Books

The making of India

In her latest book India Through People: 25 Game Changers, Devika Cariapa talks about the people who drove change

“Children are naturally interested in history,” feels writer Devika Cariapa. “Notice how carefully even the youngest of them listens to stories told by a grandmother or elder — particularly lingering on details of how they lived, what they wore, what they did at school and what they ate for lunch! It’s a natural progression then to get young readers interested in stories from history in a factual but fun way. Once they are hooked, it becomes a lifelong interest.” Devika, whose second and latest book for Tulika, India Through People: 25 Game Changers, was released last week, is also an archaeologist.

“The more I worked in archaeology, researching and visiting sites, the more I felt there were wonderful stories there that children would enjoy,” says Devika, over email. And so, when she became a full-time writer, she knew what her first book would be about — India Through Archaeology: Excavating History, is part of Tulika’s India Focus series. Devika explains that the series “will tell the story of India through the lens of different subjects”.

The making of India

In India Through People..., Devika talks about India’s recent past, that she calls “a century and a half of great, radical changes”. To do so, she has picked 25 people who “helmed that change with great courage and vision”. She explains: “These game changers, all born after 1850, dealt with the challenges of the time and in doing so, not only left an imprint on their particular fields but also forged new paths for the nation.”

Narrowing down on the 25 men and women, however, was not an easy task. “This was probably the most difficult part of doing the book!” she adds. “For every one person included, there were at least two others that we felt could have been featured instead. We chose people from a range of fields and different parts of the country and ensured that those we could not fit in due to constraints of the size of the book were referenced in the timelines attached to each chapter.”

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 11:32:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/the-making-of-india/article29173529.ece

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