Partitions of the Heart: Unmaking the Idea of India - IAMC
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Partitions of the Heart: Unmaking the Idea of India

Author: Harsh Mander
Reviewed by: Vidyadhar Date
Available at: India: Penguin Viking, 2018; pp 277, Rs. 366 (hardback).

Hate, Love and Secularism (Jul 27, 2019, EPW)

…one is struck by the work of Harsh Mander, who gave up the secure and comfortable job of an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and has dedicated himself to numerous progressive causes, including communal harmony, minority rights, right to food and rights of tribals. In a way he reminds of B D Sharma, a former IAS officer, who both during service and in retirement had dedicated himself to the cause of marginalised communities.

What Mander does is called legwork in the parlance of journalism. He actually goes to sites of communal atrocities, lynchings and other hate crimes. In 2017, he organised the Karwan-e-Mohabbat, a journey to eight states to express solidarity and atonement with victims of hate crimes.

Much of the content of this book is drawn from Mander’s articles in newspapers and websites. Despite an oft familiar ring to the writing, however, there are also some fresh insights. He is a passionate crusader against communalism and a peace activist. The book will be especially useful for the young both to gain an ideological perspective and information.…