Asia’s next giant?
M. Rajivlochan
India and Emerging Asia
by R. R. Sharma. Sage, New Delhi. Pages 331. Rs 640.
A dozen Jawaharlal Nehru University scholars of considerable repute have been brought together by Prof. R. R. Sharma to provide some insights into the role that India could possibly play in Asia in the future. They all presume, and quite rightly, that the pursuit of India’s foreign policy leaves much to be desired. It is without any focus and with no particular objective. Neither is it clear where the interests of India lie in Asia and how to fulfil these goals.

Scholar who gave us back our folklore
Usha Bande
K Ramanujan, known to the literary world as an Indian poet writing in English and a great critic-scholar has made immense contribution to the field of Indian and South Asian folklore, translation and Indian aesthetics. He revealed to us the beauty of our folklore and myths, their versatility and taught us to look at them with honor, not with shame. “Indian folk tale traditions are the richest in the world,” he said as he translated the Kannada folk tales into English and brought out the elegance of the Tamil Sangam poetry to the notice of the world.

Scripting success
Roopinder Singh
The Other Side of Me
by Sidney Sheldon. Harper Collins. Pages 369. Rs 195.
When you are an octogenarian, you are well justified in wanting to write an autobiography. However, you should have done something to write about, and you should know how to write about your life. Born on February 11, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, USA, Sidney Sheldon has much to write about.

Modern talking
D. S. Cheema
Empire of Knowledge by Vinay Lal. 
Vistaar Publications, New Delhi. Pages 287. Rs 380.
This book presents a powerful critique of the politics of knowledge as seen by the US through its “tinted powered glasses” and as understood by the rest of the world. It is an extraordinary book by an extraordinary author. It is a hard-reading, serious-business book for the intelligentsia, who have the patience to analyse a new and, till now, largely unchallenged point of view.

A man with rare vision
P. K. Vasudeva 
I too had a dream
ed. Dr Verghese Kurien. Roli Books, New Delhi. Pages 249. Rs 395.
The country has been lucky to have a selfless, committed and self-effacing nationalist and a journalist like Dr Verghese Kurien who has been able to dedicate his life for the improvement of quality of life and health of millions of countrymen of the economically weaker section of society and transforming them into productive members of the nation.

Poetry of terror
Philip Hensher
oetry, now, has a function, and if you’re too ignorant to know about, or too idle to find something which might perform that function, you write your own. That’s even better. You bet your life that when Calum Best was announced as down to read “a poem” at his father’s funeral, it wasn’t going to be Lycidas but some confection deriving from an eager fan.

Ai gham-e-dil kya karoon
Nirupama Dutt
he literary circuits in Delhi this December are suddenly talking about a man called Majaz. The literati, of course, introduce him, these days thus: "You know Majaz was the uncle of Javed Akhtar. Majaz’s sister was married to Javed’s father, you know." Well, why this sudden interest in Mamu Jaan? The interest is generated by an exhibition on his life and work mounted first at the India International Centre and then at Jamia Milia.

Boost to primary education
Arun Gaur
Elementary Education for the Poorest and Other Deprived Groups: The Real Challenge of Universalization by Jyotsna Jha and Dhir Jhingran. Manohar, New Delhi. Pages 348. Rs 895.
In one of the numerous boxes provided by the authors in the book, we find these trenchant nuggets: A teacher often sends his son in place of himself at Dhubri, Assam; a maktab functions inside the government primary school at Araria, Bihar; the school (EGS) at Sidhi, Madhya Pradesh, functions for 1-2 hours whenever the high caste, politically connected Guruji decides to come; and the teacher beats lower caste children more savagely in a school at Shravasti, Utter Pradesh.

A jungle of poems
Shalini Rawat
The Puffin Book of Poetry for Children: 101 Poems
eds. Eunice de Souza and Melanie Silgardo. Penguin Books India. Pages 103. Rs 175.

S. Nihal Singh

Tribute to Krishna
Randeep Wadehra

  • Krishna
    by Shanta Rameshwar Rao (Paintings: Bulbul Sharma) Orient Longman, Hyderabad. Pages 159. Rs. 750.

  • Educational implications of Guru Nanak Dev’s Concept of Man
    by Kuldip Singh Kahlon K.K. Publications, Patiala. Pages: xvi + 196. Rs. 325.

  • Memory Techniques for Science Students
    by Neerja Roy Chowdhury Fusion Books, Delhi. Pages: 160. Rs 95.