Charles Allen has compiled a collective memoir of 'Survivors', as he calls them, of the last decades of the British Raj in India, from the late nineteenth century up to the catastrophic partition in 1947. This is a rare chance to hear the voices of English men and women speak about their lives, their relationship to the count ...more
This book is the written account of the BBC radio programme of the same name.
If you want to know what it was like to be a member of the military or civil service in the Indian Raj in the last years (1900 -1947) of the Indian Empire then this is a marvellous source of people's remembrances.
Well put together, lovely paintings of the time by people who were there, and an excellent read as well as a fascinating source of first hand research material.
Most of those interviewed are dead now; this book has captured their memories and kept them alive. Fascinating.
What was it actually like to live in that time as part of the Raj. Plain Tales from the Raj provides a wonderful narrative particularly during the Raj of the ...more
As an Indian, I find the book repulsive because of the book's patronizing attitude towards the "Raj" and contempt of everything Indian thinly disguised under the veil of "various accounts". Proponents of the Raj will certainly enjoy the book as it evokes nostalgia of a time when Indians were nothing more than accessories and slaves.
The book ends with the following paragraph ...
"The coast of England was green and white and the most beautiful sight I've ever seen in my life; little villages nest...more
Also gives a fair and unbiased account of racism and the attitude of the British towards the locals and the reason behind it. At the same time, also highlights the huge contribution of the British in India and the dedication with which with many ...more
Fascinating and very readable. Follows on from my recent reading if and about Kipling in India.
Especially disappointing from a great storyteller.
Unless you are an age-old british bugger, still ruminatiing over how you kicked ass of your hindu servants, dont bother.
(And if you ARE an age-old british bugger who still ruminates over how you kicked ass of your hindu servants, I hope you find your udhamsingh pretty soon!)
Interesting selfish colonial way of life better for us than the natives. However it does show the animosity the various native races felt for each other.
 Selecte ...more