The Tribune - Spectrum

June 1, 2003

They did what CBI could not
Review by
A. J. Philip
Reduced to Ashes: The Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab
by Ram Narayan Kumar with Amrik Singh, Ashok Agrwaal and Jaskaran Kaur. South Asia Forum for Human Rights, Kathmandu. Pages 634. Rs 400.

HOSE who have read Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen know how the Nazis accomplished their task under conditions of social collusion. The comparison may be farfetched or even hideous but it cannot be gainsaid that the rampant human rights violations that occurred in Punjab during the militancy days would not have been possible but for the sanctions they received from influential sections of the society.

Functional love
Review by Kamaldeep Kaur
Love’s Perfumes
by Rita Rahman, Penguin, New Delhi. Pages 134. Rs 200.

ecent years have seen the advent of the postcolonial novel. The work under review is an addition to this type of fiction. Rita Rahman, the author, has previously published a collection of short stories and numerous articles on international relations. The influence of this earlier work is palpable in Love’s Perfume—a novel. This is a story that spans disparate cultures and continents.


Vedic Linda Goodman
Review by Peeyush Agnihotri
Vedic Love Signs
by Komilla Sutton. Rupa, Delhi. Rs 395. Pages 388.

et aside, West! India, the land of Vedas and Upanishads, has found an answer to Linda Goodman in Komilla Sutton. If Linda had a book on love and sexual compatibility based on sun signs, Komilla has come up with nakshatras to deal with the subject.

Short Take
What after curtains?
Review by Jaswant Singh

Death and After
by Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer. Konark Publishers, Delhi. Pages 185. Rs 300.

ny talk of life after death or survival of the human being after death or the world of spirits is generally dismissed as a lot of superstition, blind faith or even some kind of hocus-pocus. But when such assertions are made by a person as eminent as Justice Krishna Iyer, one has to sit up and take notice.

Refreshing collection of an elegiac poet
Review by M. L. Raina

Collected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca
Revised & Bilingual Edition edited by Christopher Maurer Farrar, Straus and Geroux, New York. Pages LXIV+990. $ 25.
Federico Garcia Lorca was executed by Franco’s minions during the Spanish Civil War. He was 38 at the time of his death in 1936, and left behind a large body of poems, plays, correspondence, essays and musical writings. Though not the first to be translated by diverse hands, Collected Poems is the first bilingual edition, complete with notes and emendations and a wide-ranging introduction by the new editor. It is, by any reckoning, the definitive edition to date of Lorca’s poetry in English.

Literature as a weapon against colonialism
Review by Tej N. Dhar

Home and Exile
by Chinua Achebe. Anchor Books, 2001. Pages 115. $ 10.

hinua Achebe has already established his rightful place in the world of letters. Apart from writing influential novels, poems, and short stories, Achebe has also written ground-breaking essays. Without being unduly loud, flashy, modish, or controversial, he has emerged as a critic of seminal importance, and has exercised considerable influence in shaping our response to post-colonial literature.

Vapid memoirs
Review by Aradhika Sekhon

Maharani: Memoirs of a Rebellious Princess
by Elaine Williams. Rupa. Pages 247. Rs 19.

he name of the book Maharani: Memoirs of a Rebellious Princess certainly promises a good story. The princess’ rebelliousness, unfortunately, does not quite impress since the rebellion is more in her heart and mind than in anything she did. Born to a royal Rajput family of Jubbal, she did pretty much what her parents decreed for her.

Meet the author
"Those living abroad have more reverence for their religion"

ew Delhi-based journalist-turned-author Gurmukh Singh’s first book, The Global Indian - The Rise Of The Sikhs Abroad (Rupa), was released on May 26. Even before it was released, orders for it had been placed by Sikh organisations and Sikhs living abroad.

Off the Shelf
A head of state impeached
V. N. Datta
he impeachment of Warren Hastings, first Governor-General of India and head of state who consolidated the British rule against heavy odds weighed against him, was one of the most dramatic, sensational and profoundly significant events in the annals of British and Indian history.

Signs & signatures
Reunion that couldn’t hold
Darshan Singh Maini
n my long teaching career, I have had to study and teach scores of novels, poems and plays, but if one book has to be singled out as a supreme song whose spirit takes you to the farthest reaches of human thought, and compels one to examine the phenomenon of suffering in its profoundest sense, it is, undoubtedly, Shakespeare’s greatest play, King Lear.