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Three books to remember children’s author Subhadra Sen Gupta by

Subhadra Sen Gupta, who passed away earlier this month, tried to make sense of India's past, of history, and make that approachable for young readers

Subhadra Sen Gupta with Tapas Guha. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Subhadra Sen Gupta’s book The Constitution of India for Children (2020), illustrated by Tapas Guha, came out ahead of the Republic Day last year, but more than that, it came on the heels of the massive protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens in the country. While Leila Seth’s We The Children of India: A Preamble to our Constitution (2010) has been essential reading for children on this, Sen Gupta’s book holds its own by incorporating interesting anecdotal insights into the making of the Constitution.

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The Constitution of India for Children
Puffin
192 pages
`299

Despite what many would like to believe, the mahal was not a sexual playground but a family space that housed the women of the court. In her 2019 book, one of her few for older readers, Sen Gupta makes us meet some of these charismatic characters — Ehsan Daulat Begum, Babur’s grandmother, without whose enterprise there would have been no Mughal empire; the Padshah Begums who ran the mahal’s vast establishment; scholars and poets like Zeb-un-Nissa and Salima Sultan Begum, who influenced the emperor on matters of diplomacy and state policy, among others — women who often go unnoticed in history.

Mahal: Power and Pageantry in the
Mughal Harem
Hachette

Which were the first cities of India and how did they come to be discovered? What was it like living in Mughal times? How did the British, who had come for trade to India, end up ruling the country? How has India changed since Independence? Sen Gupta delves into the past to discover the answers to these questions and many more in this comprehensive history of India (written in 2015), that is an engaging experience for readers of all ages.

A Children’s History of India
Red Turtle
452 pages

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