THE LIVES OF FREDA: THE BLOG
Chintan Girish Modi has reviewed The Lives of Freda for Teacher Plus, a teachers' website - with the apt headline 'Indian by Choice'. Here's an extract:
I am fascinated by people who defy conventional understandings of reality wrapped into little boxes with no room for individual agency. They destabilize our assumptions around what is possible, and push us to see how prejudice clouds our view.
Freda Bedi is the person whose story has done this to me most recently. Her new biography titled The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi would be of interest to those who study and teach the Indian freedom struggle but are a bit exhausted with the centrality of men in that narrative and would like to learn more about women who participated in efforts to decolonize India from British rule. ...
Whitehead has managed to offer a comprehensive picture of Freda’s rich and illustrious life, including inputs from people who were not particularly fond of her. His research is quite solid. Reading his book made me wish I had met Freda in person. England’s loss was India’s gain, one might say, but the irony was that her own friend, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, selected her to be one of 46 ‘foreign women’ who were awarded for their outstanding services to India. As someone who saw herself as Indian, she was upset but had to get over it. She was one among many who were not born on Indian soil but devoted themselves to India. Her story is worth celebrating at a time when we are becoming increasingly obsessed with narrow definitions of what it means to be Indian.
The Lives of Freda
- a blog about my biography of Freda Bedi