- By Nisid Hajari

Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition

  • Title: Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition
  • Author: Nisid Hajari
  • ISBN: 9780547669243
  • Page: 240
  • Format: ebook
  • Midnight s Furies The Deadly Legacy of India s Partition Nobody expected the liberation of India and birth of Pakistan to be so bloody it was supposed to be an answer to the dreams of Muslims and Hindus who had been ruled by the British for centuries Jawaha

    Nobody expected the liberation of India and birth of Pakistan to be so bloody it was supposed to be an answer to the dreams of Muslims and Hindus who had been ruled by the British for centuries Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi s prot g and the political leader of India, believed Indians were an inherently nonviolent, peaceful people Pakistan s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, waNobody expected the liberation of India and birth of Pakistan to be so bloody it was supposed to be an answer to the dreams of Muslims and Hindus who had been ruled by the British for centuries Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi s prot g and the political leader of India, believed Indians were an inherently nonviolent, peaceful people Pakistan s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was a secular lawyer, not a firebrand But in August 1946, exactly a year before Independence, Calcutta erupted in riots A cycle of street fighting targeting Hindus, then Muslims, then Sikhs spun out of control As the summer of 1947 approached, all three groups were heavily armed and on edge, and the British rushed to leave Hell let loose Trains carried Muslims west and Hindus east to their slaughter Some of the most brutal and widespread ethnic cleansing in modern history erupted on both sides of the new border, searing a divide between India and Pakistan that remains a root cause of many evils From jihadi terrorism to nuclear proliferation, the searing tale told in Midnight s Furies explains all too many of the headlines we read today.

    1 thought on “Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition

    1. The book begins with up close and personal stories on the 3 leaders: Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohandas Ghandi and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. This warm and engaging part is followed by the politics and violence of the independence movement followed by the politics and violence of achieving independence. The book "Indian Summer" tells this story with emphasis on the British role, this book focuses on the role of the Indians.It seems that more than half this book tells of the mobs, people hacked to pieces/death [...]

    2. I had mixed feelings about this work. My biggest complaint is that it seemed based to large degree on secondary sources (more so than I'd hoped and the preface seemed to suggest), and as such it didn't seem to cover as much new ground as one would hope for an already thoroughly documented historical event. On the other hand the narrative itself is really gripping and well-written. The book is an absolute page-turner and I suppose that in itself makes it worth writing another book on Partition.Co [...]

    3. One of the greatest tragedies to ever occur in the history of the 20th century was the partition of India following the end of British rule of the subcontinent not just because a once large country was split in two, but because of the communal slaughter of Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus that occurred as each group, unsure of their future in either the new India or Pakistan, grouped together and began to see their neighbors as potential murderers-in-waiting. The massive slaughter of innocent people t [...]

    4. A History of the Violence at the Separation of India and PakistanAfter WWII, the British felt pressured to give India independence. However, the Muslim forces in the north of India, led by Jinnah, a lawyer, wanted to control their own destiny. Jinnah would settle for nothing less than an independent country, and Pakistan was born. However, creating two separate countries was not simple. Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs lived on both sides of the proposed border. Each group feared the other would try t [...]

    5. True Wonderer3.5/5 Stars, Death Destruction Disaster"If India wants her bloodbath, she shall have it!" Mahatma Gandhi to Archibald Wavell, 27th Aug, 1946It is ironical that the one time, the messiah of peace & non-violence uttered words of carnage, they turned out to be prophetic beyond belief. 'Partition' the word has become a synonym for 'meaningless disaster' to Indians, and probably for the Pakistani people as well. I have read and seen books, documentaries, featurettes about the 'Why', [...]

    6. It's not for beginners. Although I know a bit about India, Pakistan and the wider region due to reading up on the news, having Indian/Pakistani friends, etc. 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 101-level t [...]

    7. 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:1 - It reinforced my belief that Partition could have gone down a *very* different path if it was anyone but Nehru, Jinnah and Mountbatten negotiating. Each man's bia [...]

    8. This is by far the best and the most comprehensive account of one of the darkest periods of Indian history. The gruesomeness of the event and the helplessness of our leaders to mitigate the pogrom that ensued during Independence is honestly delineated with telling detail. All the players including the British grossly underestimated the impact of Partition. Must read for anyone interested in understanding the human psyche.

    9. I learned in high-school that British India was partitioned in 1947 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 [...]

    10. This book is pretty amazing. For all the distress and agony you go through while reading it, the insight you get is totally worth it. Well-framed, directed and revelatory. I will recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand Partition 1947.

    11. 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 [...]

    12. 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. 1945 - 1950 was a very happening time in the Indian sub-continent.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 [...]

    13. Meh. This was history in the form of a 60,000 word 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 paragraph af [...]

    14. 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)

    15. 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.

    16. Before reading this, I thought, "Gandhi did some peaceful stuff, and as a result the British handed over the rule of the subcontinent, and somehow Pakistan came about as a Muslim-led country." Turns out, that is nearly 100% wrong. I found this to be a useful overview of India's birth and the causes surrounding the Partition, something I only knew about from fiction. The style is journalistic and easy to follow, even if the subject matter was difficult at times (so many murders).

    17. This book explained the complex history of Partition and its continuing aftermath quite well. As is so often the case, fear, religious intolerance, and the egos of leaders caused most of the problems. I was interested to see how often the Hindus and Sikhs joined forces, with the Muslims as odd man out. All three groups seemed to me to be the guilty parties. Unlike in the Holocaust or the Armenian genocide, there were no clear-cut oppressors or victims.

    18. Read to understand the birth of a nation, it will help you to understand the conflicts of today, at the end you will come away with a feeling all that is happening is pointless because it could all have been very different back in 1946.

    19. An exploration of the brutal violence and reverberating massacres that immediately preceded and followed the Partition of India in 1947, and how the poisonous rifts between the two resulting countries paved the way for the mistrust that's exploded ever since. This is a sad story, no matter who tells it. In fact, it can be understood as a horror story, because you know that nothing good will possibly come of it, in the end. Massacre after massacre, rape after rape, rampage after rampage, all in t [...]

    20. Growing up in the second generation of free India, most of my knowledge about the partition and the last days of British Raj is mired with sensational patriotism and holier-than-thou emotions. The concept of Unity in Diversity is ingrained in young minds as soon as children understand the concept of a nation. The blatant discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, skin color, etc and the violence that comes along, is always swept under the rug as an exception rather than a significant part o [...]

    21. Among the best books I've read on Partition! And that's saying a lot. Partition has its share of popular and cliched explanations. But it has always raised a number of questions - several of those remain unanswered as i continue that quest. But books like this go a long way in explaining with clarity, honesty and facts what went down. Not only is it thoroughly researched and uses primary sources for its conclusions it also makes for a great read. And Hajari does not spare anyone. Between Jinnah' [...]

    22. Having heard the book's author interviewed on NPR some months ago, I decided Midnight's Furies was a book I needed to read. It was the right decision. I understand a lot more about the formation of Pakistan, born out of unbelievably violent ethnic cleansing perpetrated on all sides by Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus, and it's perfectly clear to me why today fear and hatred continue to guide the decisions made by both countries, but especially Pakistan, with regard to their mutual relationship. I beli [...]

    23. A fascinating and as expected disturbing read on a dark past of the two countries which doesn't get often mentioned. Most of the book is researched from notes/letters/biographies/declassified documents and some of the interpretations could be debated by someone who knows more about this than me. It narrates the 3 year hellish phase from 1946-48 about which growing in India you don't read about a lot , only books making all our yesteryear leaders to be flawless. Some of the stories e.g about Sidn [...]

    24. A gripping, compelling, comprehensive narrative of an agonizing birth of two nations from one, and an inevitable transformation of one of these into a shelter and sponsor of militancy, terror, and religious extremism. Nisid Hajari infuses neither magical realism, nor any noticeable bias into this terrible narrative of the tragedy of an occupied people. He reveals prejudices, personal motivations, and emotional interactions of the many leaders of a people seeking to shed an oppressive regime - an [...]

    25. This was a very good history of Jinnah and Nehru and Gandhi and Mountbatten as the British Empire tried and failed to turn the subcontinent back to its natives and failed - as they failed in Palestine. The author succeeded in describing an enormously complex situation, successfully communicating the flavor of the times without boring the reader to death with names and dates. The biographical information about the major actors and some more minor characters, was superb. Pakistan was always a theo [...]

    26. Invigorating like a thriller, and Moving like every other partition tales.Last line: It is well past time that the heirs to Nehru and Jinnah put 1947's fury to rest. Hajari's- 'Midnight's furies' achieves what every book on history aims to; it kindles a desire to learn more about what "really" happened against the fabricated tales that are presented to the nation's progenies. What's rather magnificent about this beautifully crafted book is Hajari's ability to move his readers without making them [...]

    27. This book is well researched and written by someone who doesn't have to fear an 'Indian' backlash. As was the case with "Indian Summer' the narrative does not take sides. It is refreshing to learn about Jinnah and how he was eventually pushed into the narrow vision of 'Pakistan'. The version we have been 'fed' is how obscurantist Jinnah was from from the very beginning and how seemingly he was hell bent on Pakistan as a separate 'Muslim' nation. I guess Advani was not entirely wrong when he refe [...]

    28. This well written book chronicles the violence that erupted between the Muslims vs the Hindus and Sikhs after Britain granted the subcontinent independence. It is both grand and intimate in scale. Be forewarned though - the reportage of the bloody conflict between the co-belligerents is shocking, repugnant and very dismaying. I sincerely pray that the leaders of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh find a way to cooperate rather than compete. There is so much potential for prosperity in that part of t [...]

    29. As someone who was impacted by the suddenness of the partition decision, I came to know about the inner dealings with the highest echelon leaders of the independence movement, the demanding Muslim leaders and the departing British administration. The author's narrative sheds light on the turmoil resulting from the abruptness with which the British empire took leave of partitioned India and the unsatisfactory division of the migrating population, effecting millions on the subcontinent. Very well [...]

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