I pulled out this book, “Freedom at Midnight” on a dull Friday afternoon just to kill time, hoping that it would put me to sleep soon. But the book completely took me by surprise! It came as a package of niceties about history, religion, geography, politics and ethics.
Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins have done a wonderful job in describing every character and event on a detailed note. The research and the interactions done to bring out the book are very evident in every sentence .The simple language and the effective style of narration renders the reader craving for the next section. The apt vocabulary, like the shots of a skilled photographer, gives the perfect picture of events dating back to the era of Indian independence. The joyful experience I obtained while reading this book has surely made me want to read the same authors’ works- Is Paris Burning?, and O Jerusalem. It is rightly said that “books are the vehicles of knowledge from generation to generation”.
The verbal journey to the beautiful destination of independence begins with the portrayal of the city of London in 1947 and the rigorous economic setback the nation experienced at that time. The history of any country forms the root of its present. Understanding a nation also means comprehending its history. The events in the book do not appear as mere data or a sum up of facts and figures, but a mystifying story. Most importantly the author doesn’t hold a prejudiced outlook at any point even while dealing about an issue as delicate as religious tolerance.
Freedom at midnight successfully gives a precise interpretation of two very powerful religions that exist in India- Islam and Hinduism. Beliefs in God, marriages, lifestyles, ways of worship, places of worship, social status, turmoils, strengths and weaknesses of the two religions have been dexterously dealt with. The book holds a rather rational and holistic approach towards the freedom struggle. Mahatma Gandhi’s way of life comes out as a beautiful painting with exceptionally powerful strokes of colors.