Social Justice, Society

History for Children

debjeet sarangi

Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung and Institute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK) bring you three illustrated history books for children. The 'History for Children' project deals with issues of the Partition, the complex history of citizenship in post-colonial India and the linguistic diversity of the Indian subcontinent.

History in recent times has become the site of fierce contestation in India. The ruling dispensation systematically pushes through distorted facts and analyses of the Partition. Children are regularly exposed to these through social media and textbooks.

In this context, we developed three illustrated books written by trained historians. The books utilize the patachitra folk art form of Bengal and are available in Bangla. The books also aim at training young minds in the craft of history writing and inculcating empathy for multiple voices.

The first book of the series talks about the Partition of India and how its impact was different along the lines of region, caste and gender. The book also argues that there is no one-line answer to the question — why did the Partition happen?.

The second book talks about the complex history of citizenship in post-colonial India, how the Partition shapes the citizenship question, the citizenship act amendments, the reason and consequences of NRC in Assam, and the CAA movement across the country.

The third book of the series talks about the linguistic diversity of the Indian subcontinent and how it has shaped India's international and regional borders since the colonial period. The book also explores the violence of determining 'insider' and 'outsider' based on linguistic identity, which India has frequently witnessed.

The book's authors are Debarati Bagchi, Anwesha Sengupta, and Tista Das. Wasim Helal designed the cover, map and books, and the illustrations were done by Ranjit Chitrakar and Sirajuddaula Chitrakar, two patachitra artists.

The books will be translated into Assamese and English.

To get your pdf copy of the books in Bangla, email Alternatively, you can download a copy of the books at the links given below.

Book one: Desher bhasha
Book two: Deshvag
Book three: Desher manush

Read our brochure here. This brochure was developed after the publication of the books and is based on the outcomes of dissemination exercises with children.

Institute of Development Studies Kolkata

Institute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK) is devoted to advanced academic research and informed policy advice in the areas of literacy, education, health, women, employment, technology, communication human sciences and economic development.

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