Reading is magical. For children, it is the foundation of learning and education. For adults, it brings comfort and reassurance, confidence and security, relaxation, happiness and fun. It feeds our imagination, helps us to empathise and appreciate a new perspective.
It is no surprise, that reading also helps re-ignite patriotism. It fuels a passion and love for our country that often lies dormant in us. “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.” We grew up with not just these powerful words by Jawaharlal Nehru.
In fact, During the late 1800s, the various regions of India began to share a common purpose in reacting to the British presence in their country through the power of words, further strengthened through the advent of journalism and the printing press. A nationalist movement gradually grew in strength. This movement was the inspiration behind much Indian writing in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. A common pattern exists in the modern literature of most Indian languages. The spread of journalism helped the development of prose writing, with the short story becoming especially popular.
Taking inspiration from this illustrious history, in this blog, we bring to you some good reading for the citizen-soul.
- Anand Math by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay
This famous Bengali novel by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay talks about the Sanyasi Rebellion which was a significant part of India’s fight for independence. It was so inspiring for freedom fighters that the British Government decided to prohibit the book from being read. Vande Mataram, India’s national song is included in this book.
- Heros of the Indian Army: Stories of the Param Vir Chakra Awardees, by Vaneeta Vaid
This book details stories of the awe-inspiring bravery of soldiers who have won India’s highest military decoration awarded for displaying distinguished acts of valour during wartime. These stories are truly moving. They bring tears to the eye and make our hearts gush with pride. Sri Aurobindo, a freedom fighter in his own right and a masterful wizard of words, has translated this version from Bengali to English.
- Autobiography of an Unknown Indian by Nirad C Chaudhury
Set in 1951, in present-day Bangladesh, this is the autobiography of Nirad C. Chaudhuri, an Indian writer. The book records his life as a child in the Bengal countryside and his teenage years in Kolkata. The story is a perfect autobiographic account of the transition of colonial India into an independent county.
- The Kargil War: A Saga of Patriotism by RN Sharma, YK Sharma and RK Sharma
Starting with a recollection of Indo-Pak relations since 1947 and Indian foreign policy towards Pakistan, and includes a chronological presentation of events in the Operation Vijay since its beginning on May 6. Further contents of the book include chapters on 1965 War, 1971 War, The Voice of Editors, Vox Populi, Views and Interviews (Letters to the Editors), and Life in Kargil. The two most important chapters in this work are The Operation Vijay (the Kargil war) and A Saga of Patriotism (the Martyrs of Kargil). Other interesting features of the book are Qs. And Ans. on Kargil, Reports in national polls, Calling consensus, Questions on Internet and opinion polls. It’s a great way to re-connect with a victory we all are thoroughly proud of.
- We the Children of India by Leila Sheth
Former Chief Justice Leila Seth makes the words of the Preamble to the Constitution understandable to even the youngest reader. What is a democratic republic, why are we secular, what is sovereignty? Believing that it is never too early for young people to learn about the Constitution, she tackles these concepts and explains them in a manner everyone can grasp and enjoy. Accompanied by numerous photographs, captivating and inspiring illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Bindia Thapar, and delightful bits of trivia, We, the Children of India is essential reading for every young citizen.
We hope this makes you feel like picking up a book immediately!
Note: this is an article drafted after independent research from Desh Apnayen Sahayog Foundation. We in no way stand to gain from sales or promotion of any of these books.