Top critical review
Important and Necessary Subject. But the Author is Under-prepared.
30 June 2019
Though Manoshi Sinha Rawal claims that she has written the book with her husband, Yogaditya Singh Rawal, the cover bears only her name. So we take her to be the author of this book.
It is not clear who the book is meant for. The premise of the book is that, over the centuries foreigners have invaded India. But their conquest of the land was not as effortless as history textbooks tend to suggest. They did not walk over the land unopposed. The invaders – the Islamic ones especially – did face very stiff resistance from the native – mostly Hindu – populations. And there are hundreds and thousands of stories of valour and sacrifice which have been deliberately ignored by the “secular” and “Marxist” historians.
I am not going to argue with that. Though I believe that history can – and should – be revisited in the light of new discoveries and changing perceptions of new generations, it is a subject that calls for far greater erudition than anything that I can muster.
But the question that remains after finishing the book is: who Sinha Rawal had in mind when she wrote the book. Academicians? No. That will be too tall a claim. Children? Probably. But it calls for far greater understanding of the school kid’s psyche than the author seems to be capable of. General reader? Yes. The general reader who has some softness for Narendra Modi and is likely to believe that Modi hai to mumkin hain? Yes, Absolutely.
To her credit, Sinha Rawal does not shy away from displaying where her loyalty lies. She acknowledges her gratitude to, among others, a certain BJP MP.
But the problem is that when you close chapter after chapter (the book has fifty two) with “Jai Hind!” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, the book ceases to be a book; it becomes a slogan-shouting pamphlet.
The blurb says that Sinha Rawal is a postgraduate in English Literature. But – and it pains me to say this – the English is quite bad. Garuda Prakashan appears to be a new publisher. But the first thing it needs to do is to hire a good editor.
In the end, Saffron Swords deals with an important and necessary subject. But the author has failed to live up to the promise of the subject.