Revolutions create a civilization. Time to time revolutionaries have emerged out of the common masses, adopting parallel or diverging methods to bring the needed change in the society. However, we have been in a habit of deifying our revolutionary heroes so much that we neglect the fact that these heroes are a part of the same society we are in and they can also err. They are human beings like us.
Through Legacy one can trace the thoughts of a revolutionary, understand what it takes to forsake the mundane to take up the responsibility of the welfare of those who still stick to the normal living, to revolutionize their thoughts and make the righteous being heard amidst the noise.
It is a story of post independent India where the challenges were new; economic, social and psychological. There are several focus points in the story like operation Blue Star and Indira Gandhi, J P Narayan and his ideologies, Subhash Chandra Bose and what he thinks about the whole phenomenon of India getting independent, Dalai’s father Shankar and his revolutionary teachings, rise of the Maoist militants in the thickets of Jharkhand, Babri masjid – Ram janmbhoomi scandal and a many more which are connected with the segments drawn by a revolutionary mind.
Legacy travels through the new post Independent India to several years hence explaining how the changes took place, how political truths were kept a secret, some of the great massacres were results of whims of the powerful leaders and misgovernance and how time to time revolutionaries have held the baton of responsibility to bring the renaissance.
In support of Legacy
The book starts and ends on convincing notes. For people like me who have always been living in the shroud and don’t actively take part to bring reforms to the social problems, the book can act as an alarm clock. The language is simple yet very elegant. The book is beautifully written with events from the past, glorious names, hidden historical truths and a true patriotic fervour amalgamated very interestingly. Besides everything, the book teaches. It teaches us how revolutionaries differ in their ideologies, how one path is totally divergent from the other yet directed to the same goal. Which method would work and which would not depends upon various factors that are characteristic to a society at different points of time. Quoting from the book-
“Anita left because she found it hard to cope with our world. The world has crime and misery. Yet happiness and love still survive. Even among sufferers, there are sadists and among torturers, there are sympathizers. She couldn’t realise that. She wanted to see the world in black and white, but Dalai accepted that it’s gray, various shades of gray. He stayed inside it to try to improve it, unlike Anita, who wanted to change it forcefully.”
Soul of the Legacy
The book exemplifies the child-parent relationship in a very sentimental and poignant way. Parents leave away their heritage for their children, certain characteristics or we may say the most of it is passed over to their offspring. In the story we see three generations where the baton of revolution and responsibility passes on to the subsequent one. It clearly reveals the importance of our responsibilities towards the future generation. Quoting from the book-
“We tend not to let our children know the discomforting facts about our heroes, for we don’t want to show them in bad light. Sadly, children growing into adults believe that their heroes were super beings, and one can’t emulate them. Thus, children might never try to reach the extraordinary levels of righteousness of heroes.”…..
“Someone needs to improve the lives of the people of India. Our generation would rather not. We’ve lived our productive life. I speak for my generation when I accept that we have failed more often than we have succeeded. We should have given you a better India that we inherited.”
Legacy is a part of our society, our culture where we taught our children to respect elders, stay connected with them and learn from them. Since our past, Indians have lived a life around their elderlies. However, today we emphasize more upon individuality forgetting the older norms which had helped us grow since in the ancient times. Legacy and the knowledge from the past are essential for our development as one cannot uplift a society without knowing the story of it. That’s why revolutionaries have always been travelers, be it Gandhi, Subhas or Che Guevara.
In the end I must say that the book is a gem. 🙂
Liked the review? You would love the book. Buy Legacy on Amazon at INR 225
About the author
Mohan is a keen explorer of history, evolution of societies and revolutionary movements across the world. His thirst for knowledge only increased during the six years in IIT Delhi and IIM Lucknow. The only village in his MBA class, he has fortunately experienced firsthand two different Indias with their similarities and differences.
Mohan wants to present Indian history to a curious new generation with a fresh and interesting perspective through stories of curious and ambitious individuals. He has been a regular contributor to print media through articles on Education sector, where he has worked for three years. He has also been awarded by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh for his social services.