a small percentage are the real things about which we should worry. Just think of how often we worry about things, yet they never happen. So ponder well before you worry.

The primary problem with Indian Agricultue is that the average size of land holding at 2.28 hectares in (1970-71) has now halved to 1.08 hectares in (2015-16), creating immense pressure on land. Persons dependent on agriculture are still 43% of all Indians. Thus most of the farmers are shifting to cash crops and or allied activities to survive.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

INTERESTING FACTS FIGURES & QUOTES: EPISODE 24

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

‘The best management is sometimes less management or no management at all.’ William Coyne, who led 3M’s R&D efforts for over a decade, believed a big part of his job was to leave his people alone and protect them from other curious executives. He said: ‘After you plant a seed in the ground, you don’t dig it up every week to see how it is doing.

Purple patch means, a run of success, a winning streak.

‘More sinned against than sinning.’ Is an expression used by those who may be guilty of wrongdoing, but consider themselves the victim of a more serious wrong against them. The phrase comes from William Shakespeare’s play King Lear.

Indonesia which has a population of 270 million (27 crores) and is spread over more than a thousand inhabited islands, managed its recent elections in just one day. Can India ever do the same?

People are more effective when they conquer smaller tasks and celebrate small victories.

Football: We are not Japan who can keep the ball for long spells, especially when we play better opponents—says Sunil Chhetri, Captain Indian Football team.

Indian political outfits can learn from their Western counterparts like the Republicans and Democrats in the US or Tories and Labour in the UK, where the grassroots have a say in choosing party leaders, and defeat leads to churning and shuffling of leaders on the top deck.

Odisha has had close to 300 cyclones between 1800 and 2019 categorized as extremely severe to severe to moderate including cyclone Fani.

Joseph Kennedy (American businessman, investor and politician) once said, ‘The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis,’ one brush stroke stands for danger, the other for opportunity in crisis, so be aware of the danger –but recognize the opportunity.

World War I lasted from 1st August 1914 to 11th November 1918 (1564 days).

There are about 165 major rivers in the world. These major rivers are long and wide enough to be classified as major rivers with large volumes of water flowing through them every day. They have tributaries that provide fresh water to billions of people.

The Amazon River is the largest in the world. It is 3,980 miles or (6,400 kilometers) long, according to the U.S. National Park Service. It is, however, the world’s largest river by volume and contains 20% of the Earth’s fresh water, according to the National Science Foundation.

Artificial Intelligence is enabling computers to do our thinking for us, and do it much faster and better than we can ourselves.

People from the pharmacy industry know very well that it takes 12 years to make a new drug and maybe it costs $1 billion.

Indira Gandhi openly backed the Bengali Guerrilla movement in 1971 and opted for the military offensive to liberate Bangladesh after asking the army to prepare for the final push at least five months before the war in December. Whereas, Manmohan Singh from the same party, decided to exercise restraint after the 26/11 terror strike on Mumbai.

To scrape the barrel or to scrape the bottom of the barrel means to be reduced to using things or people of the poorest quality because there is nothing else available.

There are many references in the Bible with regard to God’s beneficence in Nature. “When a tree is wantonly cut down, its voice rings from one end of the earth to the other. Be like a tree, because the tree gives shade even to those who cut off its boughs.”

Gun violence in America is out of control. It has been for some time now, but with 307 mass shootings in the first 311 days of 2018. It is reaching, one a day average. Gun homicide rate in the US is 25 times higher than in other high-income countries.

Only 65% of Indian children are presently covered-under Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). Mission Indra-Dhanush’s configuration will cover 90% full immunization coverage by 2020.

India has only one individual gold medal to show for 92 years of Olympic participation.

A house insurance costs just Rs 6-12/ day however only less than 1% people who can afford it have house insurance.

In Greek mythology, Prometheus, (possibly meaning forethought) is a Titan, culture hero, and trickster figure who is credited with the creation of man from clay, and who defies the Gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity, an act that enabled progress.

Dutch-Scilly War between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly (located off the southwest coast of Great Britain) (has lasted from 1651- to 1986: 335 years) is one of the longest, and even the strangest, wars in the world’s history, characterized by a complete absence of battles and bloodshed. It is known as the Three Hundred and Thirty-Five Years’ war. The conflict began on March 30, 1651, as a by-product of the English Civil War. That this war ever existed is disputed. It is said to have been extended by the lack of a peace treaty for 335 years without a single shot being fired.

The country with the most time zones is France, mostly due to its various territories around the world.

Vatican City with a population of fewer than 1,000 people, is the smallest population of any country in the world.

Whether elephants make love or war, the grass always suffers is a hackneyed expression.

Harry S. Truman the 33rd President of the United States once said, ‘It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.’

“The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the fish are caught the trap is forgotten. The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten. The purpose of the word is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.” said Chinese philosopher Chaung Tzu.

The soldier above all others prays for peace—said American five star general DOUGLAS MACARTHUR.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started—said American writer Mark Twain.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

LITERARY CORNER: “Jallianwala Bagh: An Empire of Fear and the Making of the Amritsar Massacre,” by Kim A Wagner.

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    Time doesn’t dilute the scars of hateful crimes. I’m pointing at the “Jallianwala Bagh” massacre, a crime perpetrated by Brigadier General Reginald Dyer. People who died in that slaughter, I’m sure, must be turning in their graves on each anniversary of the crime that was unleashed on April 13, 1919 by this devil. With that logic the victims by now must have turned at least a hundred times in their proverbial grave. But the apology from the British is yet to come. This monster, Brigadier Dyer later died on 23 July 1927. Winston Churchill called him a rotten apple simply to disavow his own responsibility.

    But then the rotten apple grew in his own backyard colony called India. General Dyer is also called, “the Butcher of Amritsar,” because of his order to fire repeatedly on a crowd of peaceful protesters. This resulted in the murder of at least 500-600 people and injuries to over a thousand more. Subsequently, Dyer was removed from duty and widely condemned both in Britain and in India. But he became a celebrated hero among some with connections to the British Raj. Some historians argue the episode was a decisive event towards the end of the British rule in India.

    Many books have been written on this particular massacre. Latest being “Jallianwala Bagh: An Empire of Fear and the Making of the Amritsar Massacre,” by historian Kim A Wagner. Wagner teaches, the history of colonial India and the British Empire at Queen Mary, University of London. He has written extensively on the subject of ‘Thuggee,’ the Indian Uprising of 1857, and resistance and colonial violence more generally in 19th and 20th century global history. The book has been published by Penguin, and the price is below Rs 500 in Amazon. Even though it has been a century since Brigadier General Reginald Dyer ordered Indian Army troops to open fire upon an unarmed crowd at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919, the memory of it is still painful for Indians. British historian Kim Wagner has taken a fresh look at the incident in this book. There are some advance praises about the book, a couple of them are as follows:

  1. “In the cautionary tale provided in Jallianwala Bagh, it is enduring racist fear that lies at the heart of precipitate violence. Analytically sharp but gripping to read, the book is a page turner.”—says Barbara D. Metcalf, Co-Author of “A Concise History of India.”
  1. In the compelling yet exacting study Kim Wagner combines the intimacy of the storyteller and the distance of the historian to evoke the “micro story” of the massacre while understanding it as the “final stage of the much longer process”, stretching back to Sepoy Uprising. Mining a variety of sources—diaries, memoirs and court testimonies—he uncovers fresh perspectives and examines the relation between colonial panic and state brutality with sophistication, sincerity and style rare in published accounts of this much-trodden ground.”–says Santanu Das, Author of, “India, Empire and First War Culture.”

    The book gives a good overview of the massacre from all corners and all stakeholders. Was Jallianwala Bagh massacre a one-off incident, as portrayed back then and even today by many? The book tries to answer that. The author feels rather than being an unprecedented event, the Amritsar massacre revealed the racialized logic of a colonial violence, and we find the exact sentiments expressed by British officers involved in the suppression of the Indian Uprising of 1857, for instance.

    An apology that describes General Dyer as a rotten apple, which is, essentially what Winston Churchill said in 1920, is not an apology at all but rather an attempt to disavow any form of responsibility in terms of the Raj and the British Empire in general.

    There is often a debate about the troops who open fired. Some say they were Gorkhas and Pathan troops. The author with his research tries to clear the air when he says. There probably were a few Sikh troops also present but we have to remember that the British at the same time did not think of the local population in communal terms. Dyer refers to the protesters simply as ‘rebels.’ The composition of the force he took with him to ‘Jallianwala Bagh’ was largely accidental.

    To a question about Indian Army veterans who had served in World War-I, being among the unfortunate crowd that got killed and injured the eyewitnesses describe how veterans called out for people to lie down to avoid being shot, so there were clearly demobilised soldiers in the crowd.

    British Empire apologists often dismiss the Indian National Congress’s findings about the tragedy and settle for government estimates to save their skin. The Indian National Congress actually estimated that 500 had been killed but that 1,000 might not be an exaggerated estimate—based on the door-to-door inquiry made by local agencies, some 540 names were found, and the author feels that somewhere between 500 to 600 were killed and, perhaps, three times that many wounded.

    As per the book it was not a pre-meditated plan. Dyer believed he was entering a war zone and was fully prepared to shoot at anyone who defied his ban on public meetings. He did not know what the layout of the city or Jallianwala Bagh was. Once he arrived at the Bagh, he did not care much about who was actually present but simply open fired without using his brains.

   There is no evidence about the 120 bodies that were recovered from the well. Eye-witnesses describe one or two people falling in it, and Motilal Nehru and Madan Mohan Malviya thought they saw one or two bodies floating in the well, later that summer—which was nothing more than a clay-pot and some old clothes floating in the well. There was a merging of the canal feeding with the holy tank, which runs under Jallianwala Bagh, since we know that some people climbed into that to flee the bullets and that several bodies were later recovered.

    Lastly, Churchill denounced Dyer in 1920 but it was not because he found indiscriminate violence in the Empire unacceptable, but rather because Dyer’s actions made it so difficult to defend British rule in India. That is also why he was eager to depict Dyer and the massacre as ‘un-British.’

    The massacre has been portrayed in several movies, starting with Attenborough’s Gandhi. But author Kim Wagner thinks none of them make more impact than re-enact the set of visual tropes first deployed by Attenborough. There is almost a checklist of recurrent motifs, including Dyer ordering his troops to fire, and people throwing themselves into the well or getting crushed against a locked gate, crying kids sitting next to their dead parents. To break new ground in this respect would require a break from these filmic conventions.

    Jallianwalla Bagh is often the least talked about episode in the British circles but yes to an extent or rather to quite an extent during the trial it helped in understanding the British colonial policy. The Hunter Commission was set up partly to assuage moderate Indian nationalists and Montagu, the Secretary of State for India, never expected it to reveal the things it did. The fact that this was such a large inquiry, which elicited so much evidence, not least Dyer’s own testimony, means that this was probably the best-recorded colonial atrocity within the British Empire up till that point.

    Well if you’re interested in history and the sad chapters of Indian history this book is for you. Well written and great in detailing and largely unbiased barring certain chapters where you get some eerie feeling it sails through in the Indian Ocean without turbulence. A historians prime job is to lay down history in proper perspective where the author I think has not failed. I would give the book seven out of ten.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE GOLF COURSE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

     I thought of locking the year with a few rounds of golf. So I played nine holes today. Shall continue with it, even tomorrow, and even day after, and positively on the 1st day of, 2018. They say what you do on the last day of the year, continues with you in the ensuing year. And what you do on the first day of the New Year remains with you throughout the year. Golf certainly is my vaunted lifeline.

     It was a wonderful experience in some months. When, you happened to be in the golf course, on a cold winter morning. That too, when, the visibility was poor. And where, the morning sun was as if, heckled by those seasonal miscreants, while it was is on its way up. To, greet the golfers.

    Of course it was a dare to reach the club early in the morning. As you don’t feel like leaving the warm bed in the accompaniment of the soft quilt. It was a frigid and shivering start, at hole number one. Climaxing, to a warm and cozy end, at hole number nine. The entire flora including the carpet of grass was covered with dew. On which the foot marks of the golfers were clearly visible. Perhaps, if you had seen their soles, you would have known who all were ahead of you. Even the bounce of the golf ball had left an impression on the gleaming blade of the grass, followed by its long roll all along the carpet that was noticeable to the eyes even from a distance. In all of this one could but feel the change setting in. That is the advent of the New Year.

    As we go from 17 to 18 one wonders how the year was spent. So it is time to introspect, over the year. What satisfied you …. What demeaned you? And what remained as a routine. Turn of the year is a big leveler. Where, one can start afresh, with hitherto, unaccomplished missions. I’m sure you’ve thought enough about it. So act now. For life is short. So do what you wish to do and do it now. Says the famous proverb—‘time and tide wait for none.’ 

………………………… have a great 2018

 

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Now available in Amazon.com

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES- A BOOK BY KAMLESH TRIPATHI, CO AUTHOR: SUJATA TRIPATHI

51+O4fGLGaL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX324_SY324_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA346_SH20_OU31_#AADAB #LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES BOOK LAUNCHED IN RECENT- LUCKNOW INTERNATIONAL LITERARY FESTIVAL

E-book available in Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble. Print copies available in Poth.com, Flipkart.

EXCERPTS

‘whatever … whenever … Lucknow is forever.’

‘Aadab-Lucknow … fond memories’ is a story of a group of friends who spend their childhood and part of their adolescence in Lucknow. They part ways for their career and future but the umbilical-cord remains intact and they connect after many years, attempting to relive the city.’

‘What is #Lucknow up to? Smiling, giggling, laughing or weeping. Let’s figure out.’
‘Isn’t Lucknow the world’s showcase of #Hindu-Muslim amity? Do you have any doubts? We have none.’

‘#Imambara-to-see … Evening-in-Ganj-#Hazratganj … Kababs-to-eat …Chikan-to-wear … Attar-for-fragrance … Ikka-buggy-to-roam … Kite-to-fly … Hospitality-by-leaf-Betel-leaf … Sweet-tongue … and the great Lakhnawi pride … after-you-after-you.’

‘Langotia-Gang: A group of ‘Underwear friends’ nay ‘childhood friends’ a metaphorical and peppy expression. The Langotians take you through the intrinsic essence of life.’

‘And post #Kabootar-bazi, dressed in a crisp Achkan, seated on his flashy Ikka, he used to join Rehman for the evening Chai-Nashtaa which he ensured, he never missed after the game. After all … All was fair in love and Kabootar-bazi.’

‘Anyway, guys send me a quick update on, Vakil, Neta, Naukarshah and Abhiyanta … Shahid, IV, Irfan and Savita. Lucknow runs because of these four; business and industry are not there and rest can go to hell.’

‘Other states carry weight as a state, but we carry only some districts as weight.’
‘Mem-sahab, Babuji, kaan laga ke dhyan se suniya Lucknow ka har bachcha kya gaa raha hai.’ (Madam, Sir, listen intently to what every child of Lucknow is singing)

‘Mandar, Masjid, Church the Gurudware da shehar, change shehar Lucknow.’

‘#Awadh shrieks and shrills to the fading countenance of Wajid as she promises to herself to be in command and control of the fond memories of her Mehboob, #Wajid-Ali-Shah.’
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