OFf the shelf
Breaking down tunnel vision
V. N Datta
Why History Matters.
by John Tosh. Palgrave Macmillan. Pages xi+173. £ 9.99.
John Tosh is Professor of History, Roehampton University, UK. He is widely known for his special contribution to historiography and philosophy of history. His book The Pursuit of History is now in its fourth edition. In his book under review, his object is to "show how a more widespread understanding of his historical thinking might bring closer to the ideal critical citizen."

Voice of silence
Priyanka Singh
The Silent Raga
by Ameen Merchant. Pages 452. Rs 395.
Silence has a language so potent that it can make the present resound with a past shared, despised and loved. Merchant brings it out rather well in the book (short listed for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for this year) that talks of rigid traditions in the face of changing times and the breaking of that system by a middle class Tamil girl who can’t be a conformist.

Lines that divide peoples’ hearts
The Partition Motif in Contemporary Conflicts
Ed Smita Tewari Jassal, Eyal Ben–Ari, Sage. Pages 381. Rs.480.
A fine piece of research that explores tragic stories about partition of land in major countries across the world, this book also looks into people’s hearts. Much has been written about the partition of India into India and Pakistan in 1947 which is rightly termed as the largest transfer of population in the world. Being in the Indian sub-continent we tend to research and read more on this subject.

Fair analysis of complex issues
Himmat Singh Gill
Rage, Reconciliation and Security: Managing India’s Diversities
B.G.Verghese, Penguin/Viking Pages 266. Rs 495
The moulding of Bharat into modern day India even as its countless diversities continue to buffet the social and moral fabric of the country, form the framework of Varghese’s definitive and comprehensive report card on the six decades of our journey on the road that leads to democracy. Whether all this diversity was really a blessing for a democratic political order that our elders had ordained for us, whether we as a people were educated and broad-minded enough to sustain this kind of governance, and whether Tagore’s dream of an India "where the mind is without fear or insecurity" has been realised to some extent, is of course for the reader to judge based on his own experience and reading of the national sight picture.

Wake-up call for traditional church
Papri Sri Raman
Strong Religion, Zealous Media
by Pradip Ninan Thomas. Sage Publications. Pages 207. Rs 495.
The book is a result of a two-year study done in Chennai by Pradip Ninan Thomas, an associate professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Queensland, and naturally an academic point of view.

Big impact of small screen
India on Television: How Satellite News Channels Have Changed the Way We Think and Act
by Nalin Mehta. Harper Collins. Pages 393. Rs 495.
Taking a hard look at television news content, quality and reportage, former journalist Nalin Mehta’s new book India on Television: How Satellite News Channels Have Changed the Way We Think and Act traces the growth and evolution of television in India and its impact on society.

The genius of Guru Dutt
uru Dutt is probably the only Indian film-maker who, within the parameters of the box office, made a personal statement with his cinema. His films stand testimony not only to his own genius but also to the creativity of his team, comprising stalwarts like cameraman V K Murthy, music director S D Burman, and writer Abrar Alvi, among others.

Wings of poesy
Randeep Wadehra
Time to die alone
by Dr. Balbir Singh. ABC Group, Karnal. Pages 76. Rs 125
This volume’s poems are about here and now. The language is lucid, the technique simple and the message unambiguous. There is melancholy in the poet’s voice when he observes in the title poem Time to die alone, "But hate I no longer/the privilege of the poor. /The haves equally dread each other’s company/and prefer to live alone/scattered in loneliness/driven by horn of plenty`85".

  • Hushed musings

  • An armless hand writes