Embodying Many-Sided Truths
Hem Borker
THE LAST HEROES: FOOT SOLDIERS OF INDIAN FREEDOM by By P. Sainath By P. Sainath, 2022, 256 pp., INR 499.00
June 2024, volume 48, No 6

As India commemorates 75 years of Independence, Sainath’s Last Heroes cuts to the heart of the chase—where are the images, ideas, lives and stories of the ordinary women, men and children who participated in the freedom struggle represented in the magnum opus celebrations? The Last Heroes’raison d’etre is then a valiant attempt at undoing this seven-decade long erasure, the telling of lives of those who have been almost expunged from the retelling and memory creation of the freedom struggle.

As each of the 15 freedom fighters share their stories, we are introduced to lives of exceptional courage reflected in word, deed and being, in a vocabulary marked by such simplicity and humility that it almost appears surreal in today’s India of hagiographic representations and muscular politics.

Continue reading this review