The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Ageless spirit’s golden hues
Roopinder Singh
Ageless Mind and Spirit: Faces and Voices from the World of India’s Elderly
by Samar and Vijay S. Jodha. Neovision Publishers Pvt Ltd. New Delhi.
Pages 324. Rs 2,500.

MRITA Pritam puts it so well: "What does it mean to be aged? Can you ask the flower what is the meaning of its blossoming? Why does it sweeten the air with its scent?" The celebrated author is one of the 130 elders featured in this book, which took eight years to fructify.

A journey within and without
Arun Gaur

Reaching Bombay central
by Shama, Futehally. Penguin Viking. Pages 154. Rs 225

YESHA’S bureaucrat husband — Aarif Jamal — is suspended for doing "an almost flawless favour, one urged by an impeccable human being" — the treacherous Shiv Prasad Nath and she undertakes a train journey from Delhi to Bombay to seek the help of her Zahid Mamoo, an influential police commissioner, in the matter.

The West and the rest
Rumina Sethi

The Colonizer’s Model of the World
J. M. Blaut. The Guilford Press, New York. Pages 246. £16.99

ENTURIES ago, a ‘reality’ was constructed: that there was a centre and thus a periphery. The Centre was propped up by its innovativeness, advancement, adulthood and scientific temper whereas its other, by default, acquired connotations of imitativeness, sluggishness, childhood and sorcery. The Centre led and the Periphery lagged. Unfortunately, this view has endured. Needless to say, the West is the centre to the rest of the world because the belief systems it engendered during the Enlightenment phase created permanent divisions between the West and the rest.


Combating the pitfalls of Indian electoral system
V. Eshwar Anand

National Resurgence Through Electoral Reforms
edited by Subhash C. Kashyap. Shipra Publications, Delhi. Pages 298. Rs 550.

LECTIONS can be defined as a process, politischer willensbildung, i.e. as a means through which the political opinion of the people is shaped. They play a vital role in helping the people to crystallise their interest and to give expression to them. An election is the contrivance through which a modern state creates amongst its citizens a sense of involvement and participation in public affairs.

Army life through rose-tinted glasses
Aradhika Sekhon

Arms and the Woman
by Deepti Menon Rupa & Co. Pages 275. Rs. 195.

HE book should have been called ‘The Many Reasons To Marry An Army Officer’ or ‘The Clichés Of Army Life’. Everything that an Army officer or his wife have ever said or done — all the jokes, all the-tough-times-taken-with-a-smile, the one-liners, the fun and nostalgic times — forms the subject matter of Arms and the Woman.

Need for Air Force and Army to work together
Rakesh Datta

Air Land Battle—the Indian Dichotomy
by Lt Col Thakur Kuldip S. Ludra (retd). Published privately. Pages 131. Rs 650.

VER since India attained freedom, it has fought nearly five wars. However, there has been lack of cooperation between the Army and the Air Force during such wars. The Air Force was conspicuous by its absence in support to troops on the frontline. The Battle of Longewal proves the contention.

Solutions to Kashmir
Parshotam Mehra

Conflict Unending: India-Pakistan Tensions Since 1947
by Sumit Ganguly. Oxford University Press. Pages 187. Rs 3951

HETHER or not one accepts the Pakistani formulation about Kashmir being the "core" issue between the two far-from-friendly neighbours, the fact remains that it has all these 50-odd years and more so since Independence been in the forefront. A way out of the imbroglio—by no means an easy or simple proposition—may not end all our disputes with Pakistan but would certainly go a long way in easing tensions.


When Bengali-Muslim writers paved the way for social regeneration
Vinita Gardner

Bengali Muslim Literati & the Development of Muslim Community in Bengal
Asoke Kumar Chakraborty. IIAS, Shimla. Pages 127. Rs 180.

OCIAL structure provide crucibles in which identities are forged and interests developed. However, social patterns are not monolithic or static; by selectively highlighting certain elements within given cultures, political organisations may reinforce or reshape dominant patterns. A key instance is provided by the way that political organisations interpret the place of women: upholding women’s traditional roles often places inherent limits on the potential for radical change.

Punjabi literature
Spiritual journey of Prof Puran Singh
Jaspal Singh
ROF Puran Singh, born in 1881 in Pothohaar, now in Pakistan, in an Ahluwalia family, is universally acclaimed as one of the founders of modern Punjabi poetry. As a poet he was deeply influenced by English Romantics and the American poet of vitality Walt Whitman. In the beginning of the 20th century he went to Japan for higher studies in pharmaceutical chemistry, where he came in contact with Swami Ram Tirath and some Buddhist theologists.

Write view
Dharma as law in widest sense
Randeep Wadehra

Ancient Indian Law
by Justice M. Rama Jois. Universal Law Publishing Co., Delhi. Pages: xv+140. Rs 165.

OR the smooth functioning of any polity a structured system of governance is essential. Social, political, economic, cultural and other activities need to be regulated through relevant rules, laws and precepts. Normally such an administrative superstructure tells us a lot about the times during which it operated.