Fault lines of a nation and ecology
Randeep Wadehra

Fault Lines of NationhoodFault Lines of Nationhood
by Gyanendra Pandey &Yunas Samad (Ed David Page) Roli Books,
N. Delhi. Pages 138. Rs 250

Fault lines are intrinsic to the structure of a nation. Tribal, ethnic, linguistic, religious, class and caste identities manifest themselves while various groups vie for a share in the power hierarchy. Such rivalries can prove useful for constructing a vibrant polity but, taken to extreme, may well result in the unraveling of the state with tragic consequences for all. The Indian subcontinent is riven with potentially fatal fault lines. In India’s case Kashmir and the Northeast have brought these into stark relief even as its democratic precepts and practices have ensured equity for all as evidenced by the empowerment of Dalits and the marginalisation of Khalistanis through the ballot box. However, the rise of the Hindu Right poses formidable challenges to the secular, democratic ethos of the Indian nation.

Ecology and Human well-beingIn Pakistan’s case the Islamic state failed to overcome the Bengali-Punjabi linguistic/ethnic divide resulting in the birth of Bangladesh; and now Baluchis, Pakhtoons and other non-Punjabi ethnic groups are straining to break away. How have India and Pakistan dealt with their respective challenges emanating from assorted inequalities? This tome examines the issues involved in an objective manner.

Ecology and Human well-being
by Raghubir Singh Pirta Shipra, Delhi. Pages: xviii+194. Rs 495

OUR ecosystem plays a vital role in ensuring the very existence of life on this planet. The march of civilisation has imperiled the diverse life-forms that are part of the natural wealth. This becomes all the more mordant when one witnesses the rampant denudation of the forests of Himachal Pradesh.

Maharaja Dalip Singh Cheated OutThis book brings home the fact that while ushering in development there is a vital need for preserving the state’s ecology. He suggests several approaches including the study of the state’s traditional culture, rituals and practices in order to adapt these to achieve the twin goals of progress and ecological preservation.

Maharaja Dalip Singh Cheated Out
by Avtar Singh Gill. Jaswant Printers, Ludhiana. Pages 256. Rs 300

WITH the annexation of Punjab the British had managed to subjugate virtually the entire subcontinent. Another fallout was the decimation/neutralisation of all those who could legitimately claim to be Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s heirs. Rani Jindan was one and the regal child Dalip Singh was another. The latter was taken away to England, converted to Christianity and was subjected to cultural makeover. This book details the tragic story providing relevant historical background and details.