The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, June 22, 2003

A blueprint for the country’s security needs
Himmat Singh Gill

Vision 2100: A Strategy for the Twenty-First Century
by General K Sundarji. Konark.
Pages 268. Rs 500.

HE late General Sundarji, a former Chief of the Army Staff, was never a man to be lost in a crowd of the mediocre. Strikingly impressive in look and manners, smart and dashing, and every inch one who looked a General, Sundar, as he was affectionately known among his peers and friends, was well ahead of his times in his plans for the Indian Army, over whose destiny he presided in the 1980s.

Parliament: Image & performance
V. Eshwar Anand

The Indian Parliament: A Comparative Perspective
edited by Ajay K. Mehra and Gert W. Kueck. Konark Publishers, New Delhi.
Pages 459. Rs 800.

T goes to the credit of the Indian Parliament that it has completed 51 glorious years since its inception on April 17, 1952. Its significance lies in the fact that India is not only the world’s largest democracy but also a functioning democracy in letter and spirit.


The stories in Upanishads
Vijay Tankha

Crisis and Knowledge: The Upanishadic Experience and Storytelling
by Yohanan Grinshpon. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. Pages 146. Rs 395.

EPARTING from the traditional readings of Upanishadic texts as primarily concerned with the articulation of an abstract and esoteric doctrine of Brahman, Yohanan Grinshpon, a scholar from the Hebrew University, Israel, focuses on some of the many stories that are embedded in the Upanishads.

Captivating images of China
Bhavana Pankaj

Dreams of the Dragon’s Children
by Navroze Contractor. Penguin Books, India. Pages 254. Rs 250.

E is an ace shutterbug who rubs shoulders with camera greats such as Ryszard Horowitz – one of the youngest known survivors of Auschwitz. Federico Fellini fascinates him and Kurosawa is God. Given half a chance, he will begin to tell you how Andre Wajda and Roman Polanski stole issues of Life Magazine from the local American library in Krakow.

Conflict between reason & faith
Priyanka Singh

An Agnostic’s Apology and Other Essays
by Leslie Stephen. Rupa, New Delhi. Pages 343. Rs 195.

HAT constitutes the time-old concept of hell and heaven? Is God for real? Are theologians stuck in a time warp, wary of scientific temperament deciding the framework of a new creed based on logic? What is true religion and where does belief end and blind faith begins? These are some of the quintessential contentions that Leslie Stephen dwells on in his treatise, acclaimed to be one of his best.

A logical account of J&K war
Rajendra Nath

Jammu & Kashmir War (1947-48): Political and Military Perspective
by Maj Gen Kuldip Singh Bajwa (retd). Har Anand Publications, New Delhi. Pages 327. Rs 490.

HE book under review deals with the 1947-48 Indo-Pak war covering both the military and political aspects. The author has consulted books and documents, made available recently, to produce a logical account of the first war fought by India after Independence. The after-effects of this war continue to pose serious security problems for India in Jammu and Kashmir, even though we have fought two more wars, in 1965 and 1971, with Pakistan.

Telling cinematic (un)truths
Suresh Kohli
OOKS on cinema, of all shapes, sizes, nature, with a variety of content, seem to be the flavour of the summer. Much like the newly coined expression ‘crossover’ films. And they seem to be generating interest not only amongst the diaspora but also among locals in places where Indians have a sizeable presence. But any ambitious attempt in that direction is like crossing the agneepath barefooted. It is not easy.

New offering of ghazals
R.D. Sharma Taseer
N spite of strident criticism, ghazal as a genre has retained its pre-eminent position in Urdu poetry. If anything, ghazal has become more popular and more representative, so much so that quite a large number of poets in other languages have started writing ghazals. This trend has been welcomed because it could bring these different languages nearer. This may help us discover a common Indian link language. It is a fact that Urdu poetry is alive (if not kicking) due to the popularity and acceptability of its ghazal.

Write view
Happiness is an acquired trait
Randeep Wadehra

The Secret of Happiness
by Jas Mand. Fusion Books, New Delhi. Pages 220. Rs 195.

E all want to be happy, but do not know how to attain the state of happiness, probably because we do not know precisely what happiness is. The author points out that one often confuses happiness with pleasure. Only, pleasure is derived by the gratification of carnal desires, and therefore, is deemed a lower form of indulgence.

A useful handbook
D.S. Gupt

Soochna Pradyogiki Evam Patrakarita
by Ashok Malik. Haryana Sahitya Akademi, Panchkula. Pages 162. Rs. 100

NFORMATION TECHNOLOGY has revolutionised journalism and the computer has emerged as a very handy editing and publishing tool. In fact, the survival of a journalist nowadays depends on how well he uses the computer. The author of the book, Ashok Malik, has done well to take up different aspects of newspaper making, from online editing to using the Internet, to explain the many uses of electronic equipment in the industry.