Anthony Read; David Fisher The Proudest Day

ISBN 13: 9780224039567

The Proudest Day

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9780224039567: The Proudest Day
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At midnight on 14 August 1947, Britain finally granted independence to the peoples of India, without a single shot being fired in anger. Bathed in the rosy glow of retrospect, the birth of modern India and Pakistan has come to be regarded in the west as a great achievement, "the proudest day in Britain's history", as predicted by Lord Macauley in 1835. But how justified is the romantic popular image? Was Indian independence a noble gesture by a benevolent colonial power or was freedom wrested from the British by Indian nationalists after more than a quarter of a century of bitter struggle? "The Proudest Day" examines whether the winning of freedom in India was a triumph or a tragedy.

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The birth of the Indian National Conference in 1885 served as the formal beginning to India's long struggle to evict the British. When independence finally arrived on August 15, 1947, India soon found itself fighting yet another enemy: itself. Without a solid blueprint from which to draw its own government and infrastructure, India's internal struggles meant enormous suffering for the population. As Anthony Read and David Fisher clearly point out, much of the turmoil resulted from the inability of Indian leaders to work in concert, pitting India and Pakistan against one another before they could even begin to celebrate their freedom. It's evident the authors find much to admire in India, but their evenhanded analysis prevents even a touch of the hagiographical; even the failings of the legendary Gandhi are expanded upon. Nehru, Lord Mountbatten, and the Muslim leader Jinnah are also skewered for their poor choices and lack of vision and leadership. In all fairness, the transition to democratic self-rule was no small task, particularly in regard to dealing fairly with the multiple ethnic and religious groups that abound in India, but the authors elaborate on the past sins of the Indian government, because it is within these failings that the true story of modern India is found. These long gazes into the past also help determine what the impact of the current crisis within the Congress Party may be now that Hindu nationalists and religious fundamentalists are in control.

About the Author:

Anthony Read is the author of many books, most recently The Devil’s Disciples: Hitler’s Inner Circle. He lives in England.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780393318982: The Proudest Day: India's Long Road to Independence

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ISBN 10:  0393318982 ISBN 13:  9780393318982
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999
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9780393045949: The Proudest Day: India's Long Road to Independence

W. W. ..., 1998
Hardcover

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