ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Games Leaders Play

The Games Leaders Play H K Paranjape Partition and Independence of India by Manmath Nath Das; Vision Books, New Delhi, 1982. pp 344. WITH the publication of the final volume in the 'Transfer of Power'' series by HMSO, most of the authoritative material relating to this crucial period of Indian history will have become available. Of course, the flow of such material has been gradually trickling through. Starting with Campbell- Johnson's "Mission with Mount- batten" published in 1951, we have had material made available by V P Menon, L Mosley, M Edwardes and H V Hodson. Then we had the popular work "Freedom at Midnight" by L Collins and D Lapierre. This was based on interviews with Mount- batten and the use of his papers. Some of these interviews and papers has since been published,1 On the Indian side, much the most important source which has become available is the volumes containing Sardar Patel's Correspondence. We have however not had upto now an attempt by a professional historian to recount the partition story in any kind of perspective. Manmath Nath Das's "Partition and Independence of India1' is a commendable attempt to fill in this gap. Like some of the last mentioned books, Das also depends considerably on the Mountbatten papers. The main difference is that he brings to bear on the material available to him a certain objective approach and a perspective about India's recent history. While one cannot say that he indicates in his analysis any insight mto the deeper forces underlying these developments, at least he is a person with a good knowledge of India's history. His not being involved on one side or the other like many of the earlier authors, and apparently not interested in building up any one as a hero or villain in recounting all these momentous events, has also considerable value for a student interested in understanding the history of that period.

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