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Haryana: Books on and about the land of the Mahabh...

Haryana: Books on and about the land of the Mahabharata War

featured image for the list of books on and about Haryana

With the tagline, “Desa mein des Haryana, jit dudh dahi ka khana” (trans. Haryana is one of the best states where people love milk and milk products), Haryana is the Indian state that is known for its achievements in agriculture, industrialization and flourishing art and culture. From being referred to as ‘heaven on earth’ in ancient Sanskrit texts to being the bedrock of Indus valley civilization, Haryana has one of the most unique histories. This land has also witnessed historical battles, including the famous battles at Panipat and has lent canvas for the epic battle of Mahabharata at Kurukshetra.

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Rich in history, monuments, heritage, flora and fauna, human resources and tourism with a well-developed economy, national highways and state roads, Haryana is a journey worth experiencing. Listed are the books that will help you get to know the state better.

Title: No Man’s Land
Author: Nilesh Shrivastava
Publisher: FingerPrint Publishing

Blurb: Titles change, governments change, times change, but the land stays where it is unmoved and sterile. That is its beauty. But, somewhere deep down, men want to grab its immortality and slip it into their horribly insecure lives. They never can, but they never will stop trying. Gurgaon, circa 1998. A city is being born. Ordinary farms are turning into virtual goldmines in the shadow of lofty skyscrapers. Agastya, whose days are numbered, lords over one such estate.

He realizes it’s time to pass on the legacy to the next generation—his estranged sons, Pranay and Karan, who will come from Delhi with blemished pasts, base aspirations and a woman who would divide them. And then, not unlike the Mahabharata, the land would become the stage where their greed, affections and deepest fears would struggle and suffocate. No one would leave the place unscathed if they would leave at all.

Price: Rs. 169 || Pages: 296

Title: Land of the Gods: The Story of Haryana
Author: Arjun Singh Kadian
Publisher: Rupa Publications India


Blurb: An ambitious book that engages with a region and people who have defined the subcontinent for over five millennia. The great war of right versus wrong was fought here. It is the cradle of the ancient Indus-Saraswati civilization, with the sacred river Saraswati, glorified in the Rig Veda, flowing in its full might across the plains and onward. Kings and emperors used this place to expand and consolidate their empires.

The East India Company, and later the British Crown, played their games here, manipulating and managing their colonial affairs. The much-ridiculed ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ political epithet originated here.

In his debut book, Land of the Gods: The Story of Haryana, Arjun Singh Kadian takes the readers through a fascinating journey of Haryana which offers new insights and delightful nuggets.

Price: Rs. 275 || Pages: 336

Title: Daughter of Luharu
Author: Monica Sudhir Gupta
Publisher: Vitasta Publishing


Blurb: Married at the age of eight, Roheeni had no one who can look out for her. She learnt to survive an evil mother-in-law, an absent husband, back-breaking work, heat, and a ghunghat (veil). After twenty years when her daughter faces the same fate; will she finally speak up or let the story repeat itself?

Set against the backdrop of the freedom struggle and partition, Daughter of Luharu is an extraordinary story of survival as Roheeni navigates issues of self-worth, love, marriage, parenthood, and most importantly, her identity. Relevant even after seventy-four years of India’s independence, the story gives a rare insight into a woman’s struggles in a pre-independent Haryana of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s and raises the burning question: Has anything changed at all? Transcending limitations to overcome adversity, Roheeni and her likes are India’s very own Thousand Splendid Suns.

Price: Rs. 306 || Pages: 244

Title: Folk Tales from Haryana
Author: Jay Narain Kaushik
Publisher: Shipra Publications

Blurb: Folk literature and folk culture are being eclipsed by ever-expanding Industrial culture. It is high time to save and preserve them, as they are our ancestral heritage’ and Folk tales are the backbones of that philosophy. The present collection reflects the beliefs, disbeliefs, dogmas, imagination and culture of Haryana, a rich State in North India. Most of these stories are related to birds and animals. Entertainment, enjoyment and development of imagination are the aims of these stories. It is hoped that readers will welcome the book.

Price: Rs. 160 || Pages: 80

Title: Dera Sacha Sauda and Gurmeet Ram Rahim: A Decade-long Investigation
Author: Anurag Tripathi
Publisher: Penguin India

Blurb: The story of the rise of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan of the wildly popular Dera Sacha Sauda is anything but ordinary. It allegedly involved sexual exploitation, forced castrations, private militias, illegal trade in arms and opium, and land grab on an untold scale-until the self-styled godman was convicted for one of his many crimes in August 2017.

The book opens with an anonymous letter which led to the first-ever journalistic investigation, in 2007-Tehelka‘s Operation Jhootha Sauda-into the reported criminal activities at the Dera. In the years that followed, the author continued to document the lonely battles for justice against the influential godman who had the might of the Dera’s machinery and manpower behind him.

This book is as much about the grit and determination of ordinary citizens fighting power systems as it is about the difficulty of investigating crimes committed by the rich and powerful in India today.

Price: Rs. 180 || Pages: 216

Title: Life in the IAS: My Encounters with the Three Lals of Haryana
Author: Ram Varma
Publisher: Rupa Publications India

Blurb: Having served in various capacities from subdivisional magistrate to chief secretary, Ram Varma relives the history of Haryana in its first three formative decades. An ambitious work, it covers the whole range of the state’s history—its inception, the chief ministers at the helm, the bureaucracy, the infrastructure reconstruction programme, including the innovative lift-irrigation projects and much more—as captured against the nation’s history which too was crafting a resurgent identity.

Packed with interesting anecdotes, tongue-in-cheek observations, behind-the-scenes political happenings and personal recollections, Life in the IAS captures the extraordinary journey of Haryana, its three towering leaders—the Lals—and author Ram Varma who takes the ups and downs of his distinguished career in his rollicking stride, experiencing thrills and triumphs, trials and tribulations.

Price: Rs. 458 || Pages: 342

Title: Power Politics in Haryana: A View from the Bridge  
Author: Bhim S. Dahiya
Publisher: Gyan Publishing House

Blurb: The book is an interesting account of Haryana Politics from the time of Ch. Chhotu Ram, up to Ch. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, when it has come of age. Dr Dahiya’s book offers valuable insights into different political personalities and different sociological forces. The book traces the complex political growth of Haryana with its various caste and community interests working at crossroads.

Price: Rs. 513 || Pages: 278

Title: The Other Side of Silence
Author: Urvashi Butalia
Publisher: Penguin India

Blurb: The partition of India in 1947 caused one of the most harrowing human convulsions in history: over twelve million people were displaced amidst a frenzy of murder, rape and abduction on a massive scale. For decades these violent realities remained buried in silence, even though the memories of brutality never faded.

Urvashi Butalia’s The Other Side of Silence was the first major work to exhume the personal trauma of the Partition. An undisputed classic, it meticulously locates the individual experiences and private pain at the heart of this cataclysmic event. In a passionate and stimulating new introduction, Butalia examines not only recent developments in the expanding field of Partition studies but also the heart-breaking ways in which this colossal tragedy continues to impact our lives and what this means for the future of the Indian subcontinent.

Price: Rs. 317 || Pages: 400

Title: Awara Masiha
Author: Vishnu Prabhakar
Publisher: Rajpal and Son

Blurb: Awara Masiha is a book on biographical and literary fiction by Indian writer Vishnu Prabhakar. Awara Masiha is actually a life history of one of the most revered authors of Bengali Literature, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. This book is claimed to be very addictive and it rotates around the life and works of Sarat Chandra, while portraying the anarchies occurring in Bengal and India in the 19th century. The lucid style of writing and the research-driven information provided in the book makes it a prolific read for all generations.

Price: Rs. 60 || Pages: 181

Title: Haryana: A Historical Perspective
Author: S.C. Mittal
Publisher: Atlantic Publishers

Blurb: This is an authoritative attempt at a reconstruction of the historical past of Haryana. It is the first systematic and analytical study of the political developments in Haryana from the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 to the formation of a new State of Haryana in 1966. It analyses the character of the administration of Haryana under various types of Government, i.e., the local chiefs, the East-India Company and the British Crown.

This work meticulously describes the nature and frequently changing masters of the region, the wider impact of the 1857 uprisings, the socio-religious reform movements of the nineteenth century, the emergence of the political consciousness, the nature and course of the national movement in the region up to the partition of India in 1947 and finally the demand and formation of a new separate State in 1966. This book will be of immense interest to the general reader as well as scholars and also serve as a useful reference on the national and political history of India.

Price: Rs. 388 || Pages: 192


Part-time writer, full-time chemistry student, Amritesh loves everything literature. Gift him a book if you chance upon him and he'll love you forever.

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