November 24, 2002
spirit’s golden hues
Ageless Mind and Spirit: Faces and Voices from the World of
by Samar and Vijay S. Jodha. Neovision Publishers Pvt Ltd. New
Pages 324. Rs 2,500.
AMRITA 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
Reaching Bombay central
by Shama, Futehally. Penguin Viking. Pages 154. Rs 225
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.
West and the rest
The Colonizer’s Model of the World
J. M. Blaut. The Guilford Press, New York. Pages 246. £16.99
CENTURIES 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.
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
ELECTIONS 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.
life through rose-tinted glasses
Arms and the Woman
by Deepti Menon Rupa & Co. Pages 275. Rs. 195.
THE 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.
for Air Force and Army to work together
Air Land Battle—the Indian Dichotomy
by Lt Col Thakur Kuldip S. Ludra (retd). Published privately. Pages 131.
EVER 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.
Conflict Unending: India-Pakistan Tensions Since 1947
by Sumit Ganguly. Oxford University Press. Pages 187. Rs 3951
WHETHER 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.
Bengali-Muslim writers paved the way for social regeneration
Bengali Muslim Literati & the Development of Muslim
Community in Bengal
Asoke Kumar Chakraborty. IIAS, Shimla. Pages 127. Rs 180.
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.
journey of Prof Puran Singh
PROF 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.
as law in widest sense
Ancient Indian Law
by Justice M. Rama Jois. Universal Law Publishing Co., Delhi.
Pages: xv+140. Rs 165.
FOR 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.