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Doolally Sahib and the Black Zamindar

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A meticulously researched and entertaining read.In this engrossing book, bestselling author M.J. ... Read More

Product Description

A meticulously researched and entertaining read.In this engrossing book, bestselling author M.J. Akbar reveals through books, letters and journals left behind by traders, travellers, bureaucrats and officers exactly what they felt about India and Indians.Exposes the ways in which the colonizers exploited India.A chronicle of racial relations between Indians and their last foreign invaders, the British, sometimes infuriating and always compelling.M.J. Akbar is a distinguished author whose many books have focused on social schisms and religious tensions fomented by colonial policy. He has had a parallel career as editor and reporter. During his long career in journalism, he launched, as editor, India's first weekly political news magazine, Sunday in 1976, and two daily newspapers, The Telegraph in 1982 and The Asian Age in 1994. He has also been editorial director of India Today and The Sunday Guardian. He is also the author of several internationally acclaimed books, including Gandhi's Hinduism the Struggle Against Jinnah's Islam, India: The Siege Within; Nehru: The Making of India; Kashmir: Behind the Vale; The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity; Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan; and Blood Brothers, a novel. In addition there have been four collections of his columns, reportage and essays.In July 1765 Robert Clive, in a letter to Sir Francis Sykes, compared Gomorrah favourably to Calcutta, then capital of British India. He wrote: 'I will pronounce Calcutta to be one of the most wicked places in the Universe.' Drawing upon the letters, memoirs and journals of traders, travellers, bureaucrats, officials, officers and the occasional bishop, Doolally Sahib and the Black Zamindar is a chronicle of racial relations between Indians and their last foreign invaders, sometimes infuriating but always compelling. A multitude of vignettes, combined with insight and analysis, reveal the deeply ingrained conviction of 'white superiority' that shaped this history. How deep this conviction was is best illustrated by the fact that the British abandoned a large community of their own children because they were born of Indian mothers. The British took pride in being outsiders, even as their exploitative revenue policy turned periodic drought and famine into horrific catastrophes, killing impoverished Indians in millions. There were also marvellous and heart-warming exceptions in this extraordinary panorama, people who transcended racial prejudice and served as a reminder of what might have been had the British made India a second home and merged with its culture instead of treating it as a fortune-hunter's turf. The power was indisputable-the British had lost just one out of 18 wars between 1757 and 1857. Defeated repeatedly on the battlefield, Indians found innovative and amusing ways of giving expression to resentment in household skirmishes, social mores and economic subversion. When Indians tried to imitate the sahibs, they turned into caricatures; when they absorbed the best that the British brought with them, the confluence was positive and productive. But for the most part, subject and ruler lived parallel lives. From the celebrated writer of the bestselling Gandhi's Hinduism: the Struggle Against Jinnah's Islam comes this extensively researched and utterly engrossing book, which is easy to pick up and difficult to put down.M.J. Akbar is a distinguished author whose many books have focused on social schisms and religious tensions fomented by colonial policy. He has had a parallel career as editor and reporter. During his long career in journalism, he launched, as editor, India's first weekly political news magazine, Sunday in 1976, and two daily newspapers, The Telegraph in 1982 and The Asian Age in 1994. He has also been editorial director of India Today and The Sunday Guardian. He is also the author of several internationally acclaimed books, including Gandhi's Hinduism the Struggle Against Jinnah's Islam, India: The Siege Within; Nehru: The Making of India; Kashmir: Behind the Vale; The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity; Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan; and Blood Brothers, a novel. In addition there have been four collections of his columns, reportage and essays.It is an amazing book. I not only enjoyed reading this immensely well-researched book but also learnt about the feebleness of Indians and the abominable conduct of 90% of Britishers in India. It is an unputdownable work.This book can be read at three levels. One, for the simple pleasure of reading M.J. Akbar who writes like Mark Knopfler playing the guitar; two, to understand how horrible the English were to Indians when they ruled India; and three, to appreciate the stopping of the applause which the British encouraged for their ways here. In short, this book is another nail in the coffin of formal colonialism.

Product Details

Title: Doolally Sahib and the Black Zamindar
Author: M. J. Akbar
SKU: BK0443123
EAN: 9789354355271

About Author

M.J. Akbar is a distinguished author whose many books have focused on social schisms and religious tensions fomented by colonial policy. He has had a parallel career as editor and reporter. During his long career in journalism, he launched, as editor, India's first weekly political news magazine, Sunday in 1976, and two daily newspapers, The Telegraph in 1982 and The Asian Age in 1994. He has also been editorial director of India Today and The Sunday Guardian. He is also the author of several internationally acclaimed books, including Gandhi's Hinduism the Struggle Against Jinnah's Islam, India: The Siege Within; Nehru: The Making of India; Kashmir: Behind the Vale; The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity; Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan; and Blood Brothers, a novel. In addition there have been four collections of his columns, reportage and essays.

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