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farthest field -an indian story of the second world war - raghu karnad

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when i was still in single digit of age, i remember walking around with a tin helmet on my head - a leftover from my dad's ARP days. that was my family's contribution to the 2nd world war.

unlike the author of this book, raghu karnad, 'farthest field - an indian story of the second world war'. it narrates the story of 3 of his relatives' experience in the various mid east and indian fronts of the war.

the burma front and the fight at kohima to stop the japanese are considered, today, more fierce than the fiercest of western european skirmishes. but these are forgotten, as most of the fighting for the empire was done by indians with a good lot of freshly minted indian officers.

an awesomely etched book, with a mastery of the english language, bar none.

a sample start...'people have two deaths: the first at the end of their lives, when they go away, and the second at the end of the memory of their lives, when all who remember them are gone'.

so powerful. so true. so poignant. recommend a read to everyone who reads this brief post.

from amazon.com


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Another book about World War II by Prof. Yasmin Khan (Oxford University) "India at War" Oxford University Press.
Please see the following link for a book Review by Ramachandran Guha

The following paragraph from the above review brings tears to ones eyes

To hamper a possible Japanese invasion of eastern India, the British destroyed some 20,000 small boats, used to catch fish and transport essential commodities to villages not connected by road. This greatly undermined the rural economy, and may have contributed to the Great Bengal Famine of 1943, in which several million perished.
Imperial bias was also evident in how the flow of refugees was managed. When Burma fell to the Japanese, the available ships were used to transport Europeans, leaving Indians to trek hundreds of miles over hills and through forests to reach their homeland (many died along the way).
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