Operation Dyer by Anirudh Singh
My take on the book:
On the auspicious occasion of Baisakhi when men, women and children have assembled at Jallianwala Bagh, the British army under the orders of General Dyer opened fire on unarmed citizens. Aman Veer Singh also came with his parents, sister and niece as he was excited to meet the love of his life and fiancé Geet.
However, his excitement was short lived as he sees his mother hit by a bullet and succumbing to it right in front of his eyes, soon his entire family falling down to either bullets or stampede.
After he himself is struck by two bullets, Aman believes this is his last day. Only to wake up in the middle of strangers who saved him from near-death. As he recovers at the house of Bebbe and Brij, along with one more survivor Dhanraj, Aman vouches revenge for not just his family but the thousands who have been ruthlessly shot by the British army.
As Aman plots for assassination of the three main man behind this unfortunate event, will he be able to accomplish it against the mighty Empire forms the rest of the story.
Jallianwala Bagh massacre was one such historical event in India’s fight for Independence which will stay fresh in people’s minds for the tragedy it has been. In this book the author gives a fictional twist to this well-known event, with a thought of what-if; if one of the survivors went behind their perpetrators and tried to avenge their personal loss.
So, the story begins with a real-life event but laced with fictional characters and fictional after-happenings. After the first few pages, the story picks pace and reads like a perfect thriller. The sequences involving the actual Jallianwalla Bagh incident are very emotional to read, as the author narrates the minutest details of what happened on the fateful day.
Every alternate chapter is narrated from the point of view of General Dyer, describing his arrogance and ruthlessness. The plotting of the murders at a time when the resources were very limited and with the British force creating hurdles at every nook and corner, is well thought by the author.
The vintage feel to the story also adds to its intrigue. If historical fiction is your genre of choice, then definitely pick this one, to read the ambitious account of what could have happened.