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"The Patient Assassin," An Untold History in India's Quest for Independence

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Aired on Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A hundred years ago in a dusty courtyard in Amritsar, India, a horrific massacre took place when British Raj troops opened fire on thousands of unarmed men, women, and children attending a peaceful demonstration. 1650 rounds of ammunition were expended, most hit their targets. As many as a thousand died. Today, outside of Jallianwala Bagh, as its called, there's a statue of a man, with a defiant expression, holding a clod of earth in his outstretched hand.

That man, Udham Singh, is the subject of BBC journalist and author Anita Anand's new history, "The Patient Assassin: A True Story of Massacre, Revenge, and India's Quest for Independence." The book tells the story of Singh, from Amritsar, an orphan Sikh from India's lower castes, traveled to four continents over twenty years, including the United States, in an epic quest for revenge against the Raj official who ruled Punjab when the massacre took place.