Pankaj K. Singh
Myths of the Nation: National Identity and Literary Representation.
Rumina Sethi. Oxford, New Delhi. Pages 221. Rs 375.
bears the imprint of its time, which may become explicit during
certain phases of history marked by intense political thinking and
activism. Cutting across languages and genres, Indian literature
written during the freedom struggle clearly represents the nationalist
consciousness of the time.
of a Model
Kerala: The Paradoxes of Public Action and Development
Ed. Joseph Tharamangalam
Pages 450 (Hardback, Rs 650)
Model of Development, as it came to be known, was celebrated by a
section of planners as something that could be emulated in other parts
of the country. It is no longer the case. There are, however, many who
still argue in favour of some aspects of the "model" even
while rejecting the larger framework. But then, there is no such thing
as the framework. In other words, the development experience in Kerala
did not follow a framework at any stage.
St. Stephen’s College: A
by Ashok Jaitly
Pages 141. Rs 395
A Stephenian went to pick up
his gold medal from Delhi University. He had topped in the MA course.
"I have never seen you before," said the head of the
university department. "Maybe, that’s why I won the
medal," said the Stephenian, who himself heads a department in
the college. For all you know, one of his students might be doing the
Untouchability in Rural India
Ghanshyam Shah, Harsh Mander, Sukhadeo Thorat, Satish Deshpande and
Sage. Pages 216. Rs 295.
of the Constitution abolishes untouchability in any form in the
Republic. The practice of it is a cognizable offence and the offender
may get punishment as well as a fine, yet it is practiced unabashedly
in many parts of this "Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democrat
Republic". Right from the struggle of Dr B. R. Ambedkar, chairman
of the committee that framed the Constitution, efforts have been made
to eliminate this evil.
greatest social revolution
Himmat Singh Gill
Percussions of History
The Nanakshahi Trust, SAS Nagar
Pages 377. Rs 595.
Prof Mohan Singh’s soulful poetry and Giani Gurdit Singh’s
masterly description of village life in Punjab in Mera Pind
have become literary classics in their time, eminent Sikh scholar
Jagjit Singh’s reissue of Percussions, which houses his
twosome of The Sikh Revolution and In The Caravan of
Revolutions, should also rate as one of the major works in a
critical yet fair analysis of the Sikh ethos, way of life and
religious and political perspectives.
The Naxalite Movement in
by Prakash Singh.
Rupa. Pages 318. Rs 295.
currently the generic name for any armed movement of peasants and
tribesmen in India. It is also the tag for anyone insisting on
providing justice to peasants and tribesmen by snatching the
privileges of landowners.
of a chessboard king
The Last Mughal
by William Dalrymple
Bloomsbury. Pages 580. £25
edition (published in 1942) of Begamat ke Aansu is a collection
of chronicles of what befell members of the Mughal court during and
after the Indian Uprising of 1857. Unrelenting and spare, the book is
all the more compelling for its simplicity. Known to several
generations of readers of Urdu, and part of oral lore as well, its
plain tales of arbitrary punishment, displacement and uprooted lives
record the devastation of a thriving culture.
of the matriarchs
Queens of Mahabharata
Kavita A. Sharma.
Rupa. Pages 126. Rs 150.
every successful man, there is a woman. Even though the age-old adage
holds true for many, there is no dearth of believers who think that
the opposite is more appropriate. Many would rather believe that the
female bastion is more likely to be the cause of downfall.
lives & poetic prose
Naqsh - Nigar
by Gurmukh Singh Sehgal
Sangam Publications, Samana
Pages 141. Rs 200
Sehgal is a prolific and versatile writer. Besides penning four
novels, he has tried his hand on biographical sketches, travelogues
and other literary forms. Being a teacher by vocation, he has had a
long stint in a Mumbai college where his literary talent provided him
many an opportunity to get close to the stars of the Hindi film
industry, especially those with Punjabi roots. This close interaction
also gave him a rare insight into the whims and fancies of these
Vishvas Ate Jitt
by Joginder Singh Principal
Lokgeet Parkashan, Chandigarh
Pages 160. Rs 150
by K. L. Garg
Chetna Parkashan, Ludhiana
Pages 128. Rs 140
of the book
The Vanishing Act of Esme
by Maggie O’ Farrell
Headline Review. Pages 245. £6.00
in the 1930s. The Lennox
family is having trouble with its youngest daughter. Esme is
outspoken, unconventional and repeatedly embarrasses them in polite
society. Even Kitty, Esme’s beloved sister, is beginning to lose
patience. Something will have to be done.
by Lyn Andrews
Headline. Pages 410. £32.99
by Bill Ricquier
Lotus Collection, Roli Books
Pages 209. Rs 295