The Tribune - Spectrum

, July 21, 2002

The feminisation of politics
Rumina Sethi

Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation: Community, Religion and Cultural Nationalism.
by Tanika Sarkar. Permanent Black, New Delhi. Pages 290. Rs. 575.
MOST of the essays in Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation have been written over the last many years and published separately. All of them work upon ideas of gender and Hindu cultural nationalism, particularly with the late 19th century Bengal as context.


A problem that shouldn’t be
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Future of Agriculture in Punjab
edited by S. S. Johl and S.K. Ray. CRRID. Pages 260. Rs 295.
WHAT is the future of agriculture in Punjab? What should an agriculturist do in future to survive in this age-old profession? How should the crisis on agricultural front be tackled? These and many other related questions have been discussed at length in recent years by those who feel concerned about the problems on the agricultural front.

Class-conscious Dickens
Priyanka Singh

Dickens’s Novels in the ‘Age of Improvement’
by Sambudha Sen. Manohar. Pages 183. Rs 400.
THE contents of this book, by Sambudha Sen’s (Reader in Delhi University) own admission, were originally part of his PhD thesis, but due to a turn of events, this extensively researched and laboured dissertation was published in the form of a book after some revision.


Should we say ‘Hello Dolly?’ Well! Maybe....
Vijay Tankha
The Ethics of Human Cloning
by Leon R. Kass and James Q. Wilson. Scientia. Pages 101. Rs 125.
THE Scientia imprint, recently launched by the Centre for Philosophy and the Foundations of Science, Delhi makes available important recent works in philosophy and the philosophy of science in an attractive and affordable format. The authors of this particular volume have impeccable academic credentials, while the issues they raise are of general interest.

Mistress in the house
I. L. Dawra
Marrying the Mistress
by Joanna Trollope, Black Swan, London. Pages 333. £ 4.50
HOW will you react as a wife, as a son, or as a daughter-in-law if you suddenly find one fine morning that the ageing patriarch of the family is hopelessly in love with a girl less than half his age—almost fit to be his daughter? It is this situation woven into a stimulating story by Joanna Trollope, a British novelist.

Speaking of education
S. P. Dhawan
Higher Education and Development
by G. S. Yonzone. Himalaya Publishing House, Mumbai. Pages 122. Rs 275.
THE importance and relevance of education to development in a developing country like India is often ignored. The relation between development and education was not clearly discernible or vividly demonstrated in the past decades since higher education was accessible only to the elite.

Bringing to life a lost era
Jaswant Kaur
Red Poppies: An Epic Saga of Old Tibet
by Alai. Penguin Books, New Delhi. Pages 416. Rs 295.
A translation is generally considered inferior to the original work. But when it comes to understanding an alien language, it is a blessing. For, it throws open an unknown land to a different set of people. Translated from Chinese to English, the book under review is a step in this direction.

A way into Naipaul’s world
Rajnish Wattas

The Humour and The Pity.
edited by Amitava Kumar. Buffalo Books. Pages. 174. Rs 175.
IT has been a long journey for Vidiadhar Seepersad Naipaul. From the grandson of an indentured Indian labourer in Trinidad to a Nobel Laureate is a grand arrival. No wonder Sir V. S. Naipaul has become as much a subject matter for others to write on as is his literature.

Novel that reads like the script of a tragic film
Aditya Sharma
by Ajaya Kumar, Srishti, Pages 469, Rs 295.
DEBUT novels are generally marked by a passionate intensity but, at the same time, are also characterised by a lack of fullness. This applies to Ajaya Kumar’s maiden novel Embers. Poring over it, one realises that although the author has put some earnest effort into its making, yet it is not free from faults.

"Every city has its voyeurs"
OURNALIST Kanika Gahlaut has been in news recently for authoring Among the Chatterati, a book on the lives of page three celebrities. Humra Quraishi talks to her about her book and the reactions to it.

Pain and sorrow stimulate search for supreme bliss
Randeep Wadehra
Transcending Sorrow through Dhyana
by Surinder Singh (Justice, retd) Pages: 64. Price not mentioned.
THIS book is a bit of shock to me. I've known Justice Singh for quite some time now and have been in constant touch with him. We have often exchanged notes on life's riddles, and cracked jokes. Yet, it is through this book, I learn that he is suffering from blood cancer.