Book Review: ‘Sido Kanhu’ by Tuhin A. Sinha and Clark Prasad

Rediscover India's Hidden Rebellion: 'Sido Kanhu' - A Tale of Bravery and Liberation


Book Title: Sido Kanhu: The Santhal Hul, Bharat’s First War of Independence
Author(s): Tuhin A. Sinha and Clark Prasad
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Number of Pages: 216
ISBN: 978-9357022866
Date Published: Jul. 05, 2023
Price: INR 475

Sido Kanhu by Tuhin A. Sinha and Clark Prasad Book Cover

Book Review

Sido Kanhu: The Santhal Hul, Bharat’s First War of Independence” is a captivating historical fiction masterpiece highlighting a crucial yet oft-forgotten segment of India’s fight for freedom. Crafted by the pens of Tuhin A. Sinha and Clark Prasad, this novel unravels the narrative behind the Santhal Rebellion of 1855 – an epochal organized resistance against the dominion of the British Raj. This is my second book of Tuhin Sinha.

Against Jharkhand’s tribal heartlands, the plot orbits around the lives of two brothers, Sido and Kanhu, who rise against the oppressive grasp of British rule. Sinha and Prasad deliver a captivating tale that enthrals readers from beginning to end through the deft interweaving of historical actualities and imaginative storytelling.

The book’s vigour lies in its painstaking research. Drawing from various primary and secondary sources, the authors infuse authenticity and profundity into the events and characters. The portrayal of Santhal culture, traditions, and beliefs is meticulously etched, affording readers an insightful glimpse into the Santhal way of life and the driving forces behind their rebellion.

Sido Kanhu” shines in its character development. Sido and Kanhu emerge as multifaceted and relatable protagonists, propelled by an unwavering sense of injustice and a fervent thirst for freedom. The authors deftly capture the inner conflicts and dilemmas the brothers face as they navigate the perilous course of rebellion. The supporting characters are equally well-crafted, bestowing the narrative with layers of complexity and subtlety. The narrative’s pacing is deftly managed, blending moments of intense action with periods of contemplation. The authors adeptly harmonize historical context with the characters’ emotional arcs, ensuring an equilibrium that avoids overwhelming the reader.

The vibrant portrayals of battles, clashes, and the lush landscapes of Jharkhand immerse readers into the core of the uprising. Beyond its vivid storytelling, “Sido Kanhu” raises pertinent queries about resistance and the essence of liberty. It delves into themes of identity, sacrifice, and the potency of collective endeavour, resonating profoundly with readers. The book serves as a poignant reminder that the pursuit of independence wasn’t confined to a single narrative but a unified endeavour spanning diverse regions and communities.

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In summation, “Sido Kanhu: The Santhal Hul, Bharat’s First War of Independence” is essential reading for those captivated by India’s history and its battle for emancipation. Sinha and Prasad’s narrative finesse, meticulous research, and thought-provoking themes render this book a compelling and enlightening read. It elevates the courage and tenacity of the Santhal people while illuminating a significant yet frequently overlooked episode in India’s journey towards self-determination.

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