Atul K. Thakur

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  • India’s war: the making of modern south Asia (1939–1945)

    Srinath Raghavan’s India’s War: The Making of Modern South Asia (1939–1945) is a welcome addition to his previous volumes on South Asia, in particular on Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, in War and Peace in Modern India (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), and the struggle on the creation of Bangladesh and sub-continental historiography in 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh (Harvard University Press, 2013). This book has captured the fundamental elements of India under British colonial rule, and the extraordinary changes that occurred during the Second World War.

    May 2017

    Midnight’s furies: the deadly legacy of India’s partition by Nisid Hajari

    In 2015, when India and Pakistan are into their 69th year of independence, this is an occasion to look back on the lost plot of their strategic engagements. The partition of an undivided India, built upon a malicious traction of ‘two-nation theory’ was further firmed-up with Pakistan’s dealings with its neighbourhood through a consistent conflict-ridden worldview. More so, this idea turned into action—and further obsession, when matters would relate to India.

    March 2016

    Rendezvous with Rebels: Journey to Meet India’s Most Wanted Men by Rajeev Bhattacharyya

    Rendezvous with Rebels is the passionate account of Rajeev Bhattacharyya’s daring journey to the rebel bases in Myanmar’s Sagaing Division where several separatist outfits from India’s troubled Northeast have established a presence. He stayed at the camp of the anti-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) headed by chief of staff Paresh Baruah, who happens to be one of the most wanted men in India.

    September 2015

    India at Risk: Mistakes, Misconceptions and Misadventures of Security Policy by Jaswant Singh

    This is Jaswant Singh’s eleventh known book, and here he keeps his focus on experiences rather than rhetoric to deal with the complex design of India’s security challenges. While relying judiciously on first-hand experiences, the author justifies his long eventful overtures in public life and also as an avid researcher, who has spent decades participating in and observing India’s security establishment from close quarters.

    September 2014

    Apocalypse Pakistan: An Anatomy of ‘the World’s Most Dangerous Nation’ by Francesca Marino and Beniamino Natale

    The current state of Pakistan is messy and full of existential contradictions. The nation was built on a separate Muslim identity and on the pretext that in independent and integrated India the status of minorities would not be equal with Hindus. This notion was proved wrong as early as the 1950s, when political discourse in Pakistan turned more strongly towards religion than democratic principles. Consequently, Pakistan has become a safe haven for religious fundamentalists who trade in deadly violence and pose a threat to peace in the South Asian region.

    May 2014

    The Untold History of the United States

    Filmmaker Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick’s The Untold History of the United States is an uncompromising and riveting account of the uncomfortable aspects of American history. The book studies the period from the beginning of the 20th century right up to the present regime of Obama and highlights the extent to which democratic ideas have been abandoned by the world’s largest democracy.

    September 2013

    Return of a King by William Dalrymple

    Imperialism never gives on its own will. The all-season historian, William Dalrymple, echoes this message throughout Return of a King. In comparison to his unwavering research on India, which is submerged in the thickness of the complex historiography, this new book is a rattling good read. The theme of the book gives the average reader a valid reason to come across the parts of ‘research and reference’, which are supported by historical facts rather than facts interwoven with fiction.

    May 2013