The Tribune - Spectrum

, September 29, 2002

A General's scholarly viewpoint
J. N. Dixit

Siachen—Conflict Without End.
by Lt-Gen. V. R. Raghavan (retd). Viking Penguin Books. Pages 240. Rs 395.

HE Indo-Pakistan conflict in the Siachen area on the northern edge of Jammu and Kashmir has been a point of attention since 1983. The confrontation has also been the subject matter of negotiations between Pakistan and India between 1986 and 1992. The negotiations were for mutual re-deployment of forces from their present adversarial locations.

Punjabi literature
Information-based capitalism more socialistic
Jaspal Singh
UMERICALLY Punjabi is the 13th largest language of the world and it can safely boast of the best writer-reader ratio. Every month scores of Punjabi books appear on bookstalls, though most of them rot in godowns for want of buyers. Polemical writing is almost non-existent in Punjabi. However, recently Pritam Singh, a retired IAS officer and a well-known student of Punjabi political economy, came out with a highly polemical book, Vaad-Samvaad (Lokgeet Parkashan, Chandigarh).

Book extract
A hilarious peek into the PMO
T last we were in agreement. And we moved on to another matter that has been causing me the most profound ongoing irritation. ‘May we now discuss the equally vexed question of your predecessor’s memoirs?’ As if we hadn’t had enough trouble with Chapter Eight, it seemed that he had now started work on his final chapter, the one that concerned his resignation and my accession to the Prime Ministership. And, to that end, he wanted access to certain government papers.

Minority handling: The litmus test of a democracy
Pardeep Dhull

Democracy and the Limits of Minority Rights
by Nalini Rajan. Sage Publications, New Delhi. Pages 237. Rs 260.

successful form of government is not known by how it deals with the majority but by the way it treats its minority. All countries in the world have different minorities. Be it the world’s biggest democracy or the largest one, it is the duty of a state to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens, the majority as well as the minorities. It is in this context, the book under review attempts to discuss the relationship between human rights and democracy.

Differentiation holds the key to survival
Chandra Mohan

Differentiate or Die
by Jack Trout. East West Books (Madras). Hardback. Pages 236. Rs 350

ITH some 60,000 new products flooding the market every year the customer is faced by an increasingly bewildering range of options. Education, TV and now the Internet have made today’s customer more savvy and more demanding. India has also got a glimpse of this world of endless choice in the last decade.


Write view
Meeting the challenges of a new economic order
Randeep Wadehra
Business Management and Globalisation
edited by G.S. Batra and R.C. Dangwal. Deep & Deep, N. Delhi. Pages: Vol.1 – xiv+405; Vol.2 – xii+308; Vol.3 – xiv+514; Vol.5 – xii+472. Rs 3500 for the four-volume set.

URING the past decade there has been a paradigm shift in the conduct of commercial activities in India. Shedding the socialism-laced mixed economy blueprint, our policy makers have embraced the free market doctrine with globalisation and liberalisation as guiding principles. With the opening up of our economy, local business organisations have been exposed to foreign competition, thus heightening the awareness for efficient utilisation of the various factors of production, and making economic reforms inevitable. Excellence has become the corporate buzzword.

Poignant writings on widowhood in Hindu society
D. R. Chaudhry
Shadow Lives — Writings on Widowhood.
Edited by Uma Chakravarti and Preeti Gill. Kali for Women, New Delhi. Pages x + 490. Rs 295

HE book under review is an important treatise on the heart-rending plight of widows in the patrilineal Hindu society. The critique delineates the oppressive structures that give rise to oppressive traditions. The book is arranged in three parts: Hindu scriptures dealing with prescriptions, injunctions and laws concerning widows and 19th and 20th century documents dealing with widows; personal narratives of widows; and finally creative writings of Indian writers on the subject of widowhood.

Handy reference book
Darshan Singh Maini

India at the End of 20th Century: Essays on Politics, Society and the Economy
edited by Sanjukta Bhattacharya. Lancer’s Books. Pages 317. Rs 580.

HERE are scores of special articles in leading Indian newspapers and magazines on both the Indian scene since Independence, and on the Indian polity, particularly since Indira Gandhi, and we are, thus, in possession of a plethora of narratives written to hoist one vision of the future India or another. Thus the retrospect, the introspect and the new constructs or paradigms have come to occupy the mind space in modern India.

Picking only the best from West
Ivninderpal Singh

The Rise of China: Threat or Opportunity?
by Ramgopal Agarwala. Bookwell, New Delhi. Pages xvii+229. Rs 450

HINA, like India, never came under the control of any single imperial power. The Chinese, who considered foreigners as barbarians, first came into contact with them on being defeated by the British in the Opium Wars. But their real humiliation began after their defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895. After this began the scramble for concessions among major imperial powers of the world for trade and commerce, known as "cutting of Chinese melon" in world history.