BOOK CLUB Children

In turbulent times

This is as good a time as any to delve into books about Indian Independence. Now, seven decades and more later, the bravery and valour seems to have lost its poignancy. But, these books will evoke in us again the grit and determination that won us our freedom.

A Flag, A Song And a Pinch of Salt by Subhadra Sen Gupta

In turbulent times

The book features 19 Indian freedom fighters including Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar and Lokmanya Tilak. The author has also featured Abul Kalam Azad, Annie Besant and more, providing a rich tapestry of people who put their country first, stood firm in their beliefs and remained undeterred, despite the threat of prison sentences and police batons. They stood against the biggest colonial empire in the world at that time and achieved their dream of flying the Tricolour.

The Teenage Diary of Rani Lakshmi Bai by Tanushree Podder

In turbulent times

Not enough can be written about this firebrand queen. This is a fictional diary of the Rani of Jhansi’s teenage years. Intelligent and spirited, Manikarnika is the daughter of a poor priest in Bithoor, a small town at the court of Baji Rao, the exiled Peshwa of Poona. At the court, she is trained in horse riding, sword fighting and getting an education along with Tantia Tope and Nana Saheb. Married to Gangadhar Rao at 13, she quickly assumes her role as queen and rules alongside the king. When the British hatch plans to take away her kingdom, they find the rani an able opponent.

Neela: Victory Song by Chitra Banerjee Divakurani

In turbulent times

It is 1939. A day after Neela’s sister’s wedding, her father goes to Calcutta to join a protest march organised by the Congress, saying he will be back in a week’s time. However, days become weeks, and there is no sign of her father. Neela disguises herself as a wandering minstrel and travels from her village, Shona Gram, to Calcutta. There she meets Bimala, the daughter of a judge, and her cousin, Samar, a freedom fighter Neela had earlier rescued from the police in her village. Through various sources they discover that Neela’s father is in jail and is to be deported to the Andaman Islands in a few days.

Will they be able to free him? Can a 12-year-old girl stand against the mighty British empire?

A Beautiful Lie by Irfan Master

In turbulent times

The story of Bilal and his need to protect his father goes beyond the key event of the time, the Partition. Bilal knows that if his dying father hears that his beloved country is to be divided up, it will break his heart. So, with his friends Chota, Manjeet and Saleem, he devises a scheme to head off any potential visitors.

His effort to keep his father isolated proves difficult when his estranged elder brother, a political activist, believes that their father must be told the truth. The growing tension and chaos in the town makes it almost impossible for Bilal to maintain his “beautiful lie”.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 9:46:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/in-turbulent-times/article32314128.ece

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