The public library in Jaffna, Sri Lanka was once known for its wide-ranging and multilingual collection of books, and for the rare ancient manuscripts that were preserved here. But during the ’80s, it became an unlikely symbol for the worst ravages of the Sri Lankan civil war. The library was razed to the ground in 1981. And then, in a spirit of resilience, it was rebuilt from scratch, writes Karthik Venkatesh.
An act of daring fuelled by idealism, the Ghadar Mutiny of the early 19th century was an important chapter in India’s freedom struggle. Yet it has been airbrushed out of our history books and its greatest protagonists have slipped out of public memory. It’s time to change that.