In 1957 independent India was 10 years old. Politically there had been changes: an entirely new government had taken over and a new neighbour - West and East Pakistan - had emerged on her doorstep. But in everyday life there had been little change. Many accounts now focus on the contemporary scene. This work however, attempts to remember conditions at this historic starting point. In the Wake of the Raj takes the reader behind the scenes, providing a look at grass roots: at village life, social mores and conflicts as well as some of the political issues. The emphasis is on North India with glimpses of Pakistan and Nepal.
Desmond Higgins was born in Ireland in 1930 and, like so many of his kind, he emigrated to Liverpool. No sooner had he arrived then, despite his Irish citizenship, he was press ganged into the Royal Navy to perform National Service. Nor did Irish citizenship inhibit his entry to the Diplomatic Service; though a problem did arise when his son was born in India. He could choose between being an Indian or an Irishman. To this day, he still travels on an Irish Passport. Having served in four continents, all in Commonwealth countries - including Ian Smith's Rhodesia - the opportunity or early retirement beckoned, thanks to Lady Thatcher's economy cuts. After a further career in financial services, his second retirement began in 2004. He and his wife, Barbara live overlooking the river at Kingston upon Thames.