Book Review – Destination Kakori – By Smita Dhruv
Around 22 years before India got her freedom, few young boys in their early twenties challanged the mighty British empire and sacrificed their lives for the independence of India. The Kakori train robbery took place on 9 August 1925 during the Indian Independence movement against the British Raj.
The robbery was conceived by Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan and was executed by these two along with Rajendra Lahiri, Chandrashekhar Azad, Sachindra Bakshi, Keshab Chakravarty, Manmathnath Gupta, Mukundi Lal, Murari Lal Gupta and Banwari Lal.
On 9 August 1925, the Number 8 Down train travelling from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow. It is believed that they looted this train because it was supposedly carrying the money bags which allegedly belonged to the Indians and was being transferred to the British government treasury. They looted only those money bags ( ₹ 8000) from the guards’ cabin.
Ms. Smita Dhruv has weaved an engrossing fiction around this brave act of young sons of India who were totally committed to the freedom of their motherland. Though we know of only few leaders who fought for our beloved country’s freedom, there are many more Indians who had fought for India’s freedom but their names are no where to be seen. “Who are these hundered and thousands of people?” This thought used to disturb Smita a lot and became the basis of this amazing book. Freedom neither happened in a day nor was the result of efforts of few handful of leaders.
Smita created a fiction which is based on not so known incidence of “Kakori Conspiracy”. But it really shook the mighty British empire. This book shows the trying times which was faced by families when their young children revolted against their own parents to join independence struggle and how their families suffer emotionally and financially.
The story started in the backdrop of cancellation of Non-Cooperative movement by Gandhiji which has disillusioned the youth of country who had participated enthusiastically and made it a successfull movement. The main characters of the story are – Banvari and his brother Satish, close friend Mukund Pandey and Leena (sister of Banvari and Satish), who was married to Mukund in the later part of the story. Some representation is given to Britishers too, which shares the view point of Britishers. The story is in the form of narrations by each of the characters and strongly shares the emotions, anger and struggles of each one of them.
In our history books, we were taught about the sequence and the major event but what this book has brought is the humane side of common man who had contributed to India’s freedom struggle. This book has brought the common Indian to the centre stage. As one goes through the book, one feels to be part of the history. I felt as if I am walking along with the characters as they walk through their life. Many a times, I had goosebumps and tears while going through the struggles of their families who were suffereings but still supporting their children in their fight against British Empire. Leena, the only major woman character in the story represents the role of women in freedom struggle while maintaining their family responsibilities. Author is able to paint a very realistic picture by sharing the social ethics, frustrations, struggle and strong will of the committed Indians of those times. It is a successful attempt to revive the shining moments of the valours of brave Indian freedom fighters who were not given enough credit. The book has successfully portrayed the mental agony, dillemma, financial and survival issues of the freedom fighters and their families.
Smita has done lot of research and met with the families of many freedom fighters to listen to their memories and experiences. This is the reason, she has been able to bring authenticity to the story and transported readers back into those times.
This book is a must read book for our young generation to know the sacrifices of our people in getting freedom which they are enjoying now , the price being paid for it and value their struggle.
Highly recommended to read. You can buy this book from below links.