Storm in the desert

The meticulously planned Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan has thrown the state machinery out of gear. Chitleen K. Sethi gives a first-hand account of this hardy community’s fight for reservation
The Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan has revived the debate on reservation and vote-bank politics. The sustained intensity of the agitation led by retired Col Kirori Singh Bainsla and the emergence of a new form of protest are challenge to the powers that be.

The man and the movement

Women, seen blocking railway tracks, have been an important part of the Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan this year.

ALL FOR A CAUSE: Women, seen blocking railway tracks, have been an important part of the Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan this year. — Photo by Rajesh

Lure of Everest
From the very first attempts to climb Mount Everest in the 1920s to the actual success in 1953, the world’s highest peak has always tempted mountaineers. Lt Gen Baljit Singh (retd) questions whether the carrying of the Olympic torch to the summit has demystified the spirit of adventure in conquering it
hen in 1920 the Royal Geographical Society, London, (RGS) decided to sponsor the attempt on Mount Everest, the ethics of the sport had already been distilled over the previous 50 years of mountaineering in Europe. The essence of it lay in the subtlety that a team or a sportsman did not "conquer" but rather "summitted" a peak.

‘TV soaps are tasteless’
Pakistani playwright Haseena Moin does not have any good thing to say about the popular Indian and Pakistani serials
ndian television soaps may be enjoying high TRPs in the country and abroad but one of Pakistan's best known playwrights has lashed out at the serials describing them as a ‘sort of a fashion parade’ and wondered how viewers across the border can ‘tolerate’ them.

Master of melody
The songs of most of Raj Kapoor’s films topped the charts, writes Surendra Miglani
ctor, producer, director and editor par excellence. This is how history would remember Raj Kapoor. However, what would never come on record is his talent as music maker. Several top film personalities who were associated with the RK set-up and even those who watched him at work often recall his unique sense of music and his contribution to making the musical score of his movies truly memorable.

Chitrangada is back
Subhash K. Jha
fter having shot for Onir’s Sorry Bhai in Mauritius, Chitrangada Singh is back in Mumbai to work with none other than Aamir Khan in his hush-hush project Delhi Belly. All her fears about the comeback have vanished in less than three months.


Radio creates new awareness
Penne Nee Arivaai
is a community radio programme broadcast thrice a day by MOP Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai. Through their programme the students focus on people from slums and their problems, writes Hema Vijay
When Meenakshi (28) tuned into the radio, it was only to lighten her daily drudgery of washing dishes and clothes. However, just by accident, the young housewife heard the strains of 107.8 MHz. "It was the dialect that caught my attention. The voice on air sounded different. The woman on the radio was speaking ‘slum’ Tamil, unlike the anglicised Tamil common on the FM channel," she recounts.


'ART & SOULFrom the land of Norsemen
by B. N. Goswamy

TELEVISIONRocking album

NATUREElephantine threat

FOOD TALKFusion fish
by Pushpesh Pant

CONSUMER RIGHTS: Patient has the right to know about medication
by Pushpa Girimaji

HOLLYWOOD HUES: Horror unplugged
by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Writ in water
by Jaspal Bhatti


Unusual insights
Amar Chandel
Escape from the Benevolent Zookeepers: The Best of Swaminomics
by Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar. Times Group Books. Pages 253. Rs 495.

Books received

A bend in his character
A.J. Philip
The World is What it is – The Authorised Biography of V.S. Naipaul
by Patrick French. Picador India. Pages 555. Rs 595.

Tenets of faith
H. S. Sodhi
The Sikhs: Their Religion, Social Customs, and Way of Life
by Jasbir Singh Khurana. Angus & Grapher. Pages 328. Rs 3,450.

Words of wisdom
Kavita Soni-Sharma
Fish in the Sea is not Thirsty
by Osho. Wisdom Tree, New Delhi. Pages 342. Rs 345.

Under western eyes
Rumina Sethi
Memsahibs’ Writings: Colonial Narratives on Indian Women
Ed. Indrani Sen. Orient Longman, New Delhi. Pages 313. Rs 650.

Of love, betrayal and vengeance
Amarinder Sandhu

Guardian of the Dawn
by Richard Zimler. Penguin. Pages 358. Rs 350.

Tales of unspent emotions
Aruti Nayar
Inner Line: The Zubaan Anthology of Stories by Indian Women
Ed Urvashi Butalia. Pages 243. Rs 295.

Notes of harmony
Randeep Wadehra
Perspectives on music
by Ashok Da. Ranade. Promilla & Co. /Bibliophile South Asia, N. Delhi. Pages: 370. Rs 750.

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