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Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War By Raghu Karnad,

  • Title: Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War
  • Author: Raghu Karnad
  • ISBN: 9780393352894
  • Page: 484
  • Format: Paperback
  • The photographs of three young men had stood in his grandmother s house for as long as he could remember, beheld but never fully noticed They had all fought in the Second World War, a fact that surprised him Indians had never figured in his idea of the war, nor the war in his idea of India One of them, Bobby, even looked a bit like him, but Raghu Karnad had not noticedThe photographs of three young men had stood in his grandmother s house for as long as he could remember, beheld but never fully noticed They had all fought in the Second World War, a fact that surprised him Indians had never figured in his idea of the war, nor the war in his idea of India One of them, Bobby, even looked a bit like him, but Raghu Karnad had not noticed until he was the same age as they were in their photo frames Then he learned about the Parsi boy from the sleepy south Indian coast, so eager to follow his brothers in law into the colonial forces and onto the front line Manek, dashing and confident, was a pilot with India s fledgling air force gentle Ganny became an army doctor in the arid North West Frontier Bobby s pursuit would carry him as far as the deserts of Iraq and the green hell of the Burma battlefront.The years 1939 45 might be the most revered, deplored, and replayed in modern history Yet India s extraordinary role has been concealed, from itself and from the world In riveting prose, Karnad retrieves the story of a single family a story of love, rebellion, loyalty, and uncertainty and with it, the greater revelation that is India s Second World War.Farthest Field narrates the lost epic of India s war, in which the largest volunteer army in history fought for the British Empire, even as its countrymen fought to be free of it It carries us from Madras to Peshawar, Egypt to Burma unfolding the saga of a young family amazed by their swiftly changing world and swept up in its violence.
    Farthest Field An Indian Story of the Second World War The photographs of three young men had stood in his grandmother s house for as long as he could remember beheld but never fully noticed They had all fought in the Second World War a fact that surpri

    One thought on “Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War”

    1. This is an extremely important book Not a single book has covered the Second World War from the point of view of participations of Indians in this great detail Not a single book has covered the Second World War, the war which was never ours and still it reached and affected us, the war India was fighting in its own courtyards and in its neighbourhoods Our history curriculum never showed us that truth which this book uncovers in great details This is why it is such an important book to read.This [...]

    2. This one book fills a lot of gaps in bringing out the hidden history about the forgotten battles of the world war 2 Amazingly researched and poignantly written, this book is going to be a milestone for years to come This also seeds opportunities for writers and researchers to dig out stories and facts from the war and bring out books, TV shows, web content in the genre of pop history and non fiction, given the current penchant for a clearer and non agenda driven history of India.That said, ther [...]

    3. For most of us, the early 1940s was a period during which our nationalist movement peaked with the Quit India resolution being passed and the Raj beginning to to crack The lesser known fact was that this was also a period when close to 2 million men chose loyalty over patriotism and enrolled in the British Indian Army and fought in campaigns around the globe and also played a sterling role in defending mainland India Sadly, they are hardly remembered today and the much smaller Indian National Ar [...]

    4. I believe there is a worthy story in this book however, the writing style didn t work for me Unlike many other non fiction books I have read on WWII where the author diligently researches historical events and weaves them into a cohesive flowing plot, Karnad s prose is stilted I appreciate Karnad s intrigue of three young Indian men Bobby Mugaseth, Manek Dadabhoy and Ganny GP who were soldiers in the war The men are deceased yet Karnard speaks of them in first person He doesn t know what they sa [...]

    5. For a young Indian trying to understand the most recent world war and its implications on our present and the future, farthest field comes across as a shocking revelation of the extent to which India played a role in it even though the war was never ours Sidelining the general discussion that revolves exclusively around Europe, US, Russia and Japan when it comes to the second world war, Raghu Karnad beautifully illustrates the significant roles played by the much smaller and unimportant Asian an [...]

    6. I won a free copy through a GoodReads giveaway.Frankly, I may not have been in the right mental space for this book, but I couldn t get motivated to finish it.It s an interesting moment in time and an under represented perspective, talking about WW2 from the point of view of Indian nationals serving on behalf of the Allies, even while the tide of nationalism is pushing against the British colonialism of the time.There are two problems that I have with it One is that the reader needs to already h [...]

    7. Brilliant but I take issue with his use of forensic He never defines it, but it seems to mean reconstructive without proof,as in his description of the characters inner thoughts, or stray sights from a train,limited only by never disagreeing with facts established by other means.That is exactly what a good historical novel does, and he does it well,and sheds great light in the process.But forensic first meant legal, and then came to be associated with forensic science establishing what _can_ be [...]

    8. When most people think of the Second World War, the images that come to mind are those of airplanes dueling in the skies over Britain and Germany, soldiers fighting in the snow of Russia or the deserts of North Africa, or landing craft splashing ashore on the beaches of Normandy or the Pacific islands Each of these images captures a portion of the war, but none by themselves can convey the totality of the conflict that was waged in many different regions, some often overshadowed by the fighting [...]

    9. This book is a result of the author s pursuit to trace the story of his grandfather and a couple of other relatives who had fought in the second world war with the Indian army.Reconstructing the events of the past with painstaking research, what he has gifted us is a rare account of the important years 1939 45 in Indian history.In the prologue, the author points out how personal and institutional memories go through revising and reshaping The interviews he conducted with the Indian veterans illu [...]

    10. On this auspicious day, we remember Pearl Harbor World War II is slipping further and further away from us I am 56 years old and male In our neighborhood, WWII was at the front of our imaginations as we played pretend Our evenings were filled with 12 O clock High, McHale s Navy, and Hogan s Heroes, and our heads were full of Germans and Japs though we were instructed not to say Japs any , rifles, bayonnets, landing craft, and daring do, even as Viet Nam was unfolding before our eyes each night a [...]

    11. In the early 1940 s, when the British were building the Indian Army into a modern force capable of repelling Japanese invaders, the first thing they had to do was separate the Indians from themselves separate caste from caste, Sikh from Hindu, Hindu from Moslem, Moslem from Parsi Zoroastrian They separated them by battalion, by company, by squad They separated them because not only would these groups not fight together, they barely tolerated each other Once separated, the groups then had to be b [...]

    12. Books are special for they often shed light on history forgetten, facts diluted and memories locked away.Raghu Karnad s Farthest Field is a delightful account of a Parsee family and how the war we never fought ravaged their life.While Europe and East Asia feature prominently in the history of the second world war, we have grossly overlooked a battle closer come that of the largest voluntary army in the World War II, the Indian Army The tribulations of this Army in lands far from home are brought [...]

    13. A poignant story, told superbly, with feeling and humour As a native of Madras, it filled me with nostalgia Even though I spent only a few years of my life there, it brought back all the stories I ve heard from my parents and other relatives My father studied at Guindy Engineering College, a few years after the protagonists of this story, which brought it all very close to home Raghu Karnad enlightens us about a war that most of us know very little about, succeeding outstandingly in his mission [...]

    14. Raghu Karnad s Farthest Field is an amazing book on the participation of Indians in the Second World War where he researched extensively on lives of soldiers and India dragged in the war by British It showcases the pain, angst and casualty in war It s not fiction but reality of the war where he leaves no stone untouched to make it one of the best read and written books It s a must read if you want to know about the Indian history of war Karnad s power resides in his pen and his vocabulary or ch [...]

    15. The author grew curious about pictures of three family members who served with Indian forces during World War 2 They were never talked about so he began to explore While this is a bit of a family memoir in my opinion it is also a good, basic survey of the involvement of India in World War 2 I learned some things about the war that I had not previously known, it has built my curiosity to explore that corner of the war fully and was also interesting as I have been to India once and would like to [...]

    16. I received this book through in exchange for an honest review.My thoughts on this book are kind of scattered It is definitely a well researched book, and it is an informative entry for what I believe is an under served section in history And while the conclusion ends up wrapping up quickly and interestingly, the first half of the book seems to drag on, and I got a bit confused trying to keep track of the relationships.

    17. India takes pride in the fact that it never used its resources for colonization of others Indians never invaded others Its export was in the realm of trade and ideas Inured to these lofty self congratulatory ideas, most of us would be astonished to learn that the Indian army performed a than merely active participation in the two world wars The mercenary army fought for the British, their colonial masters It fought on three continents Asia, Europe and Africa valiantly Its contests were against [...]

    18. A lucid well narrated memoir of the 2nd world war as seen through the eyes of a Parsi family It illustrates the horrors of war on nations and the family Placed in the historical backdop of the the 2nd war war as well as India s fight for freedom, the story narrates the trials and tribulations of war, mind over matter and futility of armed conflict through the prism of the British Raj A historic documentation of Indian soldiers and their contributions to the war that wasn t theirs but thrust on t [...]

    19. An interesting insight into an Indian family and their involvement in WWII.I have been to India several times but never once has the devastation of the War been mentioned , how sad we seem to have forgotten them all

    20. This was a very interesting read for me as someone who enjoys history and knows little of India and its past An easy read and enlightening.

    21. Farthest Field an Indian story of the Second World War, by Raghu Karnad Norton, 2015 A fascinating, brilliant book The experience of India in World War II from the Indian point of view has rarely been presented Indeed, Karnad says, India itself has almost completely buried what Indian troops did and how the war affected the subcontinent Karnad creates the story through imagined reconstructions of the lives of his grandfather and great uncles, Bobby, Manek and Ganny He never knew them he barely k [...]

    22. The best book I have read this year Beautiful language, good humour, deeply moving storyline based on real characters from the author s family with heartrending descriptions of the war on the Burma front World war 2, India, Indian army, INA and freedom struggle, love and elopement, marriage, camaraderie and death, sahitya akademi yuva puraskar 2016 enough said Buy the book Worth buying just for the five star Afterword , the kind of which I have not read on WW 2 typical descriptions of the war fo [...]

    23. There are very very few books on India s role in second world war, and that too after we sent almost 2.5 million soldiers into it Many of them never to return, what happened there, why nobody today talks about any of the campaigns we were part of, is it because we are brown and it was a war of white folks, or is it because nobody cares what a dominion state was contributing put all those points under British war effort and let these brownies die like they should nameless and faceless, far off in [...]

    24. I have discovered a new wonderful writer and his name is Raghu Karnad A journalist writer living in Bangalore, Karnad is performing here a poetic feat of memory retrieval as a young man, and for no particular reason, it one day occurs to him to ask about the photos of three relatives on a living room table that he has been looking at for years In the learning of the lives of these relatives, he comes to see a deliberate omission from memory that is emblematic about India at large and its experie [...]

    25. I ve been in a jury duty waiting room for 7 hours and had to choose between reading this or staring at a snoring woman perhaps my opinion should be treated accordingly I m was on the fence between 2 and 3 stars I checked this out of the library, advertised as a nonfiction WWII battle story about a pilot in the Indian Air Force Fascinating concept and an important piece of history, but I did not find it nearly as interesting as I had hoped This requires a fairly substantial background knowledge o [...]

    26. A poignant and moving readFarthest Field by Raghu Karnad novelistic non fiction, history and biography reconstructs the lives and stories of his own family his grandmother, her sisters, a brother, their lives and loves, and the journeys that took the men from their homes to distant battlefields as soldiers in the second World War at the crux of India s Independence What we learn is not only that Indians were in the second World War, but what it means for Indians to have been in that war Consigne [...]

    27. A thoroughly excellent examination of India s forgotten war , the participation of Indian soldiers in the British colonial army during WWII It is told through reconstruction of the participation of three members of a Parsi family, men largely forgotten even by their own relatives Because it is somewhat restricted in scope due to the family context, it is not a detailed history of all of the branches of the military services, nor of all engagements Nevertheless, it fulfills its goal to resurrect [...]

    28. I received a copy of this book through First Reads program In the book, the author looks at India s role in World War II through the experiences of his grandfather and great uncles The author relays the stories vividly, despite having to reconstruct them without ever having spoken with any of the men he referred to the writing process he used as forensic non fiction Through the stories of each man, the reader gets an idea of the many varied ways India was involved in the war There was much to t [...]

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