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Interview With Mr Krishna Kumar. Author of the book: 1942: When British Rule in India was Threatened.

Updated: Feb 15

What inspired you to write a book on the events of 1942 and how they affected the British rule in India?

Krishna: I was in midst of research of freedom struggle for another book when it became clear that the events of 1942 are really the foundation of events that led to British departure from India and it should  be highlighted by a book exclusively devoted to these.

What is the Rapid Reads series and how did you get the Idea for this series of books?

Krishna: The focus is on books that can be read in couple of hours given the busy life today

How did you conduct your research and what sources did you use to verify the historical facts and figures?

Krishna: I had started from books but also used many primary sources. Generally, I have verified the happenings from at least two sources.

How did you balance the perspectives of different actors and groups involved in the struggle for India’s independence, such as the Congress, the Muslim League, the I.N.A., the British, and the Japanese?

Krishna : Once the goals of each were narrated in the book as stated by the groups themselves it became self-explanatory. Some statements one can take on face value, others have to be judged by actions and not by statements. I have therefore focused more on actions more than statements.

What challenges did you face while writing this book and how did you overcome them?

Krishna: How to keep the book narrative flowing and bring clarity on the thread linking the various events.

What are the main takeaways or lessons that you want the readers to learn from this book?

Krishna: Two major takeaways: Never give up and keep fighting for your rights. Some day you will succeed. Netaji never gave up.

How do you think the history of 1942 is relevant to the present-day situation in India and the world?

Krishna: They showed that Indians in South Asia despite being out of country still loved India and because the loyalty of Indian Army shifted the British even after they got Southeast Asia back from Japan, they could not hold on to it and the whole region had to be made free. So, in a way the events caused the freedom of entire area followed by Middle East a few years later.

How do you approach the task of writing a rapid read that is concise yet comprehensive and engaging?

Krishna: Narrow focus with a wider coverage of events.

What are some of the myths or misconceptions that you encountered or debunked while writing this book?

Krishna: This book helps demolish the claim that Quit India movement led to India’s freedom.

How do you deal with the ethical and moral dilemmas that arise from writing about a controversial and sensitive topic like India’s freedom movement?

Krishna : Facts are facts and there is no moral or ethical dilemma there. If they are unpleasant than one needs to come to terms with it and make peace. But knowing facts is extremely important.

What is the next book(s) in the Rapid Reads series and when can we expect them?

Krishna; Currently in midst of three books: One of them is another rapid read book and another is historical fiction. Third book is much larger and deals with freedom struggle from 1920 onwards. Probably fiction will be next as this is nearly complete.

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