The rise of middle classes
Sucha Singh Gill

The Making of Middle Classes in the Punjab (1849-1947)
by Sukhdev Singh Sohal. ABS Publications, Jalandhar.
Pages 333+X. Rs 800.

The book analyses the emergence and growth of middle classes in Punjab under colonial rule. Punjab was annexed in 1849 and remained under the East India Company till 1857 and was placed under British Crown after people’s uprising, popularly known as India’s First War of Independence.

Of love and aspirations
Aradhika Sharma

Gently Falls the Bakula
by Sudha Murty. Penguin Books.
Pages 169. Rs 150.

Two people fall in love, respect each other tremendously and get married against all odds—this is their story. Srikant, a handsome, bright young man from Hubli, a small town in Karnataka, and Srimati, his neighbour, are brilliant young things with the world at their feet. Both are completely devoted to each other. However, the misfortune of the couple springs from their differing aspirations as Srikant goes on the fast career track and Srimati sacrifices her career for his growth.

Head vs the heart
Ashok Vohra

Emotion: The Essence of Life — An Evolutionary Explanation
by Kuldip Kumar Dhiman. Unistar.
Pages. XVI+160. Rs 295

Long before psychologists and other social scientists, philosophers recognised that emotions are important part of human personality and play a significant role in understanding human beings and their actions. Emotions not only describe and illuminate causes/reasons of human actions but also motivate human beings to act in the way they do. They don’t necessarily have a positive impact on human personality. Because of the sway they hold on human beings, emotions make one prone to excessive and violent acts. They weaken human resolve by impeding judgement, making it irrational.

New development mantra
Rajesh Kumar Aggarwal

Community-Based Natural Resource Management: Issues and Cases from South Asia
by Ajit Menon, Praveen Singh, Esha Shah, Sharachchandra Lele, Suhas Paranjape and
K. J. Joy. Sage Publications. Pages 362. Rs 450.
The community-based natural resource management is a wider shift from the state-driven development to a civil society-driven development. Recently, it has emerged as a significant concept because involving the local communities ensures environmental sustainability, social justice and efficacy of the programmes undertaken. CBNRM includes both individual sector programmes such as forestry, irrigation and wildlife management, and multi-sectoral programmes, including watershed development or rural livelihoods development, with or without donor support.

Not guilty, My Lord!
Roopinder Singh

A Prisoner of Birth
by Jeffrey Archer. PanMacmillan.
Pages 431. Rs 253.

Jeffrey Archer is no longer writing prison diaries, thought prisons and courts feature heavily in his latest multilayered thriller. A poor man is wrongly convicted of murdering Bernie, his oldest friend, while the rich boys who did it get away. The poor man goes to prison, in this case, the high-security Belmarsh prison, with which Mr Archer has an occasion to be familiar with, while the rich boys go on with their successful lives.

Different strokes of reforms
V. Krishna Ananth
India: Some Aspects of Economic and Social Development
Eds S.Mahendra Dev and K.S.Babu, Academic Foundation, New Delhi. Pages 316. Rs 795

The fallout of the economic reforms programme, initiated in July 1991, on the social, economic and political walks of life in India is indeed a subject matter that calls for some focused study. In the decade and a half after the new economic policy has been in force, the direction of the debate on this has moved from being one where scholars merely took positions for and against the reforms to one of nuanced discussions. The shift, in a sense, is the result of a consensus that the reforms are irreversible.

Corruption, business & good conduct
Randeep Wadehra
Decentralisation, Corruption and Social Capital
by Sten Widmalm. Sage.
Pages 229. Rs 495

Corruption, which is rampant in developing countries like India, poses a serious challenge to all developmental activities. It mars governance, stunts growth and obstructs democratic functioning. According to received wisdom centralization encourages corruption; therefore decentralisation can be an effective antidote. Widmalm points out that there is not enough data available to validate or debunk this proposition.

  • Pave your way to good conduct and happiness
    by BD Dhawan.
    Pages xxii+213. Rs 130

  • When the going gets tough
    by VG Patel. Tata McGraw-Hill.
    Pages: xviii+156. Price not mentioned.

After Bitter Chocolate
Rajeev Ranjan Roy
After the success of Bitter Chocolate, a book on child abuse in India, journalist-turned-author Pinki Virani is going to try her hand at fiction. "The abuse of children will continue to be the central theme of my literary pursuits. It is the priority concern of my life, and I will carry on creating awareness to check incidents of child abuse so rampant in the country," Virani said. She was among 15 women on whom Congress president Sonia Gandhi conferred the Stree Shakti Puraskar on International Women’s Day for their outstanding performance in various fields.

Faith in times of war
Among all the blood and horror of Baghdad, a journalist found many Iraqis determined to laugh, celebrate and cling to normality at all costs. Here, Oliver Poole explains how they inspired his new book
For the last few years Baghdad was my home. I lived there as a journalist, covering a period when the certainties of life fragmented as a society unravelled. Some of my friends were abducted, others were murdered and a few were sent mad from the horror of it all. Yet, despite the extremity of what was happening to their country, the majority of the Iraqis I met remained not that different from you and me.