Monday, November 21, 2016

Book Review: Netaji: Living Dangerously by Kingshuk Nag


Introduction
  • ISIN: 978-8129142177
  • Genre: Non fiction / Biographies
  • Publishers: Rupa
  • Price: Rs.395/- (I got this book from the publisher for a review)

Did Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose die in an air crash in Taihoku (Taipei, Taiwan) on 18 August 1945? Was he sent off to Siberia by Joseph Stalin? Did he die there? Or did he escape? Or was he let off, eventually to make his way back to India? Was he the mysterious Gumnami Baba of Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh? If so, how did he find his way back? Why did Bose leave India when he did? Was it on account of his political approach, which was opposed by the then high command of the Congress party that wanted a quick transfer of power from the British? The past comes alive as journalist and author Kingshuk Nag seeks answers to these and related questions at a time when there is a considerable renewal of interest in Netaji's fate with old records tumbling out, the latest being the declassification of 64 files on the subject by the West Bengal government. Will the Union government make public the records that it holds, as has been stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi? Will the governments in Moscow and London be approached for new leads? Netaji: Living Dangerously is a riveting account of the life of one of India's most charismatic leaders and an in-depth analysis of one of the world's best kept secrets.
Behind the book

Source: Amazon.in

About the Author

Kingshuk Nag has been a journalist with The Times of India for the last twenty-two years and has worked across the country in various capacities. An alumnus of the Delhi School of Economics, this is Nag's fifth book. Earlier titles include The NaMo Story: A Political Life and The Saffron Tide: The Rise of the BJP. He is a recipient of the prestigious Prem Bhatia Memorial Award for Excellence in Political Reporting and Analysis for his coverage of political events in Gujarat.


Me thinks

" Did Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose really die in an air crash in Taihoku (Taipei, Taiwan) on 18 August 1945?" - This question has been haunting me ever since I read about him in my history text books. No amount of reading has been able to answer this question well enough to satiate my curiosity. Over the years I have gathered a lot of material on him, more out of curiosity rather than anything else.

Till the time I laid my hands on this book I never know what all was missing in my so called research. The author Kingshuk Nag shook me badly within the first few pages of the book. His writing is so strong and backed with research that you cannot help but believe in all that has been written.There was not an iota of doubt that was left in my mind as to what happened to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

I would not want to reveal the details and spoil the thrill of reading this book. This is known as one of the biggest mystery that haunts our country since its independence. What touched me the most was the way Netaji's wife and daughter said, " Whenever we tell we are related to him, rather than the pride people come back with "Oh isn't he the guy who died mysteriously?" For all that he has done for the country his death deserves a closure. He deserves to be respected and laid to rest in peace rather than have people talk like this about him. For the sake of it all, let's bring this matter to an end. " I cannot help but feel their pain. Imagine losing your loved one and not knowing for decades what happened to him. Not even get to see their dead body to do last rites and come to terms with his death, that's perhaps one of the worst forms of existence. Because you don't know if you should really be waiting for that person to return because you are hopeful or just mourn their death and get over it after sometime. Asking a fellow human being to make a choice out of these is criminal and inhumane according to me. I pray no one ever has to go through this trauma.

I would like to thank the author for writing this book in a manner that by the end of it all, I had all my answers regarding this issue. He has covered every single theory that was ever discussed regarding his death and deciphered it for us to know all the possible permutations and combinations. This logical approach to the whole thing makes it a perfect read. Not once has he tried to sound convincing or make an attempt at telling you what he believed it. He has just laid bare the facts and rest is on to understand.

An excellent book, strongly recommended for all history and politics lover. You would not want to miss this one for otherwise you are going to live with an unanswered mystery life long!

Foodie Verdict

This book is like bajra rotla and urad dal - a truly traditional cuisine which never goes out of fashion and is as yummy as it could be ever.

Source: VegRecipes4U