About the Book
The main purpose of writing this book is to enthuse our youth about the different aspects of freedom struggle of India. All the prominent books written about Indias freedom struggle adopt a chronological style of writing. They dictate the history of this time in an event by event manner. This provides a complete account of the battles fought and movements launched to attain freedom, but somewhere the people who actually fought these battles and participated in these movements remain in the background when such a style of writing is followed. This book, History of Freedom Struggle of India on the other hand narrates the events, spanning almost 90 years following 1857, as were experienced by the men and women who protested, fought, sacrificed and died for the cause. Thus, even the common man will find this book captivating as it brings the characters to life. Readers who are already well versed with the history of those times will also find this book an interesting read as it is written from a different perspective. The life histories of imminent and the less popular heroes and heroines are rarely present together in one book. Many opics, such as the role of women in the freedom struggle and the life histories of revolutionaries who died below the age 20 and those over the age of 60 who participated in the freedom movements, have hardly been covered specifically in any of the texts previously published.
About the Author
Served as a Professor of Mathematics, for four decades of academic career in many reputed institutions such as I.I.T. Kanpur, H.B.T.I. Kanpur. The major period of professional life (1966 - 1991) was spent in G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pant agar, Uttarakhand. This piece of work was written as an attempt to make the youth aware of freedom struggle of India. Post retirement he continued teaching in institutes of repute like Amity University, Babu Banarasi Das National Institute of Technology Management, Shri Ram Swaroop Memorial College of Engineering and Management, Lucknow. He has a keen interest in reading and continues to expand the pool of knowledge through books, even now in 80s. Age and physical health might have curbed him from sharing his knowledge with the growing minds in the classroom, but he wish to do so through the means of writing and publishing works that have been in the pipeline for years.
India achieved Independence in 1947. Those born after 1947 or even a few years earlier have no experience of life under foreign domination. Those who are a little older may recall the humiliations, insults, abuses and even torture that people had to bear just because they were Indian.
Freedom was not achieved for us by any one person. It was cumulative effect. Thousands of men, women and children suffered for this. Some of them were fortunate, they received recognition for their efforts. But a very large number lived and died (or are still living) unhonoured and unsung. It is not possible to recount the heroic deeds and sufferings of each of them. But we owe it to them that we at least spare a thought for their sacrifices.
This is the spirits in which the course of 'History of Freedom Struggle of India' was introduced by this university. This is the spirit in which the author Dr. P.N. Srivastava has written the book. This is the spirit in which it should be read. Efforts have been made to emphasize one aspect that in addition to sacrifices made by well known leaders, there were countless others who suffered in silence. This is humble to them. My esteemed colleague Dr. P.N. Srivastava has made praise-worthy effort.
The struggle, by the people of our country of the past several generations for freedom of the motherland (India) from alien rule, is one such rich source from where the present and the coming generations can certainly derive inspiration for nationalism and spirit of selfless service of the nation. While, on the one hand the freedom struggle of India is full of heroic and heart-rending deeds of self sacrifice by a galaxy of martyrs, on the other it has shown to the world how powerful and effective weapon can the non-violent non-cooperation movement be for achieving freedom by the people. The first and foremost aim of education must be to make every student a worthy citizen of the nation. There has perhaps been steady decline in our feeling to be proud of ourselves, our nation, our cultural heritage, and our past. There is a saying that those who cannot remember their past are condemned to repeat it. Further, the new generation of students, it seems, is not well versed with the sacrifices made by the people (of different age groups) struggled for the freedom of the nation from the foreign yoke. Therefore, very rightly, the University Grants Commission also emphasized and impressed upon the universities to make the whole lot of students aware of the history of the freedom struggle of India by introducing some suitable courses in their curricula. The present small attempt by the author has been made keeping the above points in mind.
The struggles for Freedom in India witnessed one of the biggest mass movements in the world. The movement brought together millions of Indians belonging to different social background and people of different political orientations to fight against the mighty British empire. Freedom was not the result of struggle by a single person rather was a collective effort of thousands of men, women and children who suffered for this. On one hand, freedom struggle of India witnessed self-sacrifice and heroic actions by a galaxy of martyrs, on the other hand it has shown to the world how powerful and effective weapon can the non-violent non-cooperation movement be for achieving freedom by the people.
This book contains five parts. The first part is devoted to the 1857 revolution which is now recognized as the first war of Independence of the Indian people. The last chapter of this part deals with the life histories of some important personalities of the 1857 war, viz., Bahadur Shah Zaffar, Nana Saheb, Tatya Tope, Azimullah Khan, Moulvi Ahmadullah Shah, Kunwar Singh, Rani Lakshmi Bai and Hazarat Mahal. The story Mangal Pandey, the first great martyr of the 1857 war has been narrated while describing the premature beginning of revolt.
The second part entitled 'Salient activities of the Indian National Congress identified as struggle for freedom' deals mainly with various non-violent non-cooperation movement launched in the country from time to time.
**Contents and Sample Pages**