An unnatural border,
but real divisiveness
Review by V.
speaking I am weary of using travel accounts in writing history.
I am surprised at senior researchers producing full-scale
studies on them or using them as the main source material in
their doctoral theses.
there are a number of travel accounts which are of immense
value, but these are very few. Tavernier and Mannunci are
unreliable on the Mughal period, though Bernier is fairly
accurate in his assessment. Reginald Heber, the first bishop of
Calcutta, produced a reliable account on the social and
political conditions in the early 19th century India. Jacquement’s
narrative on Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his court is most
travellers are handicapped due to the short duration of their
stay in this country and the inadequate knowledge of the
language of people with whom they communicate. In such
circumstances, they are likely to depend on hearsay or
tittle-tattle. Though travellers show a lamentable lack of
instinctive understanding of the country they visit, this
deficiency is somewhat compensated by their and detachment in
recording their observations.
The book under
review "Amritsar to Lahore: Crossing the Border between
India and Pakistan" by Stephen Alter (Penguin Books,
London, pages 240, Rs 250) is different from the general run of
travel accounts and is likely to startle and stupefy the general
reader by the novelty of the impressions recorded in it.
Travellers share their experience of what they see, observe and
born in Srinagar, studied in the Mission School, Mussorie, and
is married to an Indian, Ameeta, whose family migrated to India
from Lahore after partition in 1947. Alter’s parents were
missionaries who had spent a good part of their life in
Rawalpindi, preaching the Gospel.
In 1997, Alter
visited the cities of Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and the hill
station of Murrie in Pakistan. Crossing the border by train, he
retraces the legendary route of the famous Frontier Mail and
after reaching the Khyber pass and Torkham, a border town
between Afghanistan and Pakistan, he returns by bus by the Grand
Trunk road that was once the lifeline of the undivided
subcontinent, and is still part of our cultural heritage, a
national highway at least in the Indian part of the territory.
Sher Shah Suri
had built the first route from the Khyber pass to Delhi, later
the British followed the same alignment and gave the highway its
present name, G.T. Road.
Alter teaches at MIT. In this work he claims neither to be a
scholar nor a journalist but simply a traveller who bears a
longstanding grudge against borders because they are barricades
that "choke the flow of radical discourses and discussions
between countries". The author kept a diary in 1997
recording his observations which he has worked into the book
under review. Though he thinks the border drawn between India
and Pakistan is something to be rejected as falsehood and a
tragic mistake of history, he found in Pakistan a strong feeling
for the border which the people regarded as a symbol of identity
The book opens
with a synoptic review of the Indo-Pak relations since 1947. The
author assails Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, for the
rise of terrorism in Punjab and holds her responsible for the
tragic Operation Bluestar by adopting a short-sighted policy.
Initially she helped boost the influence of religious militants
like Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, which backfired, and
Bhindranwale’s campaign escalated into a fiery separatist
movement which precipitated the Indian army’s attack on the
focuses on the 1984 killing of Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s
assassination, and the destruction of the Babri mosque on
December 6, 1992. Consequently, secularism, which the Congress
had professed so eloquently as its cardinal and
devoutly-cherished principle, became a casualty.
convinced that the partition of India was a grave blunder, which
instead of settling contentious issues, has multiplied them, and
brought the possibility of a nuclear war between the two
countries which are spending enormously on their military. He
argues that the best course to settle the Hindu-Muslim question
is to evolve some sort of federation or confederation. The
question is whether in 1947 Jinnah and the Muslim League would
have accepted any such proposal. Throughout this work a vision
of unified India persists in the mind of the author.
has given vivid and lively accounts of the places of interest he
has visited in Pakistan, particularly the sites of ancient
monuments and Mughal architecture, it is his insightful
observations on Pakistan and its people which are of special
interest and significance for the reader.
The creation of
Bangladesh had dealt a severe blow to Pakistan’s identity as a
nation. Also regional conflicts pose a serious threat to the
integrity of the country. Alter emphasises that due to the rise
of Islamic fundamentalism and the minorities in Pakistan are
subjected to persecution. The author laments: "It is the
darkest irony that a nation founded on the concept of unity
among Muslims in South Asia is now torn apart by serious strife
constitute nearly three million of the country’s 140 million
people. About the treatment of Christians in Pakistan, the
author writes: "The Christians in Pakistan are among the
poorest and most disadvantaged citizens of the country and are
exploited because of their social class and their faith."
conflict has became the fulcrum of Pakistani politics. During
1991-96, at least 38 places of Ahmadi worship were damaged and
15 graves damaged.
mostly concentrated in Sind, are targeted on account of
burgeoning fundamentalist activity. After the destruction of the
Babri mosque at least two dozen Hindu temples were destroyed in
Pakistan. In its annual report in March, 2000, the Human Rights
Commission observed that "Pakistan’s religious minorities
are stalked and persecuted". Things have come to such a
pass that the Forman Christian College, Lahore, which was once
one of the finest educational institutions, has now been taken
over by Islamic fundamentalists.
Time and again
the author emphasises that borders are of no consequence in the
ultimate analysis. For nations, he maintains, what is important
is not geography but history, which raises the question of
identity. The foremost question that faces the citizen of
Pakistan is, "who am I? A Pakistani, a Muslim or a mohajir
from India?" Such vital cultural issues which influence the
life of the people are swamped by the rising tide of Muslim
fundamentalism. But questions of race, religion and identity
raise different situations which tend to defy solutions inimical
to the interest of the country.
Alter does not
see any possibility of a settlement of the Kashmir dispute which
remains festering and unresolved. He attacks Nehru for betraying
his friend Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah who, despite strong
opposition from some of his colleagues, had made the state of
Jammu and Kashmir accede to the Indian Union subject to the
holding of a plebiscite. Nehru did not hold the plebiscite and
went further in arresting the Sheikh. This trial proved nothing,
but only brought political instability in the state leading
eventually to militancy in the state.
the author, it is futile on the part of India and Pakistan to
fight over the Siachen glaciar where not even a blade of grass
grows. Both the countries regard this place of considerable
strategic importance. The issue has become one of prestige
costing much both in terms of lives and material.
countries got involved in Kargil but refrained from declaring
war, though army commanders described "warlike
conditions" in the region, and a thousand men were killed
before the fighting ended. The Pakistan government withdraw its
support to the insurgents after diplomatic pressure was exerted
by former USPresident Clinton. The author thinks that the Kargil
episode has established for Atal Behari Vajpayee a more secure
tenure as Prime Minister. On the other hand, in Pakistan Nawaz
Sharif was branded as a traitor for having capitulated in Kargil.
Alter sees no
possibility of the cessation of hostilities between the two
countries. He concluded wryly, "Through all this upheavel
and conflict runs the border, an artificial fault line that has
created a rift in the subcontinent, an unstable and invisible
barrier that stands between people who have shared the same
Indianness for more than a millennium".
This work is written in a
breezy and limpid style evoking memories of the past that still
haunt those who had migrated from West Punjab and now live in
cultural and spiritual
Review by Rumina Sethi
the Nation edited by Gopal Balakrishnan. Verso, London. Pages
good number of books on nationalism since Benedict Anderson’s
"Imagined Communities" underscores the lively debate
on its nature, its global spread, its role and its potential
in pursuing historical, sociological, economic and political
inquiry. Studies of nationalism, more than in any other area,
have had a marked impact on the sphere of cultural politics
and overturned our understanding of what we commonly believe
to be a kind of national sentiment identified quite simply by
a homogeneity of interests. Cultural nationalism derives its
strength from the past — mainly folk traditions, religion,
rural dialects, as in Herder — in order to show one’s
cultural uniqueness and thereby stimulate national
of the past and maintaining a productive link between the past
and religion become important for initiating a nationalist
upsurge. Tradition, generally taken as a fixed referent, is
repeatedly shaped and restructured to suit the prevailing
political temper. While tradition is identified with past
culture, its alleged qualities of uniformity and homogeneity
are variously interpreted by the very exponents — both
imperialist and nationalist — of tradition in changing
political contexts. The consciousness of nationalist sentiment
rests very strongly on the capacity of the intelligentsia to
provoke the people into belief.
It is another
matter, however, whether there is any truth in the
nationalistic environment created by the proponents of
nationalism. In fact, what is strikingly apparent is the type
of history that is evoked, a history which draws on floating
myths, local legends and folklore, and could easily be
faulted. The essays in the present volume have, generally,
such an intent: nationalism is exposed as a selective and
partial category in which imagination and manoeuvre play a
vital role in fashioning a national consciousness and cultural
culturally reified structures collide with the processes of
modernisation and social reform in the attainment of political
ends, nationalism shows its regressive aspect. The
requirements of a modern state and the aspirations of the
masses are hardly compatible with a nostalgic retreat into
culture. This is very relevant in anti-colonial struggles
where a culturally imagined unification must work side by side
with mass mobilisation, the primary motive being the
establishment of an independent nation-state. The emerging
nation-state, consequently, witnesses rapid appropriation of
workers, peasants, minorities, and the lower orders, and
enlists their participation.
view, it is the necessity of moving from static agrarian
society to modernity and industrialisation, and the consequent
necessity for homogeneity, that is responsible for
nationalism. Cultural homogeneity does not constitute even a
small part of agrarian society. The formation of political
units is not based on a shared culture but on cross-cutting
memberships and loyalties, not on "nationality" but
on linguistic and cultural differentiation.
expanding technology and the consequent new society do create
a certain standardisation which makes for a materialist, but
not Marxist, theory of nationalism. Thus it is only possible
to determine the nature of nationalism after the revolution;
the nation does not "awaken" from already existing
Even as the
perspective of modernisation cannot be ignored, the
"romance" of nationalism cannot be altogether
explained away through Gellner’s diagrams depicting the
transition of societies. Nationalist political doctrines can
exist in societies which are still in their pre-industrial
stages or, on the other hand, be missing from industrial
societies where mobilisation of the masses has been effected.
Nationalism, as we know, is a populist phenomenon and its
motivating force comes from the intelligentsia, often making
it an urban movement of intellectuals, involving the concept
of an idyllic culture of the past presumed to be enjoyed by
pre-industrial, rural groups. Aided by "inviting"
the masses into history, nationalism may even be
"squeezed" out of nationality (to use Tom Nairn’s
phrase). As the essays in this volume show, the views about
nationalism are as manifold as the critiques on them.
has contributed substantially to the idea of the political
formation of nation-states by dismissing as
"misleading" the notions of nationalism as a
manifestation of national consciousness, as something
embodying a national interest or even its relation to class
interests. His view would refute Kohn’s early argument that
the political formation of the nation-state is linked to the
consciousness of nationality. In other words, Breuilly’s
"fundamental" point that nationalism is "above
and beyond all else, about politics" opposes Kohn’s
idea of a cultural entity that first forms largely in the
consciousness and then gets transformed into the political
nation-state. Such a premise as Kohn’s does not consider
those who, in Hobsbawm’s view, are "the objects of (the
elite’s) action and propaganda".
the Nation" is marked equally by essays belonging in
spirit to the future, that is, essays which focus less on the
origins, rise and nature of nationalism and more on the period
after the collapse of the Soviet Union, such as Gopal
Balakrishnan’s contribution towards establishing a
relationship between nation and class. Balakrishnan here
treads the grounds covered earlier by Immanuel Wallerstein in
"Race, Nation, Class" (with Etienne Balibar) where
agency is linked to the genesis of races (genetically
continuous groups), of nations (historical socio-political
groups), and of ethnic groups (culture groups), all of which
he locates in the historical structure of the capitalist world
economy that creates core-periphery antinomies.
critiques Benedict Anderson’s emphasis on print capitalism
to usher in the new nation. In Anderson’s view, it is the
literary culture which fixes and makes permanent the fluidity
of the conceptual nation-state and stabilises it into a sacral
image. In his view, the print medium helps increase the
awareness of countless readers and creates a particular,
invisible but nationally imagined community. Balakrishnan’s
subtle critique is based on Anderson’s emphasis on religion
and language as the defining marks of national communities. By
focusing on kinship bonds, Balakrishnan voids the creation of
national affinities based primarily on religion.
Chatterjee’s criticism of the formation of nationally
imagined communities as deriving from Anderson’s premises is
more forced. Referring to Anderson’s argument that the
nationalist elite had only western "modular" forms
to choose from, he points out that if this were so, what would
nation-states be left to "imagine"? Anti-colonial
nationalism was characterised by its difference from the
existing "modular" forms of national society which
are believed to have been already provided by the historical
experience of nationalism in western Europe. As Chatterjee
writes, nationalism would be reduced to a
"caricature" of itself if the indigenous elite had
not created a divide between the spiritual and the material.
In spite of
borrowing ceaselessly on the level of materiality, it was on
the spiritual plane that nation was already
"sovereign", even though the state was controlled by
a colonial power. Although Chatterjee’s own familiar
categories of spiritual/material may be easily traced to
Orientalism, and are thoroughly essentialistic, he does
provide a ground where there was enormous scope for invention,
and space for the nation to be imagined. Within such an
argument, any experiments in indigenising or nativising may be
seen as an expression of the "inner domain of cultural
identity" from which the rulers are kept out.
"The point, therefore, is no longer one of simply
demarcating and identifying the two domains in their
separateness, which is what was required in order first to
break down the totalising claims of a nationalist
historiography. Now the task is to trace in their mutually
conditioned historicities the specific forms that have
appeared, on the one hand, in the domain defined by the
hegemonic project of nationalist modernity and , on the other,
in the numerous fragmented resistances to that normalising
As the contributions in this
volume show, nationalism remains a topic of particular
interest because it has often largely developed through the
cultural realm and therefore constitutes perhaps the major
historical form of identifiable cultural politics. The
arguments are marshalled with much scholarship from diverse
fields enabling an understanding of the heroic tendencies of
nationalism which are often largely developed through cultural
exigencies and stereotypes, thereby constituting perhaps a
dominant form of cultural politicking.
can really be killing
Review by Kuldip Kalia
soul fearlessness: a Book on Self-Empowerment compiled by M.M.
Walia. Sterling Publishers. New Delhi. Pages 63. Price not
you frightened? Do you feel scared of viewing something which is
unpleasant? Are you afraid of hearing sad or bad news? Are you
horrified at the sight of mass death in a natural calamity.
These are nothing but symptoms of fear psychosis and, in such a
situation, try to strengthen the feeling of faith within you,
reaffirm the faith in the creator and, above all, develop an
outlook against fear.
The book under
review inspires, encourages and strives to achieve excellence;
helps in seeking thoughts and actions which generate knowledge
and ultimately visualise the characteristics of fearlessness.
Lack of faith
and a sense of guilt are the prime ingredients of fear. Past
mistakes and misfortunes are a springboard and thus any
recollection or looking back causes fear. The mind is occupied
by things which are yet to happen or possibly would not happen
at all. Fear, by all means, springs front ignorance. Most of the
time it thrives on frustration and the most unfortunate thing is
that it not only persists but continues to grow over time.
poverty, fear of criticism, fear of ill-health, fear of loss of
someone’s love, fear of old age and fear of death are some of
the so-called "ghosts" of fear which haunt almost
every human being. However, fear of failure is the deepest among
young ones and adults who have yet to prove themselves.
creates an imaginary terror and thereby leads to stress and
strain. Initiative is discouraged, enthusiasm is undermined and
there is an atmosphere of uncertainty all around. Not only this;
it causes sleepless nights, leads to miseries and unhappiness.
In certain cases it prevents one from doing and seeing the right
thing in right perspective. Presence of mind gets sidelined. It
can even kill. A long-sustained fear tends to keep one away from
God. It creates conflict within. If such a conflict is not
resolved, it weakens the personality.
But there is
nothing to be ashamed of fear. As somebody said "Fear is a
temporary state of mind." It is controllable. However there
is a warning from the Mother who points out, "Fear is
slavery, work is liberty, courage is victory." At the same
time, Maurice Freehill asks,"Who is more foolish: the child
afraid of darkness or a man afraid of light?" For courage
to face any situation, one must heed to John F. Kennedy when he
says, "Each man must look into his own soul."
There can be
good or bad fever. Any fever which produces a healthy attitude
is good. Precaution is always good. However it becomes bad when
it overpowers us. So, "fearlessness" is the most
virtuous characteristic or trait of one’s personality. Vinoba
Bhave rightly commented that "fearlessness has always had
the first place amongst the six divine virtues of man listed in
the Bhagavad Gita."
Vivekananda goes one step further and says that it is
fearlessness that "brings heaven in a moment. Arise, awake
and stop not till the goal is reached."However Swami
Nischalananda made it clear that "fearlessness is not a
characteristic feature only of a spiritually elevated person. It
can become a necessary day-to-day attitude of life of every
So the most
important thing is to develop an attitude which can help
fighting fear. For that the word "fear" has to be
relegated to the background and "faith" must take its
place; otherwise nothing can prevent fear and everything appears
to be "illogical". Of course, the best course of
action would be to look upon fear as a "red light in
better than caution so long it does not transgress rationality.
is any danger of fear overpowering the mind, it is always better
to ask the mind to summon reserve forces to fight it.
Thus never feel
afraid of discovering the truth. Another important thing is to
"learn to attack the thing which makes you afraid".
Once it is done, it mens half the battle is already won.
emerges when one loves "self" because the "love
of self always feeds fear but love of God destroys it(fear)".
That is why, the Mother said, "one must be truly
consecrated to the Divine; all fears vanish immediately like a
course, is a friend in need. Habits make fear less effective.
Calm behaviour, a sense of humour, good companion, loyalty,
physical wellbeing, instinct of knowing or discovering the truth
help to lessen the intensity of fear. "Weakness and
cowardice are worse deaths than physical death." This is
how the Upanishads give the message of fearlessness.
Swami Vivekananda rightly
pointed out, "The moment you fear, you are nobody."
One wonders what could be better said than this to dispel the
effect of fear.
culture study this
Review by M.L. Sharma
Survey of South Asian History by Karl.J. Schmidt. Vision Books,
New Delhi. Pages 165+xv. Rs 550.
book is an exhaustive survey of a large expanse of historical
events right from pre-historical and Aryan times to modern times
covering India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, SriLanka, Nepal and
Bhutan. The book has mainly covered four topics: (a) political
and military history from ancient to modern times; (ii)
geography, climate and languages; (iii) economic developments,
including trade and industry; and (iv) social and cultural
history — religions, education, population and urbanisation.
Spread over 69
chapters, the book gives a detailed account of all important
events in a socio-politico-geographical perspective of the
Indian subcontinent. Some of the important chapters are: "Harappan
culture", "Growth of the Maurayan empire",
"Growth of Islam in South Asia", "Growth of the
Delhi Sultanate", "Growth of the Moghul empire",
"Growth of the Marathas", "Anglo-French conflict
in south Asia", "Growth of the British Army in
India", and "India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
today". With as many as 96 newly drawn maps, the author has
dealt with all important aspects of the historical cultures of
six countries. He has extensively drawn from other sources also.
He has tried mostly to present the commonly accepted versions.
chapter deals with the geography of South Asia.The author
believes geography has a significant effect on the overall
development of human culture. He divides the mountain ranges
into three groups — the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and the Greater
Himalayan ranges. He says theIndo-Gangetic plain is the product
of the alluvial deposits of three major rivers — the Indus,
the Ganga and the Brahmaputra.
In the chapter
"Growth of Islam in South Asia" Schmidt recounts the
events in graphic details that led to the victory of Muhammad
bin Qasim, who launched an offensive against Sind in retaliation
against the plundering of the Arab ship by Sindhi pirates. About
the success of Mahmud Ghazni’s raids, he says: "Although
Mahmud never claimed any territory in South Asia during his
raids, preferring only to destroy, kill and loot, his raids did
highlight the military and political weakness of the indigenous
Hindu kingdoms of the time: the Hindus used inferior strategy
and tactics. Their armies were disabled by caste distinctions
and their rulers never seemed to able to unite to repel the
invaders, relying instead on their own individual efforts — a
policy, which in the end proved disastrous."
main purpose, he says, was to plunder and loot. It was Mahammad
Ghori whose ambitious designs to conquer and rule that had led
to the foundation of the Islamic rule in India. He has recounted
the events that let do the downfall of the Delhi sultanate.
In the chapter,
"Mughal South Asia", the author has given only a brief
sketch of the great Mughals, ignoring their eminence in Indian
history. Akbar and Shahjahan have not received proper
treatment.Noor Jahan who had the reins of power in her hands,
hardly finds mention in Jahangir’s account. He describes
Aurangzeb as an "extremely devoted and orthodox follower of
Islam", who was a fanatic and just the opposite of secular
rulers like Akbar. To call him an extremely devoted follower of
Islam is an overestimation.
Growth of the Cotton Textile Industry 1854-1947" traces its
history in India. This will help textile experts in the study
and growth of the industry. The chapter, "Economic
Development in Pakistan since 1947" provides material for
researchers in history and economics. He describes the economic
situation of Pakistan before and after the creation of
"Separatism and Irredentism in South Asia since 1948"
gives a totally different version of the formation of the two
states. He says "In 1960s the Indian Government sought to
accommodate Sikh separatists in Punjab seeking the creation of
independent ‘Khalistan’ by dividing Punjab into two states,
a predominantly Sikh state (Punjab) and a predominantly Hindu
state (Haryana)". This version appears to be controversial
and is not based on facts. The division was on the basis of
The attractive features of the
book are its fine printing, authentic maps, a large expanse of
themes, dealt in systematic and non-partisan judicious manner.
The book will prove useful to students of advanced history,
researchers and those appearing in IAS and allied examinations.
story is not editorial writing
Review by Jaswant Kaur
Therapy by Subhodh Ghose.Orient Longman, New Delhi..Pages
are not very successful as creative writers because they have
neither the academic understanding of any social problem nor
the senstivity of a story teller. They normally write
editorials based on the day’s development and tend to repeat
this method in short stories also.If one had been a journalist
for a longer time, this malady grips one as it has the writer
of this anthology, an assisstant editor of a leading Bengali
daily Ananda Bazaar Patrika.
under review "Shock Therapy" contains18 short
stories written originally in Bengali by Subhodh Ghose and
translated into English by several persons. Being a
journalist, he fails to fully fathom current social issues. He
merely attempts to give the contours of these.His treatment of
people’s hardships is somewhat superficial. Though he has an
engaging style, the stories revolving around the common man
lack liveliness.This is like mistaking a slice of bread for
the whole loaf.
darkness covered them" the author narrates the condition
of hardworking peasants who are not able to earn enough to
provide their wives and daughters sufficient clothing. They
work in the fields during the night. The darkness of night
helps them to hide their predicament.
change of caste" throws light on the problem of
unemployment and its adverse effect on the life of a well
qualified man Sanjoy. He gets a job only after pretending to
change his caste.
is about those foreign visitors who exploit a prosperous
kingdom and turn it into hell and is also a tale of fruitless
efforts of a young educated man to save the kingdom from the
clutches of the wicked.
nectar" brings about the selfish nature of human beings.
It is about a girl who is ready to bring bad name to herself
in her thoughtless chase of a dream for wealth and fame.The
story can be extended to the fashion conscious girls who are
prepared to take risks to become famous.
is another story which presents the indifferent and inhuman
nature of a welloff man towards a poor man who is desparately
trying to help his mother out of her poverty and illness.
heart of a lovesick bird" covers the basic emotion of
life - love. It reveals that love can neither be forced on
someone nor it can be felt by following certain tips.
sweat cheat" is about a girl who marries boys only to rob
their parents of their wealth. The story takes a serious turn
when she traps an innocent and loving boy whom she marries and
runs away with him.. The story reveals a dramatic change in
the attitude of the girl.
Short stories play an
important role in the development of language and
literature.They usually reflect a slice of real life. They
should have nothing to do with wild imagination. In other
words, it is rooted in the present with a relevance for
tommorow. Subhodh Ghose’s stories are deficient in this
context. The theme of the stories like "The sweet cheat
", "The Impostor" are far too unreal .The
incidents described in these stories normally do not take
place in day-to-day life.
A volley of
Review by Jaspal Singh
literature has recently acquired a cosmopolitan character.
There is a very strong contingent of writers settled in
England, Canada and the USAwith a fair sprinkling of them in
Europe as well. Of course, South-East Asia, Africa and Latin
America do not boast of a significant Punjabi writer.
Delhi is home to a large number of Punjabi writers, some of
them with nationwide reputation. Surprisingly, Haryana and
Himachal Pradesh even with a large Punjabi speaking population
have not added to the galaxy of Punjabi writers.
living in a different lingual environment writes in Punjabi
the result sometimes is pointedly sanguine and the writing
tends to be reflective and introspective.
attempt has been made by Gurdeep, a resident of Resham Majri
near Doiwala in Dehra Dun district of Uttaranchal. He has
already published five collections of ghazals including
"Rangeenian",: "Nakash Peerhan de", "Rangan
di Mehfil", "Do Bol Tere Joge" and the latest,
the subject matter of this piece "Dharhkanan nu khat"
(Singh Brothers, Amritsar).
writes very sensitive ghazals in which he tries to
capture certain universal facets of life. Under the thin
veneer of ostentation the poet finds a tragic streak and he
feels that there is something amiss somewhere that has created
an imbalance in society.
irritating imperfections and flaws in social propriety are the
source of constant pique and peeve. The poet says: "Hunde
hunde shor ne mehfil te kabza kar lia/Mai ikkalan vich beh ke,
naghmian nu khat likhe." (By and by noise dominated the
festivities so I withdrew into myself to write songs of
celebration begins on a subdued note but as the night
progresses, the din booms breaking all barriers of formal
sobriety and self-restraint. At such times a sensitive man
like Gurdeep has no choice but to withdraw into his cocoon.
the urban crowd overwhelms the poet and he goes on a
self-exploratory trip. He says, "Labhia jad mai gvachan
baad apne aap nu/Shehr ton mai apne nikee gran nu khat likhe."
(As I got lost in the crowd, I wrote letters to my tiny
village to rediscover myself.)
rediscovery of an individual usually takes him back to his
roots. The city, however, bruises his being which can be
partly cured by going back to the past.
The poet is
unsure of himself when he faces the daunting crowd of the
city. He avers, "Kise da jurm tere sir kite vi lag sakda
e/shakki shehr hai tera, shanakhat naal lai ke tur." (Any
time you can be falsely implicated in a crime. Your town is
very suspecting, you must always carry your identity card.)
apprehensions of the poet are not however allayed and he says,
"Whether you bow to justice or to inequity, the nature of
adjudication remains the same in the present."
gulf between virtue and vice has lost its conspicuous dividing
line. Many social, cultural and moral categories need a new
definition. The modern way of life and social mores have
shaken many a traditional soul. But the poet in his own
innocent way tries to understand the subterfuges of the modern
"Tusin apnat vich dhao, jan dhao ho ke begane/sitam da na
sitam rahina hai, edan vi te udan vi." (Whether you
torture me as a friend or as a foe oppression is oppression
all the same.) The poet considers himself to be suffering from
a little ill omen. He says, "The departing autumn stayed
put for sometime more in the garden when it found me out of
The desire to
liberate himself from the pedantic formality overwhelms the
poet. He craves for the company of bohemians to do away with
filters of prudery. He declaims, "Rindan nu es shahr de
kuche azeez ne/Saki nu sare shahr da hakam bana dio."
(The boozers love all the lanes of the town; let the barman be
the ruler here.)
Gurdeep is a
poet who shuttles between absolute freedom and absolute
socio-cultural bondage. Dream and reality keep on interacting
in his poetic discourse. His metaphors are drawn from the
social fabric and the world of objective nature. But he fuses
them in such a manner that the metaphors do not easily break
their figurative shell.
has to meditate hard to reach the imminent semantic kernel. In
one of the couplets he states, "Aarzu de panchhian de par
barhe rangeen ne/eh khirhaunde jaange jis shakh ute behnge."
(The birds of desire have colourful feathers, every bough
blossoms as they perch on it.)
being an agonistic, time and again challenges the sermonisers
and other custodians of the spiritual order of society. He
states, "zahd na hor gal kar dozakh bahisht di/Tere miaar
hor ne mere miaar hor." (Don’t talk of hell and heaven
any more O’preacher! Mind it, your and my parameters are
this, the author does not blatantly combat the established
social norms. His protest is subdued and it does not signal a
social revolution. In fact Gurdeep stands more for social
reforms than for a radical transformation of the social order.
Many years ago he worked in the editorial staff of the leftist
Punjabi paper Nawanzamana before he moved to the Dun valley as
a farmer which is why he still holds on to."Ik
zarabakhtar purana pehan ke/Suurma shuhrat lukai phir riha."
(Clad in an old armour, the gallant is stashing away his past
Now in the
beautiful Dun valley, with all his successes and failures as a
farmer Gurdeep, the carefree fakir, maintains, "Rang de
rahan te sanu mehak wang/Zindgi da chaa udai phir
riha."(The jubilation of life is carrying us over like
fragrance on the flowery paths.)
Away from the
sylvan glade there is the over-congested city with all the
vices of urban life in India. The poet in his solitude cannot
afford to be completely insulated from its vicious spill-over.
He confesses, "Shehr vich beaahru mai hi nahin/dharam vi
izzat lukai phir riha." (I am not alone to be degraded in
the town, even religion is totally disgraced here.) The city
is lost in the smut of public life, wallowing in its own
garbage. The poet observes, "Rah jaande ne bohut bahar nu
bhawen shahr ton/Apne aap ton bahar inn kadi auna nahi."
(There are many outlets from the city but it will never come
out of itself.)
Gurdeep’s poetry is
self-exploratory and from the self he tries to reach out to
the world where he finds enigmatic inconsistencies,
contradictions and inexplicable paradoxes.Despite all this,
life goes on, through the uneven terrain of existence,
weathering all kinds of adversities. The poet concludes it
thus, "Kadi jagdi rahi mehfil, kadi bujhdi rahi raunak/Kite
jande rahe tare, kiton aunde rahe tare."(The celebration
of life goes on and off and the stars keep on joining it from
somewhere in order to leave for unknown destinations.) As a
poet with deep commitment to life, Gurdeep through his poems
tries to understand this paramount riddle of life.
A poet writer with
Review by Satya
Gill’s (born in 1959) memoirs "Delhi Mein
Unidien"does not have much to do with Delhi. Except for
the first memoir which has the same title as the anthology
itself. Almost all other memoirs take up journeys, outside and
within, Delhi. Oh yes, the last and lengthiest memoir (60
pages) "Pita samay, mritue samay", a sequence of
dreams, a digging up of childhood, a history of the
identification of history, the roots! Of course, Delhi is
where the writer’s family is presently settled in! For Gagan,
it is obvious that Delhi is just the name of a city. The
symbolism of Delhi, if any, is not ostensibly marked in the
prose. But there can be and would be readings of the book
which would define Delhi as the central metaphor of this work
and explain away everything abstract, abstruse, mystical or
pathetic in these unique memoirs from that angle.
the title of the book does not justify the most remarkable
memoir — namely, "Pita samay, mritue samay". Is it
an elegy? A requiem? Hindi literary scholars would have to
find another example in prose, for this sacred, moving text
written by a daughter for a father, gone forever ! Suryakant
Tripathi Nirala’s "Saroj Smriti" (1934), a poem
though, haunts readers still, but that was a sigh of a
emotionally drenched father who saw the passing away of his
young daughter at the age of 17.
of Gagan strives to be in that class. For its raw intensity.
And for this that a daughter has written it.
A desire to
belong to one’s parents has been the hallmark of Hindi
poetry in last 15 years or so. Hindi poetry had a shift in
sensibility and this longing for basic relationship surfaced
strongly. Gagan Gill’s prose "Pita Samay, Mritue Samay"
may be studied in this juxtaposition. But why study it? It’s
so personal! Why did Gagan publish it? A complex aesthetic
question! How does it help the person and the writer Gagan
Gill? How does the reader relate to it? Isn’t this the
paramount meaningfulness of "Pita Samay, Mritue Samay"
that it raises naive but fundamental questions? That it
touches naivity itself, inside us!
And the real
characters in the story of the father look fictional! The
father acquires somewhat mythical proportions! The prose
questions its own limitations and turns lyrical and poetical.
No, poetry itself. Did the writer experience the father and
the family as fiction, a myth, poetry, or, the space within
her itself has a grandeur of fiction and myth!
of childhood memories has psychoanalytical undertones as well.
It may have a practical task on hand – healing the
"adult". Remembering the dead father may be a
struggle. In fact, it is. The non–linear structuring of this
particular memoir reflects this.
are failings too. Subtle ideological failings. There are bits
of appreciation for the spruced up feudal past. The
overlooking of caste, class undertones! A non-critical
indulgence in faith and its practice. It is the naivety and
innocence therein which saves the memoir from this. And
because a daughter has written it. It still haunts. It will go
into the annals of Hindi memoir writing, still.
* * *
Kankar Sanshay" is a memoir of sorts of a pilgrimage from
Delhi to Leh in Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir) via Keylong in
Himachal Pradesh. Another accomplished piece of prose-writing
with remarkable qualities of story telling and details. Gagan’s
fascination for the Buddhist faith, also quite obvious
elsewhere in the book , takes her to centuries-old Gompas
(Buddhist temples) of Himachal and Ladakh. And a road journey
to the ancient land of Ladakh in state roadways buses, trucks
and on foot is much more, apart from the adventure involved.
Oh yes, this may well be the very first travelogue of a woman
writer in Hindi who went to explore the mysteries of inner
Himalayas almost all alone but for the company of a foreign
friend Lara. And Gagan Gill may well be the first poet of her
generation who openly desires to "bow before something
like God , something devine". That apart, Gill’s "Ek
Kankar Sanshay" shows how far she has arrived in
prose-writing and what possibilities she has in store. And
with Teji, Manglesh Dabral ("Ek Bar Ayova") she
underlines what is in store for prose writing in Hindi in
to Bangkok and Paris. She calls these other memoirs
"Diary and Notes". In between she is at Krishnamurti’s
place at Madras, at Jagannath Puri, at Cochin, Kanyakumari and
Trivandrum. Well, in one way or the other, these writings
predominantly show Gagan’s growing interest in the mystical
and the mystic. Like Nirmal Verma, the celebrated Hindi
fiction writer, she provides the reader with information on
sects of Christianity, Buddhism and western music, art and
architecture. Her effort is more at the level of curiosity,
questioning, and a wide-eyed innocence of a young woman (or
poet?). This "humane" attitude is what provides her
language with melody, a character, a semblance of
authenticity. It makes this particular work of literature
special. Gagan believes that she owes this to her father who
was also a wanderer and aptly names this section of the book
"Tumahre Paon Mein Mera Paon".
A comment on
this Gagan’s book of prose writing would be incomplete
without a mention of the memoir "Ek Bhikshu Ki Anupasthti
Mein". Gagan’s mystical inclinations are in full
display here. The readers who have followed Gagan Gill’s
poetry in her three collections know that her obsession with
virag has only strengthened with time. That it still retains a
sense of curiosity, an awe, adds charm and poetry to her
otherwise debatable position. This abstract monologue, an
effort to understand the existential predicament of someone
who has chosen to be a bhikshu, and his glorification as well,
underscores the nature of "the spiritual" trying to
surface again in modern Hindi literary consciousness. Her deep
interest in Buddhism is quite evident and she acknowledges it
* * *
at some unpleasent sociological facts about Budhism i.e. how
poverty and parent’s choice forces very young children
become lamas. Gagan could have digged into that further.
Finally, an overpowering romance with being a bhikshu takes
over as evidenced by memoirs on J.Krishnamurthy’s place, and
journeys to Bangkok and Paris .
is about an auto-rickshaw driver, a poor displaced man from
Uttar Pradesh, who attracts the writer’s compassion and whom
she interviews for a radio programme. His is a touching story
– how poverty destroyed every thing including his parents
and he had to leave his ancestral village for Delhi, to make
his both ends meet. And he is lonely and totally alone in his
middle age. He comes like a central character of a play being
staged and vanishes back into wings as it gets closer to the
end. A sense of guilt grips up the writer but then every
question which follows is left at the alter of the God ! The
writer imagines auto-rikshaw driver to be a God himself ! A
God in disguise ! The very next memoir ‘Ek Kankar Sanshay"
is about a kind of pilgrimage to the Gompas of Himachal and
Laddakh . What should one read in this arrangement ? How does
it help Raja Ram, the auto-rickshaw driver? Further, all ‘choices’
of the writer observed in these memoirs are rooted in ‘personal’.
Though crude conclusions should be avoided, but, there is
valid ground to pose quarries to Gagan’s philosophical
beliefs ! And the way Gagan gets comfortable with what is
common parlance are called superstitions make a reader like me
slightly apprehensive! How far is obstrunism? And how far are
its socio –political fall-outs ?
It is an ‘Ek Kankar Sanshay’
of a reader. And I would not be the only one.
look at Indo-Anglian works
Review by Akshaya Kumar
Poetics of Indian English Novel by Makarand Paranjape. IIAS,
Shimla. Pages 143. Rs 200.
critical climate is brimming with immense possibilities —
possibilities which are yet to be fully explored and theorised
in a sustained manner. Broadly Indian criticism is divided
into three streams of desi, videshi and margi. Desi critics
are nativists who insist on rediscovering native parameters to
evaluate the merits of a text; margis invoke classical
Sanskrit approaches, and videshis are the fashionable
full-throated postmodernists/post-colonialists who are out to
deconstruct everything they get hold of India as a nation or
civilisation is so checkered and plural in both time and space
that no one stream can totalise the critical space.
What we need
is a composite frame which does not compromise or reduce the
complexity of "Indian experience", and at the same
time does not border on gross post-modern playfulness. Indian
experience needs to be contextualised in the everevolving
collective experience of its people. Makarand Paranjape, in
his book under review, uses phrases like "broader issues
of cultural inter-action", "broader cultural
formations of our country", "broader civilisational
perspective" etc to underline the continuity and
consolidation of this collective experience. This experience,
though hard to define in clean empirical terms, forms the vey
stuff of Indian consciousness both at macro and micro levels
invokes this indefinable, yet real Indianness to study the
cultural dynamics of contemporary Indian English novel. His
basic argument is that Indian English novel cannot be studied
in a descriptive, value-free and pure aesthetic context. The
cultural or civilisational specifics of Indian novel demand
indigenous frames of inquiry and analysis.
discounting the western foregrounding of Indian English novel
altogether, he underlines the necessity of locating Indian
novel in the rich narrative traditions of the nation.
"Locating the modern Indian in such an older
civilisational master narrative will give us the framework to
understand and evaluate it the better".
dharma as the keynote of our civilisation. And that "all
narratives must directly or indirectly explore and expound
dharma, and help to uphold it". Dharma is not sectarian,
but for want of better word, the author identifies dharma in
the Indian context with Hinduism. This is a highly contentious
position that point towards an unmistakable rightist
orientation of the writer.
as the driving force of Indian civilisation, Paranjape goes on
to explain its inner dialetics in terms of tension among marga,
desi and videshi. He does not see any exclusive
clash among these three cultural categories, rather he insists
on their interdependence and interpenetration. Dharma in this
sense becomes an assimilative construct which has the capacity
to subsume or resolve divergences of experience. Also it
becomes a critical paradigm to differentiate different
writings in terms of their distinct styles and attitudes to
life. Dharma emerges both as a boundary and a perspective
many problems in this very thesis of dharma. Dharma, the way
he defines it, becomes essentialy a principle of universal
values — values which every religion, every civilisation
aspires for. Dharma, he says, "is common to Hinduism,
Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, the indigenous religions, and to
Zoroastrianism, Islam and Christianity..." He adds that
"even modern secular religions like humanism and Marxism
have a dharmic element in them."
If dharma is
so ubiqitous or what he terms as so eternal or sanatana, one
wonders what kind of cultural-specific Indo-centric poetics
(as against the Euro-centric poetics) does he aim at. His
seemingly nationalistic project lapses into a universal one.
always posed a problem to the monolithic vision of a
dharma-based undivided social fabric. On the basis of some of
the representative anthologies of Indian English writings,
Paranjape finds that in terms of numbers the domain of Indian
English writings too is heavily monopolised by Brahmins. But
instead of underlining the overtly marga orientations
of these writings, he chooses to underplay them by way of
attributing elitism in these writers to factors such as their
urban upper middle-class background, their foreign stay, and
their preference for English as their medium of expression,
In fact he
believes that such factors de-brahmanise these writers
sufficiently and therefore in terms of their attitude they are
hardly casteist or conservative. One wonders as to how can one
dismiss the reality of caste as a living institution in Indian
society so easily. Paranjape who espouses the cause of
civilisational distinctness, should also have upheld the
functional value of caste at sub-civilisational or what new
historicists say, at subaltern level at least.
Indian English writers are no different from pre-independence
Anglo-Indian novelists in terms of their rather "orientalist"
attitude towards India as a nation. If Anglo-Indian writers
like Forster, Kipling, Orwell, etc. represented India as
exotica of the Orient, Indian English writers subscribe to the
same methodology to sell in the West. They scramble to
repossess the fictional territory of India that was once the
sole preserve of the erstwhile Anglo-Indian writer without
really challenging the colonialist agenda of their English
divides Indian English writers in three categories in terms of
their different location in and out of India. Non-resident
Indians lose touch with the objective reality of India and
tend to portray India either as purely metaphysical entity
(like Raja Rao) or as a fantastic Third World place (Rushdie).
Using Dhirubhai Seth’s phrase resident-non-Indians,
Paranjape puts writers like Firdaus Kanga, Upamanyu Chatterjee
and Pratap Sharma under this category of RNIs. These writers
"are Indians merely in nationality and race, but western
in habits, modes of thought, cultural mores and moral
conduct." Then there are border-line writers like Hanif
Kureishi, Farrukh Dhondy, Michael Ondaatje and Dabydeen who
having undergone several mutations return to India in their
of the categories to which these writers belong, India is more
often than not represented as "an unhappy, gloomy, even
doomed place where there is little laughter and joy, but much
sorrow, violence, and cruelty". The function of India
critic at present is "to uncover distortions, to expose
falsehoods, to attack various kinds of untruth"
perpetuated by Indian English writings.
invariably holds that there is a civilisational boundary
between India and the West, and no amount of mimicry and
ventriloquism can undo this gap. He does acknowledge that
there is not pure Indian past which can possibly invoke to
counter the falsehood of Indian English writings, but this
does not mean that we continue to evaluate these writings as
merely culturally neutral, apolitical artifacts.
or an oppositional reading based on the civilisation paradigms
of Gandhi and Aurobindo, as the author espouses, could provide
us critical frame to decipher these writings in our attempt to
understand the cultural distinctness of India as a nation.
However, he does not elaborate on the possible contours of
Gandhian or Aurobindonian frame of critical estimate.
problems with regard to the application of dharma as a
critical tool. Unless he provides us categories or definite
schemata, the usability of dharma for critical evaluation
remains half-realised. Though he aims at a "broader"
structuralist analysis of Indian English novel, his project
tends to become quasi-philosophical. In fact in each chapter
he begins with some well-known critical topologies only to
underline the limitations of each one. The civilisational
paradigm as broad perspective is not adequate enough to equip
the reader-as-evaluator with a well-worked out detailed
Paranjape’s critical enterprise sends strong signals to
Indian academics the cultural necessity of re-inventing our
own critical frames and civilisational paradigms in our effort
to understand ourselves and the rest. Such an exercise entails
enormous challenge and may not yield satisfying results
immediately, but one cannot dismiss the cultural logic of
undertaking it at all. If Indian critic has to redeem himself
from the image of "an eternal rag-picker of the
West", it is time he looks inward and re-discovers the
distinct ontology of his self. In this sense, criticism is
nothing short of a spiritual process. It is doubtful whether
Paranjape’s effort which lapses into rhetoric at times, does
really rise to this level of spiritual re-discovery.
Overall, the book does throw
up many intelligent, if not very profound, questions about the
very cultural authenticity of Indian English writings. The
perspective of Anglo-Indian as Indo-Anglian, the debate of
inside and outside the whale, the use of Namade’s tripartite
model of kriti, prakriti and riti to describe
different styles of Indian English novelists are some of the
significant features of the book. Paranjape’s effort to
divide the history of Indian English fiction in four
historical phases — colonial, 1835-1900; nationalist,
1900-1950; modern, 1950-80; post-modern, 1980 onwards —
might appear too reductive, yet it does provide the basic
drift of Indian English fiction in terms of its thematic and
structural shifts. After Kapil Kapoor’s "Literary
Theory: Indian Conceptual Framework" (Affiliated
East-West, 1998) and T.R.S. Sharma’s "Towards an
Alternative Critical Paradigm," (IIAS, Shimla)
Makarand Paranjape’s book is a welcome addition to the
ongoing search for alternative indigenous paradigms of
The rise and rise of
The is an
extract from the book "The Blue Club" by Chandra
at the end of the long tunnel had started becoming visible by
1988. Customer confidence in Swaraj 735 had been regained.
Market share was on the recovery trail. Overall market had
also resumed growth and sales were at the 90,000 level.
Re-launch of age-old Swaraj 724, a model preferred in some
regions, had been well received. Swaraj was moving towards
customer preference.The renewed national focus on agriculture
promised accelerated growth. Exponential increase in profits,
as predicted, was strengthening the financial muscle. An era
of sustained growth could be foreseen.
The time to
expand was ripe. Expansion at the Mohali plant in graduated
steps began in 1991 and increasing confidence led to
acceleration of the pace. This was supplemented in 1993 by the
decision to set up a greenfield second plant to raise the
combined capacity to 60,000. The combine division was selected
to bring it to permanent viability as an independent business
unit. R & D capability was strengthened on parallel lines.
important step in 1988 was the setting up of Swaraj Engines in
Mohali as a joint venture with Kirloskars of Pune. It was far
too distant to meet the growing engine needs: logistics costs,
inventories. From its beginning in 1989 and dividend in the
very first year, Swaraj Engines has grown to become the second
bluechip in the PTL Group. Through a major expansion its
capacity has been raised to 40,000 in three years.
the past, customer response, productivity and quality have
remained paramount in every action. The greenfield tractor
plant in the Combine Division and postexpansion Swaraj Engines
reflect this overriding priority. Expansion outlays of over Rs
200 crore, all coming from internal generation, reflect its
growing financial strength. It has been debt-free for the past
few years. All along it has been the endeavour of PTL to share
quality focus priority being on Swaraj 735, our principal
model, signs of market recovery had started becoming evident
by 1988. It became the largest selling model of the country in
1998 and the top preference of the country.
of Swaraj 724, discontinued a decade earlier because of low
contribution, added to the product line against competition.
armour was further strengthened in 1999 with major upgrade of
all models, which included styling and aesthetics. It was
drawn sheet-metal this time; volumes and financial resources
could sustain the switch.
also started regaining dealer and farmer confidence through
step-by-step improvement in performance and reliability. By
1995 its market share had started picking up once again. A
totally revamped Swaraj 855 with radical interior and styling
changes launched in 1999 should provide an added edge.
were introduced two other models in the lower segment to reach
mechanisation to a wider spectrum of farmers. There were no
short-cuts this time: products were only launched after
extensive testing which included protracted tests by customers
in their field. As a consequence PTL’s market standing rose
steadily and climbed to number two in 1999.
for customers is however endless. Continuing success lies in
vigilance and being one step ahead of competition and
competitors do not sit idle.
introduction of three incentives — individual productivity,
self-responsibility for quality and group productivity — has
already been mentioned. Exponential increase in profits via
focus on productivity through elimination of waste and
manufacturing technology was shared with employees through a
generous wage increase. PTL has become the highest wage payer
in the region. The original goal of 4 or 5 per cent increase
in real wage has been met.
increasing prosperity are evident in the ownership of a house,
2-wheeler, TV and refrigerator by every employee of the mother
plant. Employees of other divisions who joined later are on a
than 300 ancillaries already set up, a decision was taken as
early as 1983 not to add any more. The bitter phase of 1982
had made us conscious of the responsibility that we carried.
Subsequent growth has provided the opportunity for growth.
Entrepreneurs with ambition and initiative have taken full
advantage and expanded into turnover bands of Rs 15 or 20
crores. Support has been provided for modernisation and TQM.
PTL remains the most outstanding success of Indian technology,
and that too with the origin in a national laboratory. Success
has also been achieved against intense competition of the best
of global brands names and foreign knowhow. Original knowledge
has been upgraded, enlarged and extended into other domains
year after year.
even in financial terms, have been rewarding. Royalty payment
to NRDC under the licensing agreement which ended in 1984,
exceeded Rs 2.4 crore, a phenomenal figure in money-values of
those days. It remains its largest royalty-earning till date.
PTL has been
acutely conscious of the faith reposed in it by the promoters,
PFI’s, central government and the share holders. Maiden
dividend was declared as early as 1978, a bare four years
after commencement of production. Increasing dividends were
followed by a 2:5 bonus Issue in 1981. Stock price of around
Rs 50 (face value Rs 10) reflected fair appreciation in a
regime when equity pricing was dictated by the government.
dividend track was sustained, though in a subdued fashion,
even in the post-1983 years of distress. This lag was covered
by rapid escalation after the four-wheeler sector by the
Financial Express, the national financial paper, in successive
years lifted shareprices upwards of Rs 100 by 1989, even
though equity had been tripled through two rights issues in
growth of profits after 1991 gave confidence for a 1:1 bonus
in 1992, followed by another 1:1 bonus in 1997. Sharply rising
dividend took it into the league of top dividend payers. The
1991 economic reforms, where freedom to foreign investment and
free equity pricing were key planks, raised PTL stock prices
to the sky.
completed a quarter century of operation in 1999, PTL ranks
among the blue-chip favourites of the stock market: sustained
growth through 25 years, compound stock-appreciation of 26 per
cent through 25 years and the highest dividend payer. It is on
the ticker tape of Bombay Stock Exchange and the CNBC channel
Stock appreciation of Swaraj
Engines has crossed 140 times in a bare decade of operation.