Review: 21 Kesaris: The Untold Story of the Battle of Saragarhi

21 Kesaris: The Untold Story of the Battle of Saragarhi by Kiran Nirvan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Book Description : 

Ten thousand Afghans. Twenty-one Sikh soldiers. One epic battle.

On 12 September 1897, 21 soldiers of 36th Sikh Regiment stood undeterred as they guarded the post of Saragarhi against the onslaught of almost 10,000 Afghan tribesmen a battle for the ages that ended in them laying down their lives in a final hand-to-hand confrontation. The unparalleled heroics of these 21 men have, however, been long forgotten by history. What led to the Battle of Saragarhi? What was the socio-political scenario at the time? Who were these tribesmen and why did they attack an outpost in such great numbers? Who were the 21 soldiers and how were they able to keep the enemy at bay against all odds? Based on colonial era records and information provided by the 4th Sikh Battalion, the legatee unit of 36th Sikhs, 21 Kesaris attempts to answer these questions while paying homage to the brave soldiers who defended the Kesari flag depicting their Khalsa heritage with their last breaths.  

I don't think I'd be capable of judging the story behind this book in any manner. It's a nonfiction and this story is been told my the ones who watched from other sources. That means that the person telling the story has considered others' accounts as well while writing this book. As the blurb mentions it, here we have the story of the one of the greatest battles in the history.

But as you might read in the book and find out, here's more on the background and reasoning of why this thing happened and what was the context behind this madness. There's little to no information on how the battle progressed. Although, I then later tried to google and find out about the real happenings on that day which the book is all about. Sadly, all the accounts other than the military records are pure imaginations and speculations. No one is sure as there were just two reportings about the situations at the battle from the source itself and other information in this or the records is just things which were observed from nearby forts.

There's a fine chance majority of it can be a speculation or a exaggeration. But one thing is sure. The book explains the whole case of why there was a fight, why did they fight and the outcome like a nicely analysed case study. I can say it was more about history of Sikh and Afghan relations. As said before this is more of a why this madness happened than why this madness happened account.

I liked the way the story was presented. I wish there was more of the actual battle scenes since it was more of a speculation representation. But I'm not disappointed at all. It's a must read recommendation on my behalf.

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Also, a minor headsup.... Obsessed is free to read on Kindle Unlimited! Do check it out. I'd be glad to read your reviews!
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