The Exile by Navtej Sarna

Category: Fiction
Publisher (English): Penguin Random House India
Publisher (Hindi): Kitaabghar Prakashan
Publisher (Marathi): Padmagandha Publications
Publisher (Punjabi): Chetna Prakashan

In this nuanced and poignant novel that draws upon true events, Navtej Sarna tells the unusual story of the last Maharaja of Punjab. As the British annexed his kingdom, Duleep Singh was separated from his mother as well as his people, taken under British guardianship and converted to Christianity. He was transported to England to live the life of a country squire – an exile that he had been schooled to seek himself.

Disillusionment with the treatment meted out to him and a later realization of his lost legacy turned Duleep into a rebel. He became a Sikh again and sought to return to India and lead his people. But the attempt only dragged him into the murky politics of nineteenth-century Europe, leaving him depleted and vulnerable to deceit and ridicule. He died a lonely, defeated man in a cheap hotel in Paris.

The Exile is a compelling and deeply moving portrait of one of the most tragic Sikh figures in Indian history.

The author: Navtej Sarna