Partition, the division of the Indian subcontinent into two countries in. Nisid Hajari has written a very readable book about the politics of Partition, essentially depicts the drama of Partition as a two-man show. Read {PDF Epub} Download Midnight's Furies by Nisid Hajari from the story Head by fleurcounter88 with 9 reads. girl, receive, real. Simple Way to Read. Download the Book:Midnight'S Furies: The Deadly Legacy Of India'S Partition PDF For Free, Preface: An NPR Book of the YearA Seatt.

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Read Midnight's Furies PDF - The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition by Nisid Hajari Mariner Books | An NPR Book of the YearA Seattle Times. Partition, the division of the Indian subcontinent into two countries in. , will always be remembered as one of the 20th century's major tragedies, involving. Nisid Hajari, Midnight's furies: the deadly legacy of India's partition, New Delhi,. Penguin/Viking, , pp., INR, ISBN Atul K. Thakur*.

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The current refugee crisis is the most visible sign of this Middle East remapping.

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Finally, with the fall of Kunduz to the Taliban this week, Afghanistan too is on the verge of following Iraq and Syria into a nation-state death spiral.

A city of , people, Kunduz is the first urban area that the Taliban have seized since their defeat in If the United States and Russia were to put aside their differences to pursue a political solution to the problems facing Syria in particular, it would go a long way toward achieving the consensus necessary to address what ails the Middle East. The title is misleading - "The Deadly legacy of India's Partition" it should be history instead of legacy.

It is not an analysis, it is not a book that explores causes of events, it is a chronicle, a narrative history. Having said that it has been written very very well. This was my n-th book on India The title is misleading - "The Deadly legacy of India's Partition" it should be history instead of legacy. Also, it was largely unbiased ; or maybe there were biases but they were not forced opinions or distortions of facts as Indian "liberals" do.

And the author has successfully built character portraits of Jinnah and Nehru in their full glory: And Patel hasnt been spared too. Because of its unputdownable nature and short length, this is a perfect read for those who are new to the subject too. And I do wish other authors do read it to understand how history can be made more interesting without compromising on scholarship.

It's not for beginners. I thought this might be a great book to help me understand the history a bit better. I had read and seen a couple of interviews with the author where he talks a bit about both history and the current events and it sounded really fascinating. Unfortunately, I felt this was a really tough read. While I certainly wouldn't expect a level te It's not for beginners. While I certainly wouldn't expect a level textbook to spoon-feed me, I found the text a real struggle.

The Middle East’s New Nakba

The focus is the conflict surrounding the eventual creation of modern India and Pakistan: But unfortunately it's tough to grasp with the large cast of characters there is no "Who's who" list and maybe it's just me who had trouble keeping who's who separate. I also found the text genuinely difficult to read. Some sections were fascinating and kept me going, but there were several places where my eyes dragged and I just felt it just wasn't compelling reading.

I'd also agree that it's not a great book to connect the then and with the now. Again, I don't think it's required for the author to hand hold and he does have an epilogue at the end , but the book ends at the beginning of and then there's pretty much a time-skip in the epilogue.

Although the partition is the focus, I would have loved to have a longer epilogue looking at the events since then to the present day. I personally suspect the author's background as a journalist just doesn't help.

As a longread article or as a series of articles this could have been great. But as a book I really disliked his writing style, not content!

And while this may be me, I felt that someone reading this is expected to have a greater knowledge of the history of Pakistan, India and the relations between the two countries. This might have been a better read for me if I knew more before picking this up. I might have gotten a lot more out of it, and will consider revisiting it someday. Borrow from the library and try before you download. View 2 comments. Apr 07, Vinay rated it it was amazing. Loved the book. Five-stars primarily because it's so hard to find even-handed historical summaries of events in modern India.

I'd naturally read about the Partition before most recently with Indian Summer, another fantastic book , but this book brought out many nuances I'd glossed over in the past. Three things I found interesting: Each man's bia Loved the book. Each man's biases, insecurities and ambitions are critical aspects to why the subcontinent looks the way it does today. This might just be me, but I've always found it hard to find facts around what the issue is. My gripe with Indian literature is that we don't have too many respected historians writing about recent events - leading to everyone getting their version of Reality.

I like how Hajari goes through the entire story, and calls out specific points where the Indian and Pakistani versions vary. Exceptionally helpful to serve as a starting point to understand Kashmir better. Must read more. The man had his flaws - arguably too emotional, not as tough a negotiator as Patel would have been, idealistic to a fault etc. As I complain to friends, every time I read about Obama's view of history and America's place in it and the challenges America faces today, I feel sad that we don't have many politicians who don't and in many cases, can't similarly discuss with the idea of India.

Being a student of history gives you the maturity and humility to understand the underpinnings of why people, society and countries behave in a certain way today. Nehru was a rare, idealistic visionary who saw the world this way.

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And cobbled together a nation in a complex, difficult time. It is perhaps too soon it has only been 50 years since he died, after all for those who disagree with Nehru to still respect his immense, unparalleled contribution to the founding of the country. I wonder when that day will come. Jun 09, Ari rated it it was amazing. I learned in high-school that British India was partitioned in between "India" and "Pakistan", and that this process went badly. I didn't know more than that.

Thanks to this book, now I feel like I have much better understanding what happened and why. I also feel like I have a much better sense why Pakistan is screwed up in the ways that it is.

At least in this account, it's a Frankenstein or "Sorcerer's Apprentice" story -- Jinnah and Nehru were basically decent people who started a process I learned in high-school that British India was partitioned in between "India" and "Pakistan", and that this process went badly. At least in this account, it's a Frankenstein or "Sorcerer's Apprentice" story -- Jinnah and Nehru were basically decent people who started a process they immediately lost control of.

Overheated rhetoric led to violence, which lead to ill-feeling, hysterical exaggerated press coverage, reprisals, and atrocity. It's startling and a more than a little scary how fast things got totally out of control and the extreme levels of brutality that became normalized.

Nehru comes off well in this account. He was appalled by the violence, was trying sincerely to stop it, and exhibited great personal bravery in doing so. He would get in a small plane, order his pilot to land in front of a mob, and personally try to harangue them into going home instead of burning down Muslim villages.

Jinnah comes off less well. As early as , the Pakistani elite was indulging in the very dangerous habit of preaching Jihad in the hills in order to recruit tribal warriors to fight against India. This has of course gone very badly for the Pakistanis and the world in the decades since.

Midnight's Furies

And Jinnah personally at least acquiesced in this, though he was a very sick man and probably not closely involved in any of the details of anything. The people who come off worst are the Sikh leaders in the Punjab, who very deliberately organized a campaign of terror and atrocity to drive all the Muslims out of their territory in the hopes of establishing an independent Sikh state. I feel like I have a better understanding now how ethnic conflict takes shape.

It's not altogether a pleasant feeling. Sep 19, Chris rated it really liked it Shelves: Well, that was depressing, but it does shed light on things. Although greater India has rarely remained united in its long history, there was every reason to hope that it would emerge from the centuries of British dominion in one piece.

Instead, the people of India erupted as two -- then three -- nations, with armed borders and bloodbaths between them. Midnight's Furies is a history of how the Partition happened, and a full account of the massacres on every side until the United Nations was able to meditate a cease-fire.

Although its pages are bloodsoaked Although greater India has rarely remained united in its long history, there was every reason to hope that it would emerge from the centuries of British dominion in one piece. Although its pages are bloodsoaked, no less than a history of the fighting and civilian slaughters between Hitler and Stalin's empires in WW2, it does deliver a sad understanding of why tensions between India and Pakistan continue to haunt the region and the world.

The two most prominent personalities of this tale are Jawaharlal Nehru, a key figure in both the independence movement and India's Congress Party, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, also a leading voice in the movement but one who relied on Muslim support.

Although both Nehru and Jinnah supported a future for India as a secular state, the long road to independence and personal quarreling made them feuding allies at best, and rivals at worse. Gandhi gave the Indian independence movement a strong populist flavor; his supporters were not middle-class Indians, but India's poor masses, and the Mahatma and his followers channeled their desires and energy through Hindu religion.

This was exceptionally off-putting to Jinnah, who not only feared Hindu nationalism given his Muslim background, but had a marked distaste for the underclass, reluctant even to shake hands with his followers. As the movement grew larger and more populist, Jinnah was marginalized and found relevance only by doubling-down on his Muslim background and becoming an stubborn voice for a Muslim state that would protect its citizens' wishes against the Hindu majority.

Although Nehru comes off much better here confronting the leaders of mass violence, dreaming of a united India Hajari does delve into his culpability. As the day of withdrawal grew closer and Indian leadership became a fact, not a proposal, Nehru targeted his critical energies against Jinnah's partisanship with the same zeal he'd once thrown at the British.

In treating Jinnah and his followers like the enemy, he aided the two countries' downward spiral of accusation, attack, and counterattack.

The bloodbath that overtook the country when the Partition came into effect -- as majorities tried to push minorities out -- was not exactly their 'fault', but their inability to work with one another set the stage. Jinnah's call for "Direct Action" to effect Pakistani independence from India kicked off the blood feud, however, so he seems more culpable than Nehru. The violence was not a simply Hindu v Muslim feud; in the Punjab, where the new state line split the militant Sikh community in two, it involved Sikhs and Muslims.

The ever-present spiral of violence is obvious here: The aggression and violence simply keep ratcheting up, until the streets are literally filled with broken bodies, including children, and air is filled with the smell of blood and the cry of wounded and raped victims. This is not a book for the faint of heart, though it's not as gruesome as The Rape of Nanking.

Although ending in , the spasm of brutality documented here continues to effect Indian and Pakistani relations, and particularly Pakistan's foreign-policy worldview. For it, India remains the existential threat and the priority -- not cold wars or terrorism.

Mar 21, Justin Evans rated it really liked it Shelves: A solid narrative history, which helped me understand partition, and the mess that it caused. The first half of the book is the more interesting, the second half mostly depressing, as mobs hack each other to pieces and the 'leaders' of the various parties and nations do So it's a bit of a let-down; the build up to partition is fascinating; the actual process of partition is mostly mindless violence, which is hard to make interesting, I'm sure.

Special bonus star for learning that Win A solid narrative history, which helped me understand partition, and the mess that it caused.

Special bonus star for learning that Winston Churchill, yet again, managed to stick his nose into a situation he did not understand, that did not involve him, and that he could do nothing but make worse, and, naturally, did precisely that. Churchill is the twentieth century: Sep 24, Jake rated it it was ok. This was history in the form of a 60, word Wikipedia article--boring and unedifying. I love history as a genre, but good history has got to either have a something human or personal going on or b incisive second-order analysis that gets into questions of "why" and "how".

Repeating facts at excruciating length "then Nehru did this, then some Sikhs went on a rampage" just does not cut it. Probably the most damning thing I can say about this book is that by the end, despite spending par Meh. Probably the most damning thing I can say about this book is that by the end, despite spending paragraph after rote paragraph amid the author's prosaic descriptions of Nehru and Jinnah, I felt I knew neither main protagonist with any depth.

Historians, do not be afraid to cast judgment! That's why we read you. Who should I like? Who should I dislike? Analyze, synthesize, suggest. I am an adult; I can handle it. Don't just give me the listing of events. Jan 21, Kaushik Iska rated it really liked it Shelves: As a South Indian, I did not know much about partition. Author does a great job painting a picture about how gruesome it was. Lot of things that I did not learn in Indian history books were covered here. I kept looking for a dichotomy between Indian perspective and a Pakistani perspective.

The author does a great job not doing it. Instead, what we end up with is lack of looking at things from a lens of "partition being good". The a As a South Indian, I did not know much about partition. The author also made it seem like Jinnah was the only one who wanted Pakistan.

Harrowing but incisive and a must read to understand how political machinations unleashed a maelstrom of violence, brutality, displacement, loss of trust among communities and a lingering climate of paranoia and suspicion.. A more structured review to soon appear.. Jul 14, Mustafa rated it it was amazing. What a treat! If you're Indian and all you know about the Partition is based on high school history books, then you should read this.

Nov 17, Umesh Kesavan rated it really liked it Shelves: If we do, there may also be pandemonium" - Gen. Pandemonium is the first word which comes to mind when one revisits the blood soaked days of the vivisection of India on sectarian lines in the ides of August, The questions posed by partition echo to this day in the power corridors of India and Pakistan as well as the f " If we don't make up our minds on what we are going to do, there will be pandemonium.

The questions posed by partition echo to this day in the power corridors of India and Pakistan as well as the forlorn hearts of the survivors.

Why exactly did partition become the only way out of the power struggle between Indian National Congress and Muslim League in the s? Why did the birth of the new nations had to be a Caesarean surgery that involved bloodshed of a million hearts? Who are the heroes and villains of The Great Partition Drama? Is it even possible to fix responsibility in this complex maze of intrigues and Machiavellian plots? Despite the surfeit of paper reams consumed to debate partition , there is still no clarity as to the "Who's and Why's" of partition.

Yet, we keep reverting back to this dark page from the past as history casts long shadows and partition has particularly cast 68 years-old shadows.

One such book which tries to throw light into the dim corridors of partition's history is under review. The book is titled "Midnight's furies", an appropriate title that signifies the furies unleashed in the August of It belongs to the category of academic history dealt in a chronological manner. The book has been published in and has received widespread critical and commercial acclaim. The book's author is Nisid Hajari. A micro profile of the author is mandatory before we look closer at the furies of freedom and fratricide.

He is a columnist on diverse issues ranging from politics to history to economics with an exclusive focus on all things Asian. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. The book covers the time period from mid to the beginning of The world was slowly recovering from the scars of the Second World War even as it was getting ready for Colder version of a global conflict.

India was still under the control of the empire in which The Sun Never Sets. Realisation was slowly sinking in that the twilight of the evening sun was somewhere near the horizon. The world war had ravaged the economy of Britain and prudence suggested that granting independence and severing ties with India, the "Jewel in the Crown of the empire" would be the way out.

Ever since when Congress was formed ,the biggest obstacle to Indian independence had ,of course, been the British. But since s when the British were half-willing to transfer powers to Indian hands, the hurdles to liberation were all thrown by Indian actors.

The book's premise is that it was the interplay of rivalry, animosity, distrust and egos between the two most important personalities of the times that led to cataclysmic effects in the sands of time. One was the moody, idealistic intellectual who felt an almost mystical empathy for the toiling peasant masses ; an aristocrat who had passionate socialist convictions ; the charismatic man anointed as the heir to Mahatma Gandhi by the great man himself: Jawaharlal Nehru.

The other was the frail yet determined , frigid tactician ; the most popular Muslim leader of India: Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Marxist readers will never agree to a theory which places personalities above structural causes that determine history.

But Hajari pursues such a line of analysis as he feels strongly that it explains many complex knots that were tied in the decade of s. The book begins with a chapter titled " A Train to Pakistan" ,an apt nod to Khushwant Singh's classic. One half would encompass the fierce northwestern marches of the Indian subcontinent, from the Khyber Pass down to the desert that fringed Karachi; the other half would include the swampy, typhoon-tossed Bengal Delta in the far northeast. In between would lie nearly a thousand miles of independent India, which would, like Pakistan, win its freedom from the British Empire at the stroke of midnight on 15 August.

As they pulled out of Delhi, cheers of "Pakistan Zindabad! Rather than laboring under a political order dominated by the Hindus who made up three-quarters of the subcontinent's population, they would soon be masters of their own domain. Their new capital, Karachi, had been a sleepy backwater until the war; American GIs stationed there raced wonderingly past colorful camel caravans in their jeeps.

Now a boomtown fervor had overtaken the city. The streets were a roaring tangle of cranes and scaffolding, and the dust from scores of building projects mixed with drifts of desert sand. If the city could hardly handle the influx of new residents—"the difficulty of putting several hundred quarts into a pint pot is extreme," Britain's first ambassador to the new Pakistan remarked—a good-humored camaraderie had so far smoothed over most tensions. Ministers perched on packing crates to work as they waited for their furniture to arrive.

Their clerks used acacia thorns for lack of paper clips. To the Sikhs leaning against the cool earth of the canal bank, this Pakistan seemed a curse. The new frontier would pass by less than 50 miles from this spot, running right down the center of the fertile Punjab? Nearly half of them would end up on the Muslim side of the line.

In theory, that should not have mattered. At birth India and Pakistan would have more in common with each other? Pakistan sat astride the only land invasion routes into India. Their economies were bound in a thousand ways.

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Pakistan's eastern wing controlled three-quarters of the world's supply of jute, then still in wide use as a fiber; almost all of the jute-processing mills lay on the Indian side of the border. During famine times parts of India had turned hungrily to the surplus grain produced in what was now Pakistan's western wing.The driver slowed, then, when still about a third of a mile away, pulled over and waited.

View 2 comments. My gripe on the sources aside, this is a compelling and fairly evenhanded look at one of the greatest calamities to occur in the 20th century a high bar. While I certainly wouldn't expect a level te It's not for beginners. Midnight's Furies:

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