Shackles of Independence: A Memoir of an Unknown Indian

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Xlibris Corporation LLC, 2013 - Literary Criticism - 572 pages
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Celebrities pen memoirs, so they start with monologues. I am a commoner; tagged moreover with a hyphenated origin. I sure want to present my prologue in a slightly different manner. My primary intention has always been to guide my grandchildren, their children, and their children, if ever they decide to go on their adventurous root searching. Hence, a short historical background of my motherland, India, is warranted. The British Raj reluctantly left Indian subcontinent in 1947, but not before it divided the 200-year-old colonized India. The partition was based on the exorbitant demand of an Islamic state by a small elitist group, who assumed leadership tens of millions of peaceful minorities within a vast Hindu Diaspora. Sixty-six years back, I, as a small boy, witnessed India's struggle for independence and grew up observing the turbulent consequences of partition, that is the substance of this memoir. I was born in a suburban town of Calcutta, which was then at the realm of all affairs as the hub of British Empire. My story began over the last stage of India's protracted struggle for independence. Freedom eventually arrived, in the form of a transfer of power' agreement between the native leaders and the British Viceroy, at midnight on August 15, 1947; when the turbulent landmass was torn apart on the basis on religion: Pakistan was created for the Muslims, and Bharat', for the others later coined as secular' India. In the early years, my parents raised me with care and love in a cozy apartment in Calcutta. But soon, when I was just three years old, my family had to move permanently to our ancestral home, Krishnanagar, 62 miles north of Calcutta, so as to alleviate the financial hardship of the patriarch of our family, my grandfather. The historic town of Krishnanagar flaunted ancient Vedic culture, Vaishnavism of Lord Chaitanya and Indian classical music. It maintained high academic education facilities in Bengali, English and Urdu media, and excelled in all kinds of sports and fine and modeling arts. Krishnanagar was a great environment for a growing toddler. Through those days of blackout of the World War II, my father, an accountant in an actuary company, could only visit us on weekends. He lived in an officer's mess in Calcutta.

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