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A Nation has a great chance of being evaluated on the basis of its history. History also serves the purpose of instilling belief system in its readers. Indian history however has had the misfortune of being amputated. We know too much about few people and almost nothing about many others. In a vast and diverse country like India which has had a sustained past of invasions the nation has produced many heroes who have been martyred while defending the motherland. Many are hailed in their local lores and songs and even their tales of valor have been lost with passing generations. These legends deserve their rightful place in posterity. ..not because they yearned for name and fame but more because a Nation is a sum total of their sacrifices and vision. The future generation needs to revere them and be inspired by them.
The’ Saffron Swords’ by Manoshi Sinha Rawal is one such remarkable attempt to correct the incomplete history that has been callously thrown at us. In a very well researched book Manoshi Rawal presents to its readers 52 tales of bravery and heroism. These unsung Dharmic Warriors have not won battles against invaders; they have won wars against adharm, against aniti (deceitfulness) against anyay (felony).
The book has compiled sagas of valiant warriors include stories of 84 year old Mizoram village Chief Roipullani …who said “ My subjects and I have never paid any tax to anyone, neither have we done any forced labor . We are the owners of this land. We must evict and chase out any and everyone who is an alien.” ….the brave Kuyili who was the commander of women army of the queen of Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu…who set herself ablaze in the ammunition room of the British army helping the queen to win war easily ! Kuyili – the human bomb exploded into the British Empire, and yet there is nothing that we know of her! Manoshi Rawal has dug out obliterated inspiring tales of warriors as young as 12 year old Baji Rout from Odisha whose skull was broken by the Britishers…15 year old Santi Ghosh and 14 year old Suniti Choudhury who found mention in the periodicals in the West shot district magistrate Buckland Stevens, point blank. A poster in their honour read “Tyrants fall in every foe! Liberty’s in every blow!”
Each tale is an experience, a revelation and an inspiration. It only makes the reader ache to know more and pass on these tales of ultimate sacrifice to the children of tomorrow. I and many like me shall be forever indebted to Manoshi ji for archiving these legendary anecdotes for all of us! The book has been written in a clean and flowing language. The stories are short and crisp. The book has an extensive Bibliography which not only tells the readers the extent of research done by the authors. A book highly recommended for archiving!!