The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Hegemony and the hamburger
Shelley Walia
Why do People Hate America?
by Ziauddin Sardar and Merry Wyn Davies. Icon, Cambridge, UK. Pages 231. £ 7.99

N the streets of Paris or along the Rhine flowing through Germany, on the banks of the Tigris or in the streets of Teheran, the anti-American wave blows all the more stronger in the post-Twin Tower debacle. America’s unmatched military strength, its corporations and popular culture coalesce into what Ziauddin Sardar and Merry Davies call, a ‘hyperpower’ that influences indigenous cultures around the world. The hamburger culture overwhelms the Third World indigenous cultures.

Meet the author
“Content-wise, Indian fiction writers have little to offer”
ECIPIENT of this year’s Nachiketa Award for Excellence in Journalism, Francois Gautier is one of those rare writers who mince no words when it comes to telling the truth. Although French by birth, his knowledge of contemporary and historical Indian affairs gives him an unparalleled position among the major writers of non-fiction. He came to India when he was barely 19, an age, in his own words, when the mind has not yet settled into hard and frozen patterns.

Signs and signatures
Camus’ posthumous testament of passage from childhood to manhood
Darshan Singh Maini
LBERT CAMUS, the great French existentialist novelist and thinker who died in a car crash in 1960, has received huge critical acclaim the world over, and the corpus of his novels and philosophical essays stands apart, a sui generis phenomenon in world literature. The Nobel Prize for Literature (1957) had, finally, come to be seen as a testimony to his genius which had, in fact, been duly acknowledged when his first novel, The Stranger (1946) made an astonishing debut, and in one leap, so to speak, put him amongst the greatest names in the French novel.

India’s nuclear dream and Iraq’s nightmare
J. Sri Raman

Prisoners of the Nuclear Dream
edited by M.V. Ramana and C. Rammanohar Reddy.
Orient Longman, New Delhi.
Pages 502. Rs 575.

AST May 11, it was already five years since Pokharan II. Must we still go on debating whether India needs nuclear weapons or not? Another way of asking the question: It is now over five months since the outbreak of the Iraq war. Must we go on and on about South Asia as a flashpoint, when the focus of world attention has shifted to West Asia?

Horror trail revisited
Aradhika Sekhon

A Breath Of Fresh Air
by Amulya Malladi. Penguin, New Delhi. Pages 178. Rs 225.

HE first thought that comes to the mind as one finishes reading A Breath of Fresh Air, is "nice book!" Certainly, as light reading goes, the book is an easily palatable one with all the ingredients that would ideally be prescribed to write a ‘good story’ thrown in for good measure. These would include a couple of well-etched characters, a plot that moves forward and backward in time, a villain of sorts who finds reformation of sorts in the end.

What ails Pakistan?
R. L. Singal

Contemporary Pakistan: Political Processes, Conflicts and Crises
by Veena Kukreja. Sage Publications, New Delhi.
Pages 348. Rs 295.

HE title of the book Contemporary Pakistan is slightly misleading, because the author does not confine herself to presenting a picture of the present-day Pakistan. The book, on the contrary, gives us an analytical study of the social, political and ethnic problems plaguing this Islamic country since its inception in 1947.

A slice of journalist’s life
Jaswant Kaur

Mother Teresa: Saint of the Indian Crossroads and Other Vignettes
by R.K. Raju. Shipra Publications, New Delhi. Pages 123. Rs 225.

OR some it is a passion, for some a jumble of deadlines and for some others a mere cut-and-a-paste job for adding a few bucks to their take-home salary. But for Raju, journalism is a way of life, full of challenges, twists and turns.


Taking economic relationship beyond rhetoric
Raghubansh Sinha

Beyond the Rhetoric: The Economics of India’s Look East Policy
edited by Frederic Grare and Amitabh Mattoo. Manohar in association with Centre de Sciences Humaines and Core Group for the Study of National Security, JNU. Rs 500.

HE changes that came about in international politics as a result of the end of the Cold War exposed the limited vision of the Indian foreign policy. India then sought to give a new thrust to its diplomacy. Economic consideration became part of its new diplomatic realities. Strengthening economic relationships with the nations of South-East Asia was one of the top priorities of the Congress government led by the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in early 90s.

Short Takes
A patriot who enjoyed the fortunes of a king
Jaswant Singh

C. Rajagopalachari: The True Patriot
by R.K. Murthi. Rupa, New Delhi. Pages 63. Rs 195.

MONG the galaxy of leaders who spearheaded the country’s freedom struggle, the name of C. Rajagopalachari, popularly known as Rajaji or just C.R., stands out prominently for his sharp intellect, hard logic and sound reasoning. A close associate of Gandhiji, he never shied away from expressing his own opinion when he differed with the leader. As a minister in independent India’s first Cabinet, he expressed his differences with Nehru on several issues of national importance.

  • Ismat Chugtai: A Fearless Voice
    by Manjula Negi. Rupa, New Delhi. Pages 72. Rs 195.