The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, March 23, 2003

The dynamics of dissidence
Shelley Walia
Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream
by Robert Jensen. Peter Lang, New York. Pages150. $13.95

OBERT Jensen looks into the future as a visionary of a world free from exploitation and domination, a world in which one would enjoy ‘anti-systematic’ identities through jettisoning essentialist ideas. This is something that each courageous and angry individual for whom no worldly power is too big must strive for.

Meet the author
“The best Indian authors write in regional languages”
unal Basu is one of the growing tribe of Indo-Anglian writers who churn out novels on India from distant shores. However, unlike most of them, Kunal Basu is not preoccupied with themes of displacement, alienation and the general autobiographical kitsch. He was born and brought up in Calcutta and now lives in Oxford where he teaches in Templeton College. In an interview with Sanjay Austa, he discusses his writings along with the state of literature in India.

Love and longing in Kathmandu
Aradhika Sekhon
The Guru of Love.
by Samrat Upadhyay. Rupa and Co.
Pages: 290. Rs 195.

LTHOUGH the name of the book is reminiscent of a recent hit movie, the subject and setting are quite different. Set in Kathmandu in the last decade of the previous millennium, the book deals with the fortunes of Ramachandra, a poor math teacher, who teaches in a rundown school in Kathmandu.

Postmodern exploration of history & national identity
Surjit Hans
On Stories
by Richard Kearney. Routledge, 2002. Pages 193. £ 7.99.

ICHARD Kearney is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College and University College, Dublin. On Stories is not about fiction writing. It is a postmodern exploration of history, psychoanalysis and national identity, subsumed under narrative. Traditional philosophy has split into specialised branches, e.g. philosophy of science, philosophy of logic, philosophy of history etc; postmodernism is eminently inter-disciplinary.

BSP is no more than hope for Dalits
D. R. Chaudhry
Dalit Assertion and the Unfinished Democratic Revolution
by Sudha Pai.
Sage Publications, New Delhi. Pages XIV + 266. Rs 295.

HE evolution of the traditional Brahmanical order led to the emergence of a social pyramid: its top occupied by the miniscule higher twice-born castes and the bulk, comprising Dalits, tribes and women in general, condemned to subsist at the bottom. It is novel, unique and unparalleled on the one had and the most inhuman, iniquitous and tyrannical social system ever designed in the history of mankind.


Frivolous attempt to unite women
Padam Ahlawat
On Wings of Butterflies
by Kavery Nambisan. Penguin Books, New Delhi. Pages 253. Rs 200.

AVERY Nambisan, a doctor by profession, has produced this work of fiction, a farcical comedy. It is a frivolous attempt to unite all women so as to form a political front and take political power. The story revolves around this theme. The revolt against man is attempted not by the oppressed or exploited women but by the well-off liberated women.

The subtext behind colonial actions
R. L. Singal
Work and Social Change in Asia
(Essays in Honour of Jan Breman)
edited by Arvind N. Das & Marcel van der Linden. Manohar Publishers. Pages 277. Rs 650.

N anthology of essays by eminent scholars on social, political, anthropological and geographical themes, Work and Social Change in Asia, has been published in honour of the dedicated Dutch sociologist Jan Breman. It is quite informative and interesting. Born in a working class family in 1936, Jan Breman knew what poverty and oppression meant.


A poet’s critique of society
S.S. Gupt
Dost! Ab Parda Girao.
by Dr Chander Trikha. Yugmarg Parkashan, Chandigarh. Pages 63. Rs 100.

REATIVITY is the manifestation of the sensitivity of an individual who expresses himself through words, images or symbols. Chander Trikha displays his poetic skill when he reacts to the vicious atmosphere prevailing in society: Dost! Ab Parda Girao is a collection of 17 ghazals and five poems written by the poet over a period of time. These are properly illustrated, adding to what the poet desires to express through words.

Love in the shadow of the Taj
Meeta Rajivlochan
Seeking the Taj: A Tale of Love and Awakening in a Far Country
by Elaine Williams. New Delhi, Rupa. Pages 312. Rs 195.

AN love blossom in the weirdest of settings or is it engendered only between the odd ones in fantastic settings? Elaine Williams’ latest novel, oddly enough for an American author, has been first published in India. It tells the story of a young American girl who falls in love with an Indian prince in the shadow of the Taj.

The legendary Birdman of India
Jaswant Singh
Salim Ali, India’s Birdman
by Reeta Dutta Gupta.
Rupa & Co. Pages 59. Rs 195.

F all the living things that man has come in contact with, birds have been the most fascinating. Their colourful plumages, their sweet songs, their nesting habits, and their ability to fly freely across the skies have roused great interest among the humans. Yet despite this familiarity, not much had been done in the study of their lives, habits and behaviour till the turn of the 20th century.