While growing up, Apartheid and Nelson Mandela were very common subjects that were part of TV news everyday. Though, I had some idea of what was happening in South Africa, I had no idea about the details till I finished reading this book “A Rainbow in the Night” by Dominique Lapierre recently. I vaguely remember a college debate amongst friends talking about South Africa pulling out of Cricket World Cup if the referendum on Apartheid was not successful in favor of abolishing it.
It is really surprising that just 20 years back there was a regime as racist as South Africa and there could be millions of people suffering from Apartheid which means “separation”. An idea that was planned as brutally and as comprehensively as Hitler had done for Nazi Germany against Jews. The idea was that Blacks and Whites will co-exist in the same country but will be separated from each other for rights, economy, socially and physically. Of course, everything was decided by the Whites all the time and it was meant to bring in the complete subjugation of worlds oldest race.
The author has really made reading of history interesting for many subjects and even in this book, he has traced the history through hundreds of years from the time when Dutch came first to South Africa to create a stopover for their ships going to Asia. But the focus of book remains Apartheid and how it evolved over the years and what kind of struggle people had to endure to finally abolish it.
As usual to his style, the author has also talked about some of the good work that was done by some white people during all these years and that only highlights that in any race there are always bad and good people and these good people act as rainbow in the dark and keep the hope alive.