August 31, 2003
foreign policy and politics
US National Security: Struggle for Supremacy in Policy Making:
by P.M. Kamath. Shipra, Delhi. Pages 222. Rs 550.
THE object of P.M.
Kamath’s book is to study the role of institutionalised advisory
groups having definite formal or legal relationship with the
President of the US, in determining national security policy, though
much more crucial and influential advice might be coming the
President’s way from his wife.
ride of joys, sorrows & love
Mila in Love
by Dina Mehta
Penguin Books. Pages 267. Rs 295.
AS far as films and novels are
concerned, the theme of love is never stale. Dina Mehta’s novel, Mila
in Love, also follows the same trend — though the approach is not
usual and ordinary. Her first novel, And Some Take a Lover, was
based on a Parsi family’s allegiances that were at odds with the
general sentiment prevailing in the country during the Quit India
but not footloose or fancy-free
For Matrimonial Purposes
by Kavita Daswani. Harper Collins, London. Pages 325. £6.99.
FOR Matrimonial Purposes
is a light, comic novel about the ever-so-important institution of
marriage in India. It deals, albeit playfully, with the problems that an
arranged marriage poses to young, independent and liberated women in the
contemporary social milieu of India.
How viable is
it for writers to be activists?
ONE always thought Shashi
Deshpande was a very clear-headed person. That was the message evident
in almost all her fictional writings. Her characters were normal, though
not necessarily rational and level-headed, human beings struggling to
find their ways through tricky as well as simple mundane situations.
War II was a tragedy for the Germans too
Amar Nath Wadehra
On the Natural History of Destruction
by W. G. Sebald (translated from German by Anthea Bell). Alfred A.
Knopf, Canada. Pages 202. $34.95.
TRUTH has many facets,
dimensions and phases. This is as true of truths associated with war as
with any other phenomenon. It is axiomatic that historical accounts
treat the victor more kindly than these treat the victim. Man’s
capacity to justify his acts of aggression is infinite.
contours of Sikhism
Hand Book on Sikhism
by Surinder Singh Johar National Bookshop, Delhi.
Pages 198. Rs 150
SIKHISM is a vibrant religion
not only because it is the youngest of all the established religious
faiths of the world but also owing to its unique tenets. To mention a
few, oneness of God, cosmopolitan outlook, no caste—only Khalsa, shorn
of rituals, distinct identity of its followers.
for the idyllic
NABHA was once made famous
by Bhai Kahan Singh, the compiler of Gurushabd Ratnakar Mahan
Kosh (encyclopaedia of Sikh literature). Now the efforts of
another Nabha-based family, led by B.S. Bir, might retain this town
on the literary map of Punjab. Bir brings out three important
Punjabi monthlies, Mehram, Ghar Shingar and Modern
Kheti, from Nabha. The combined circulation of all these
journals runs into lakhs.
The boss of
all management techniques
by Meena Nanda. Vikas Publishing. Pages xv+222. Rs 180.
ON Mumbai’s sidewalks I’d
often come across poster-sellers peddling the lewd, the hilarious and
the sublime. One poster that attracted me the most showed a chimpanzee
on a chair ‘talking’ on the telephone, with the legend "Boss is
always right". The behaviour of a simian, like that of a boss, is
invariably unpredictable — hence the honcho-as-chimp.
the barriers to universal education
Community Participation and Empowerment in Primary Education
edited by R. Govinda and Rashmi Diwan. Sage, Delhi. Pages 255. Rs 295.
NETWORKING within the public,
private and governmental framework ensures that public funds are
leveraged and the quality of service is improved, thus yielding better
value for money.
of living under Taliban
Afghanistan: From Terror to Freedom
by Apratim Mukarji. Sterling Publishers, New Delhi. Pages 321. Rs
"TRUE peace is not
merely the absence of tension but is the presence of justice and
brotherhood." These words of Martin Luther King can be
satisfactorily applied on Afghanistan. This book by Apratim Mukarji,
a senior journalist, attempts to highlight all those facts that the
world has known all along but ignored—Afghanistan and the misery
of its people is brought forth in a dissection of its turbulent