Author: Madhav Sathe
Publisher: National Book Trust
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788123771700
FROM THE BOOK PREFACE:
Let me explain at the outset the need for writing about Nana Saheb Peshwa afresh when some are already available today.
It is true that the record of contemporary events becomes history in later years; however, at no time the record can be claimed as complete because for a variety of reasons documents are kept in secrecy. An author uses only the material he can lay his hands on. Non-availability of documents renders the works of earlier historians and biographers of historical persons incomplete. It is worth mentioning here that although more than one-and-a-half century has passed since 1857 when our First War of Independence was fought, documents are still being discovered throwing new light on the persons and incidents of that great event. As such it is the duty of the successors of earlier writers, who have the advantage of newly unearthed documents, to revise those works suitably.
Biography of historical figures forms a part of contemporary history. Duly dated reliable documents in support of events, are the raw material essential for writing a complete book. Unfortunately documents available about Nana Saheb are extremely scanty. Till recently even his date of birth was not known. What is more known for certain is only about the events from the date of his adoption by Bajirao II on 7 June 1827 to his defeat at village Ahariya in Iuly 1857, his stay in Lucknow and Nepal and some skirmishes with the Imperial army. When and where Nana Saheb died is still shrouded in mystery. Exactly what part Nana Saheb played in the events that took place in the interregnum is not known. Documents, as also articles such as clothes, wooden sandals and pugree (turban) are sometimes produced by some people as personal belongings of Nana Saheb, while claiming that they are his descendents and indicate where he died and in which year. But none of these exhibits leads us to definite conclusion.
Taking into account all these hurdles, let me confess, the present work too is not ‘complete’, like other books on Nana Saheb written in the past. Let us hope Time in its course Will unveil those hidden facts and a complete Work on Nana Saheb would be penned.
Our first war of Independence against the British Rule in India was fought in 1857. It was spread over north and Central India—from Punjab border to Bihar and from Himalaya to Narmada, the sound and fury of which was echoed throughout the Indian peninsula. Nana Saheb, the adopted son of the displaced Peshwa Bajirao II, was the chief architect of the War. It was he who brought about integration of the scattered Indians for the fight. All the important events of the War are intricately linked with his life. Therefore, a faithful attempt has been made to reflect in this book his personality, sensibility, undaunted courage, respect for self and for others, and above all, love for his motherland.
Successor to the Peshwai Gaddi
The Greased Cartridges
Sepoys Refuse to Use Cartridges
The Revolt of Kanpur
Massacre at Sati Chaura Ghat
Investiture of Nana Saheb
Massacre at Bibighur
Way to Bithoor
The British Captures Delhi
Tatya Tope’s Victory
Harjibhai and Apparam
Nana Saheb was not Dead