The Patient Assassin: A True Tale of Massacre, Revenge, and India’s Quest for Independence by Anita Anand is the true story of Udham Singh, a Sikh orphan, setting out on a decades long scheme to murder an English diplomat. Ms. Anand is a British radio and TV personality, author and journalist.
- 384 pages
- Publisher : Scribner
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1501195700
I knew nothing about Sir Michael O’Dwyer, the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, Udam Singh, or the Jallianwala Bagh massacre (Amritsar massacre) before I started this book. After I read The Patient Assassin: A True Tale of Massacre, Revenge, and India’s Quest for Independence by Anita Anand I at least have some firm grasp of the events and history.
The book tells of the events that led to the 13 April, 1191 massacre in the Punjab province of India, the aftermath that transpired for days, weeks, and years afterwards. The book follows a timeline which juxtaposes between Udham Singh, the assassin, and Sir Michael O’Dwyer, the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab.
Sir Michael was the one that ordered Brigadier General Reginald Dyer to Amritsar who was responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar. The General, however, died before Singh could exact his revenge, and Sir Michael became his target. It took Udham Singh two decades to get close enough to assassinate Sir Michael in the name of anti-colonialism. These days Singh is considered a hero in India for single handily avenging the massacre.
The narrative is fast paced and portrays historical events vividly and in depth. The narrative strays away from leading the reader, the Ms. Ananad does not play favorites and does not cheapen the historical narrative with identifying heroes and villains. Humans are frail, subjective and flawed, our stories and histories also reflect these qualities in an eye opening way.
The author wrote a solid, well researched book in which she tries to be as balanced as possible. A gripping story which is presented in a morally ambiguous way still relevant in today’s world.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
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