Friday, Jul 01, 2022

Book Review: Pages Of Nostalgia

A new book examines the popular 20th-century perceptions as documented in Hindi novels of four authors who were also political activists, and interprets their retellings of history through the radical lens of literary representations

Hitendra Patel
Adhunik Bharat Ka Aitihasik Yatharth | Rajkamal Prakashan | 430 Pages | Rs 499

“Click! Click! Snapshots from different standpoints.” This is how Hindi novelist and revolutionary, Yashpal, captured the historic Tripuri session (1939) of the Indian Nat­ional Congress when the internal differen­ces between the party’s dominant factions came out in the open. A very ill Subhas Chandra Bose is being photographed by journalists while att­e­nding the session on a stretcher. In this way, the emphasis upon different standpoints for recording and interpreting an important moment in history gets underlined. As historian and academic Hitendra Patel quotes extensively from Yashpal’s Meri Teri Uski Baat (1974) to delineate what is portrayed as a titan clash between Mahatma Gandhi and Bose in the session, readers are offered a much-animated retelling than the usual dry and dense academic prose.