Sunday, May 18, 2003
non-European perspective on the crises of contemporary Islam
M. L. Raina
The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity
by Tariq Ali. Rupa. Pages XXXII + 428. Rs 295.
BY a strange happenstance I was
reading Tariq Ali’s novel The Book of Saladin in a Boston
suburb while Bush, Blair and Rumsfeld were pounding Iraq into
pre-history. Ali presents the legendary Kurdish warrior, warts and all,
and sets the theme of the present book: two fundamentalisms, call them jehadi
and Crusading, ignobly clashing over the cities and sands of one of the
greatest civilisations of the world.
woman’s search for her identity
The Book of Esther
by Esther David. Viking Penguin.
Pages 394. Rs 395.
THE Book of Esther
is a work of fiction inspired by a real event — the arrival of the
author’s ancestors on the Konkan coast — at Alibaugh, where they
landed after a shipwreck. The novel deals with the Jewish forefathers of
Esther. The family history begins in the 19th century with
Bathsheba, the Dandekar daughter-in-law, waiting for her husband,
Solomon, who is a soldier. Bathsheba, the gutsy woman that she is,
steers the family through difficult times and social ostracism and
survives a miscarriage.
tribute to brave warriors
Param Vir: Our Heroes in Battle
by Major General Ian Cardozo, AVSM, SM. Roli Books Pvt. Ltd,
New Delhi. Pages 225. Rs 295.
PARAM VIR means
"bravest of the brave." This book is a compact and highly
readable book written by a person who himself is not a stranger to
bravery in battle. The author, Major General Ian Cardozo, a Sena
Medal awardee and war-disabled, has covered practically every facet
of the highest gallantry award the nation bestows on its bravest
sons and daughters, who perform deeds of such courage.
Kiran sees it
As I See...
by Kiran Bedi. Sterling Publishers
Private Limited, New Delhi. Pages 225. Rs 195.
WHEN Indian women-in-police
made history by coming together for a conference, Suzette Davenport,
Chief Superintendent of the British Police, told them that they
"were up against an elephant" and that they needed to
"eat it." To this Jenny Daisley had added, "Remember
to eat it bit by bit."
mystery and adventure
The Rupa Book of True Tales of Mystery and Adventure
edited by Ruskin Bond. Rupa. Pages 236. Rs 295.
EACH one of the stories of
mystery and adventure are interesting and superbly told. Ruskin Bond
has spent a great amount of time and effort to search out these
stories from old railway magazines and private collections. The
authors of the stories deserve to have their works collected and
edited into one volume. He has made their creations available for
personal quest that became the history of a people
K. Rajbir Deswal
Benang: From the Heart
by Kim Scott. Penguin Books. Pages 502. Rs 295.
THE scene is set in Gableup
Township on the Western Coast of Australia early in the 20th century.
Ernest Solomon Scat migrated to this place and brought with him from his
native Scotland the White-skin complex. This complex dominates the rest
of his life despite his cohabiting with coloured races of the
reality and future of electoral politics
At The Polls: Parliamentary Elections in the Federal Phase
by M P Singh and Rekha Saxena. Orient Longman, New Delhi. Pages 302. Rs
INDIAN democracy seems to have
done well if we consider the fact that the number of people who
participate in electoral politics is increasing continuously. This
strengthening of the democratic process has led to an alteration in the
very nature of electoral politics in the country.
Communal Politics: Facts and Myths
by Ram Puniyani. Sage, New Delhi. Pages 309. Rs 295.
THE book revolves around the
present political scene in India that mirrors the Hindutva political
ideology. It castigates myth-making to demolish the minorities. Being an
anti-fundamentalist, the author is critical of the existential political
situation of India. He focuses on the irreconcilable ideologies of the
Sangh Parivar and the secular forces. He argues that real threat to
Indian democracy is from communal politics.
that amounts to stating the obvious
Discovery of Independent India
by Joginder Singh. Fusion Books, New Delhi. Pages 344. Rs 195.
WHEN Jawaharlal Nehru thought
of discovering India, he delved into the country’s past and its
heritage. He related these to his vision of a new India. He was
immensely proud of the country’s legacy and was confident that it
would show the way even in the present scientific age. Joginder Singh,
on the other hand, sets on a voyage of discovering India as it stands
was “cruel & just, magnanimous & mean”
Genghis Khan: Ever the greatest emperor in history.
by Capt. Ravi Thapar. Navdeep Publications, New Delhi. Pages 247.
THE book introduces the Mongol
emperor Genghis Khan to the readers by comparing him with other great
conquerors of the world — Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon and Hitler.
"As we flip across pages of recorded history, it is intriguing to
find that one country, Mongolia produced for the first and perhaps last
time the most outstanding world conqueror, Genghis Khan, who carved out
the biggest empire... which was to remain unparalleled in history."
conflict at work
P. K. Vasudeva
Organisational Commitment and Conflict: Studies in Healthy
by Omer Bin Sayeed, Sage Publications New Delhi.
Pages 335. Rs 295.
ORGANISATIONAL commitment and
conflict management strategies have become important for the smooth
running of a corporate. The author maintains that the hallmark of a
healthy and truly proactive organisation is the level of the
employees’ commitment to the organisation and their ability to handle