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Sido Kanhu: Echoes of Freedom - The Santhal Hul and Bharat's First War of Independence

Sido Kanhu: The Santhal Hul, Bharat’s First War of Independence

Author: Tuhin A. Sinha; Clark Prasad

Historical Fiction (based on real events)

Published by Rupa Publications

Pages: 201

MRP: Rs. 595/-

Thank you @rupa_publications for a review copy of the book

The Santhal War of 1855, also known as the Santhal Rebellion, was an uprising by the Santhal tribe against British colonial rule in India. Triggered by oppressive land policies, high taxes, and forced labour imposed by the British East India Company, the Santhals rose in rebellion to defend their cultural identity and ancestral land. Led by figures like Sido, Kanhu, Bhairav, and Chand, they demonstrated remarkable determination and resilience in their fight, even though they primarily used traditional weapons like bows and arrows. The rebellion was not merely a military confrontation but a battle to preserve their customs, beliefs, and traditional way of life.

The British forces, with their superior military strength, eventually crushed the rebellion. The British administration responded ruthlessly, inflicting brutal reprisals and arresting thousands of Santhal people. Many lost their lives, and others were forcibly displaced from their lands, leading to significant hardships for the Santhal community. Despite the defeat, the Santhal War of 1855 left a lasting impact on the Santhal consciousness, becoming a symbol of resistance and inspiring future struggles against colonial rule and social injustices. The memory of the rebellion has been passed down through generations, reminding the Santhals of the importance of safeguarding their cultural heritage and advocating for their rights and autonomy. The Santhal people's enduring spirit and the significance of the rebellion continue to hold relevance in the ongoing narratives of India's historical struggle for freedom and justice.

Sido Kandhu is an excellent book which takes us through these events in a fictionalized manner. Reading the book, was an eerily similar experience as watching the movie RRR, for me. I felt the same emotions as I was watching the movie and the historical context is also very similar.

The book is a historical fiction novel by Tuhin A. Sinha and Clark Prasad. It tells the story of the Santhal Hul, a prominent tribal uprising against British rule in India in 1855. The novel is based on actual events, but it also includes fictional elements to create a more engaging and suspenseful story.

The novel follows the lives of Sido and Kanhu Murmu, two Santhal brothers who lead the uprising. The brothers are inspired to fight for their people's freedom after witnessing the oppression and exploitation of the Santhals by the British and their Indian collaborators. They gather a following of thousands of Santhals and launch a series of attacks on British forts and settlements.

The novel is full of action and adventure. The Santhals are outnumbered and outgunned but are determined to fight for their freedom. They face many challenges, including betrayal, torture, and death. However, they never give up hope.

The novel also provides a detailed and nuanced portrait of the Santhal people. The Santhals are a tribal people with their own unique culture and traditions. They are a peaceful people, but they are also fiercely independent. They are willing to fight for their freedom, even if it means sacrificing their lives.

Sido Kanhu: The Santhal Hul, Bharat’s First War of Independence is a well-written and engaging novel. It is a must-read for anyone interested in Indian history, tribal culture, or the fight for freedom.

**Here are some of the things that I liked about the book:**

* The novel is well-researched and historically accurate.

* The characters are well-developed and relatable.

* The plot is fast-paced and exciting.

* The novel provides a unique perspective on Indian history.

**Here are some of the things that I didn't like about the book:**

* The novel is a bit long and could have been edited down.

* Some of the violence in the novel is graphic and may be disturbing to some readers.

Overall, I enjoyed Sido Kanhu: The Santhal Hul, Bharat’s First War of Independence. It is a well-written and engaging novel that provides a unique perspective on Indian history. I would recommend it to anyone interested in Indian history, tribal culture, or the fight for freedom.

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