Recalcitrance

Recalcitrance

[ri-kal-si-truhnt]
Recalcitrance is a historical novel written by India-based author Anurag Kumar. It uses the "mutiny of 1857" as backdrop and describes the event from the view point of contemporary Indians. This is the unique quality of the novel as most of the other novels have been written from the perspective of the British. It is only the third novel on the event written by an Indian.

Anurag Kumar the author incidentally belongs to a family which witnessed the events of 1857 in Lucknow. The plot revolves around the events in Lucknow and Kanpur during 1857-1858. The central character of the novel is a mysterious white turbaned man. This character is loosely based on Raja Jailal Singh a mysterious character whose exploits were brought to the fore by the author himself through a well followed articles in newspapers. The novel was first released in 2008 to mark the 150th anniversary year of the Great Uprising. The novel takes into account some of the notable incidents during the Great Uprising of 1857 in Lucknow like the first relief of Residency, the evacuation of Residency, storming of Sikandarbagh and the subsequent reduction of Lucknow. Anurag Kumar also discusses the character of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and attempts to explain what might have motivated him to act the way he did prior to the Great Uprising.The author also endeavours to dispel the myth that Lucknowites were 'effiminate' and cowardly through the novel. Another notable feature of the novel is that it shows how religion and men of religion played a vital part in the events of the Great Uprising.The book seems to have been written after a great deal of research as some of the events are mentioned in very great detail like the final relief of Lucknow in which rockets were used by the British army. One is likely to miss these small details but together they have the effect of transporting one back to 1857. The author has had the advantage of growing up in Lucknow and having heard stories from the event which have not been recorded in print anywhere. Anurag Kumar is a prolific writer. His main area of interest however remains history. He has written a number of articles on history of Lucknow many of them are original researches. He believes that the history of Uttar Pradesh is still an unexplored subject and a lot of research has still to be done by enthusiastic young researchers. Anurag Kumar is currently working on a unique historical novel this time a horror story from nineteenth century India.

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