Edited by: Vinitha Ramchandani
Publisher: Hachette India
Recommended age level: 10+
One of the ParentEdge ex-bloggers, Vinitha Ramchandani recently edited and published a book entitled ‘Subhas Chandra Bose – What Netaji Did, What Netaji Said’. This book is a well-written and fast-paced biography of nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose, a man whose contribution to the Indian independence movement is often overlooked, since his methods were radically different from Gandhiji’s.
Ramchandani’s book starts with Bose’s childhood and schooldays, and traces his journey and the experiences that transformed a reserved and academic boy into an intellectual revolutionary, excellent orator and impassioned freedom fighter. Succinct and gripping, the story details the influences that shaped him and explains the rationale behind many of the decisions he took—such as siding with the Axis powers or reaching out to Hitler for assistance. Different chapters focus on different aspects and phases of his life.
What makes the book even more interesting is the interspersion of the chapters with Netaji’s quotes and excerpts from his speeches. These give the reader a glimpse into his political opinions, thoughts and beliefs. The impression that the book leaves you with is that of a thinker and intellectual who was passionate about his motherland. Even as the book describes his failings and shows his mistakes, it paints him as an admirable person whose intentions and patriotism could not be faulted.
The book ends with a timeline and some of Bose’s important speeches.
Written in simple, yet elegant language, the book’s fast pace keeps you engaged from start to finish, leaving no room for boredom to set in. It is perhaps more appropriate for students who already know about the Indian Independence movement, since it can help them understand where Bose fits into this complex mosaic.