Sunday, June 27, 2004

Globalisation on trial
Rumina Sethi
Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate.
by Naomi Klein. Flamingo, London. Pages 256. $ 13.
THE remarkable adulation for Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winner for Economics and champion of globalisation, at Oxford last month made it amply clear what Europe's perspective towards global economics was. Although one of his Tanner Lectures focused on the ethics (or lack of it) involved in urging third-world economies towards globalisation, there was more of indulgent back-slapping than a serious negotiation with the issue.

Books received: English

Politics beyond parties
Ashutosh Kumar
The Conceits of Civil Society
by Neera Chandhoke. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. Pages 278. Rs 575.
THE book draws our attention to the emergence of normative concepts of democracy and civil society as a bit of consensual concepts, widely celebrated and uncritically accepted as panacea to the ills of contemporary society.

Of Tibet’s victory in the ’62 war
Amar Chandel

A Clash of Political
Cultures: Sino-Indian Relations (1957-62)
by Sudarshan Bhutani. Roli Books, New Delhi. Pages 282. Rs 450

HE 1962 war is one of the watershed events of free India, considering that it jolted the country out of its idealistic frame of mind and brought it back to the hard ground of real politic with a thud. The sense of betrayal was all consuming. No wonder there is insatiable curiosity about what went wrong. This sense of bewilderment continues even four decades after the event.

Wonder and glory of Goa
Kamaldeep Kaur Toor
Goa: A Daughter’s Story
by Maria Aurora Couto. Penguin, Viking. Pages 436. Rs. 495
THE author paints a vivid picture of Goa — evoking memories of the past, citing concerns about the present and anticipating challenges about the future. Maria Aurora Couto describes the psyche of the Goans as it has evolved over a period of 500 years, that saw the fortunes of Goa change from prosperity to dissipation.

Nature as teacher
Shalini Rawat
Curiouser & Curiouser
by Neeraja Raghavan. Full Circle. Pages 78. Rs 295.
"IN the Beginning, there was Nothing, there was no Truth, no Untruth either; What was Hidden? Where? No one knows the Answer`85" Man began musing on the origin of the universe and of the self during the Vedic Age, or perhaps earlier, and has never stopped since. This fable tries to unlock the primeval mysteries.

Continental shelf
Prerana Trehan
N a literary landscape dominated by Anglo-American voices, it is easy to overlook other cultures which have contributed greatly to the history of thought. A foolish mistake, that, especially since many of the ideas that have shaped mankind were articulated in languages other than English and had their genesis in Europe and Asia.

Breaking the royal rule
Kamlesh Mohan
People's Movements in the Princely States.
by Y. Vaikuntham. Manohar Publishers. Pages 246. Rs 500.
THIS book, product of a seminar held in 1994 (funded by the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi), covers the rise and growth of the people's movements in a number of princely states, namely Hyderabad, Mysore, Jammu and Kashmir, Gwalior, Travancore and two small states-Nilgiri in Orissa and Banaganballe in Andhra Pradesh.

Hindi review
Remarkable senstivity
Harbans Singh

Nirvachit Kavitain of Bhagwat Rawat
Edited by Vikas. Itihas Bodh Prakashan. Rs 65.

HE selected poems of Bhagwat Rawat are not only representative of the private experiences and responses of the poet but also of his times. From the village that bears the scorching heat, which makes the earth open up in a thousand cracks, to the fields that get washed away by the fury of the river, everything comes alive in the crisp phrases and images that he creates.