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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Shadow Of The Great Game

The Telegraph (UK) reviews what sound like a most interesting, though partisan non-fiction account of the causes of India's partition: The Shadow of the Great Game, by Narendra Singh Sarila, former ADC to Lord Mountbatten:

"This story has been told as a tale of heroes (Nehru and Gandhi) and villains (Jinnah and Churchill), but Sarila presents it as a series of blunders: by Nehru and the Congress Party, mainly, for relinquishing their political control over the majority of the country in a petulant refusal to join with the British in the war effort in 1939; and for their rejection of the British offer of eventual self-government in 1942"

Congress-bashing apart, Sarila's intention is to put the events of the period in perspective, as the title itself suggests: "Sarila's contribution to scholarship is to emphasise the role of British strategic interests in the region; a continuation of the 'Great Game' of keeping Russia out of the subcontinent, in order to safeguard the oil fields of the Middle East, the 'wells of power'."

One can only hope that it's available here soon, before some political nit-wit begins raising objections.


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