The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, February 2, 2003

Around the world with reporter Kamath
Hari Jaisingh

A Reporter at Large
by M. V. Kamath. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Pages 810. Rs 600.

. V. Kamath, now Chairman of the Prasar Bharati, has been an outstanding journalist and columnist. A value-oriented Editor of repute, he is one of the very few widely travelled journalists. He has reported extensively and in depth for his newspaper, The Times of India. His overseas postings include stints in Bonn, Paris, Geneva, the United Nations, New York and Washington DC.

Off the shelf
Building social and cultural relations
V. N. Datta

History, Culture and Society in India and West Asia.
Introduction by Dr Karan Singh, edited by N.N. Vohra. India International Centre, New Delhi. Pages XIII + 294. Rs 550.

HE title of the book is wide enough to include anything between the stars and earth. The word ‘culture’ in the title is one of the most complicated terms susceptible to various interpretations. I think that this is due to historical developments. Now the term ‘culture’ has come to be used for distinct intellectual disciplines and in several systems of thought.

Signs & signatures
Black American novelists: Voices of protest
Darshan Singh Maini
LACK American experience is such a complex tangled, intractable issue as to defy any kind of definition or discourse. Its problematics invariably drive one into uncomfortable ambiguities as well as into unhelpful sermonising and theorising. It means, at the deeper level, that no non-Black writer or artist can hope to reach down to those African roots which like a subterranean stream have kept feeding Black American consciousness for over three centuries now.

Punjabi literature
Banda, first to challenge Mughal tyranny in Punjab
Jaspal Singh
EVENTEENTH century Punjab witnessed the beginning of Sikh persecution at the hands of the ruling Mughal hierarchy when two of their Gurus were executed. This persecution intensified in the beginning of the 18th century. As a result, the 10th Guru had to leave Anandpur Sahib and then Chamkaur and retreat into the wilderness of the Malwa on his way to South India after having lost his mother and children in the turmoil.

The story of a centenarian
Bhavana Pankaj
F you live to be hundred, you are old...really OLD! And hoary. Also happy. You hobble down the cobbled lane of nostalgia, aching to hear ancient sounds echoing in the nooks and corners of memory. Words unsaid, tears unshed, laughter and loss, gambles and glory... all come surging. You cry. You also celebrate. Motilal Banarsidass or MLBD, the internationally renowned India's biggest Indological publishers, are doing just that — celebrating their 100th birthday.

Write view
A journey into the inner world
Randeep Wadehra

The Birth of Being, Moving to the Center and The Ever-Present Flower.
Fusion Books, New Delhi. Pages 168, 231 and 192 respectively.
Rs 150 per title.

RDINARILY, it is not possible to comprehend truth in its entirety. It is vast and has countless facets. Yet it is possible to observe it in parts and proceed to view it step by logical step. A part of truth is also truth, though not the whole truth. Expounding on Patanjali’s theory that the part is equal to the whole, and using the analogy of sky and the pool, Osho says that although the sky is infinite it gets reflected in a small, finite pool.

Short takes
Portrait of a religious radical
Jaswant Singh

Raja Rammohun Roy, the Renaissance Man
by H. D. Sharma Rupa and Co, Delhi. Pages 72. Rs 95.

HE man who campaigned against the custom of "sati" and had this heinous practice abolished. The man who founded the Brahmo Samaj, which preached against idol worship and caste distinctions and believed in one universal God. Beyond this, not much is known in this part of the country about this social rebel who made a valiant effort to spread new religious tenets which he believed would reconstruct Indian life on rational lines.


Bypassing life
Arunima Sehgal

KaliKatha: via bypass
by Alka Saraogi (translated from Hindi by the author). Rupa.
Pages 295. Rs 295

LKA Saraogi’s novel KaliKatha: via bypass published last year stirred the Hindi literary world so much that it was seen as a sign of revival of the Hindi novel. The author’s translation of her work into English has woven the outer and the inner worlds of Calcutta’s Marwaris. The story, which revolves around Marwari settlers in Calcutta, may not be an exhaustive study of the Marwari diaspora, but it definitely provides an understanding of the community.

Examining the complex reality of child labour
B. B. Goel

Problems of Child Labour in India
edited by Raj Kumar Sen and Asis Dasgupta. Deep & Deep Publications, New Delhi. Pages XIII + 286. Rs 550.

HILD welfare is a nebulous concept. The child, being the nation’s pride, mirror and a supremely important asset, has to be properly cared for and nurtured. However, spoken or written words lose identity and significance unless put into real action. Like most problems in India, child labour, in spite of rampant adult unemployment, is a by-product emerging out of the socio-economic structure of society.