AUTHOR: Sudip Kar Purkayastha
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The awakening of the average Indian and his conscious strivings to have his voice heard resumed not long after the Mutiny of 1857. It was suppressed by the Raj with iron hands. The native response grew hard and more organised—ranging from Pheroze Mehta’s constitutional pleas to Tilak’s bold demand for ‘swaraj’ and from Gandhi’s idealistic nonviolence to Bose’s armed patriotism. Unlike 1857, this struggle was not a shortlived intense, violent upheaval that could be savagely subdued. India was patient and determined for a longhaul struggle. This captivating work brings a large part of this fascinating period back to life. It chronicles the sacrifice of the revolutionaries, political challenge by the Swarajya Party, mass movements led by Gandhi, identity politics of Jinnah and British strategy of ‘divide and rule’. Part II of this book opens in 1937 when the undercurrent of tension among European nations came to the surface and the rivalry between imperialism and fascism began to enter into the discourse of Indian political parties too. The engrossing work records the dilemma of the Congress in supporting British war efforts and upholding Gandhian nonviolence at the same time. Subhas Bose’s unfaltering quest for an undivided India’s independence shines through amidst unprecedented chaos. The book goes on to narrate the long procrastinated Quit India Movement and the heroic accounts of the INA. It exposes how the nervous British, hastening to leave India, play their malicious diplomatic ‘end game’ in dividing the country with tacit endorsement of native politicians. The book ends by describing Indian independence in the midst of partition and fratricidal bloodshed, while the youngest nation refused to be overwhelmed by formidable adversities, aspiring to take its rightful place in the comity of nations!
Sudip Kar Purkayastha has a multidisciplinary academic background and is credited with a PhD (Arts), Masters in Business Administration, post graduate diplomas in Journalism and Bank Management. A former banker, he held senior management responsibilities in a large public sector bank. Growing up in Kolkata, he had the privilege to interact with several freedom fighters, particularly with Rasomoy Sur, a famed revolutionary connected to the BenoyBadalDinesh episode in the Writers Building during India's freedom struggle. In his PhD thesis titled, ‘An evaluation of the role and performance of foreign banks in India’, he had to work on the brief history of banks operating in India, starting from the eighteenth century till date. The thesis was highly commended by Prof Clem Tisdell of Queensland University, Australia. Purkayastha was also editor of a journal on bank marketing. He has been retelling the immortal Indian epic, Mahabharat, in English in a bilingual spiritual quarterly, Sri Sanai, in a series. He is also the author of Check Your Knowledge in Mutual Fund, Bank Marketing in the Changing Landscape of Retail Banking in India (an ebook); Mahabharat (Trilogy) Part One: Return of the Princes (an e book). On the Road to Freedom is his debut work on Indian history. Purkayastha has brought the objectivity and penchant for precision common to a financial analyst into this book, which gives it a unique candour.