Self-proclaimed custodians of tradition and a rusty ethical code, the khaps
of Haryana have  gained notoriety for their lopsided diktats. The rural society in the state seems to be grappling with the old and new value systems,
Geetanjali Gayatri
LOVE may know no barriers elsewhere and marriages maybe a personal affair but in the caste-centric and male-dominated rural society in Haryana, the ‘meddlesome’ khaps or jati (caste) panchayats are playing spoilsport. Calling the shots, sometimes literally, on the issue of love and marriage, these panchayats are part of a legacy carried forward from the medieval era.

Wedded to a cause
Ashvini Jojra, a resident of RS Pura, has arranged 880 marriages of girls living below the poverty line. The founder-president of charitable organisation Sehyog is working for the welfare of differently abled children, the aged, as well as widows, writes Ashutosh Sharma from Jammu
ertain incidents leave a deep impact on our lives. But in certain cases the impression is lasting on the psyche. One incident in the life of an aspiring civil servant changed his entire orientation. Ashvini Jojra, a resident of RS Pura, 35 km from Jammu city, relates the incident that took place when he was studying in Aligarh.

A literary delight
Marrying the centuries-old tradition of mushaira to modern stagecraft, Jashn-e-Bahar, 2009, held recently in the Capital, was a visual and literary delight, says Aparna Srivastava Reddy
A poet from China, a litterateur from England, a journalist from Afghanistan—what do they have in common? Their love of Urdu, a love they share with hundreds of thousands of Indians.


Cloning glory

The world’s first cloned camel
A handout picture from the Dubai-based Camel Reproduction Centre shows Injaz, claimed to be the world’s first cloned camel. Injaz, a female, was born on April 8, 2009, after five years of work by scientists at the Camel Reproduction Centre and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, the local national newspaper reported


In the tiger country
Lt-Gen Baljit Singh (retd) on Bandhavgarh Game Reserve, which has the highest density of tigers in the wilderness in India
IN May 1951 an unknown forest-patch in Central India became the focus of attention of zoologists and wildlife enthusiasts, the world over. The reason behind this frenzy was quite special.

Guerrilla Girls on the go
Guy Adams
FTER a quarter of a century railing against the establishment, the art world’s most prominent group of radical feminists has decided to join it.

Dark seduction
By bringing us back to the first primal response, horror movies act as a safety valve, writes Johann Hari
SHOW me what scares you, and I will show you your subconscious leeching out into the world. Every culture — every person — imagines there are terrors waiting for us in the dark: the shape of the monsters changes from year to year, but the fear remains. Man, it seems, needs dread and circuses.

View of the Valley
Santosh Sivan’s Tahaan is an attempt to realistically, powerfully re-imagine
Kashmir, writes Shakuntala Rao
S a young girl, growing up in one of the affluent colonies of South Delhi, I rarely noticed the Kashmiri carpet vendors who roamed our streets in their tongas. All I remember is my mother haggling with one vendor to buy a woolen carpet which still sits in my living room today, its colour faded and the wool coarse, after 35 years of excessive use.


'ART & sOULWhen royalty came visiting
by B. N. Goswamy

TELEVISIONInside Guantanamo

Food talk: Paneer on a platter
by Pushpesh Pant

rights.htm: Make adventure sports safe
by Pushpa Girimaji

HOLLYWOOD HUES: Hauntingly evocative
by Ervell E. Menezes

by David Bird

ULTA PULTA: Report card
by Jaspal Bhatti


Sam’s Delhi
Humra Quraishi
AST month New Delhi saw an offbeat book release. No political bigwigs, no frills, no babus to do the inaugural rounds etc and though the ‘Garden Restaurant’, tucked at one end of the sprawling Lodi Gardens, was overflowing with people, they were the author Sam Miller’s friends and colleagues and book lovers residing in the Capital. And if that wasn’t offbeat enough, there was more. The book — Delhi: Adventures In A MegaCity — was to be released by an ordinary and an apolitical person.

Books received:

Circus of stardom
Akshaya Kumar
Seeing Stars: Spectacle, Society and Celebrity Culture
by Pramod K. Nayar.
Pages 195. Rs 295.

Court’s legacy
Saurabh Malik
Y now you are well aware of the settled principle that illustrious men craft celebrated institutions out of mere buildings; and a court is known not just by its judgments, but also by the judges who hold the scales, and the lawyers who place the weights.

Ties that matter
Ramesh Luthra
Family Values
by Abha Dawesar.
Pages 296. Rs 325.

New marketing mantra
Laxmi Kant Verma
Corporate Blogging in India
by Rajeev Karwal and Preeti Chaturvedi.
Wisdom Tree.
Pages 127. Rs 345.

Insights into inward journey
Harbir K. Singh
In My Own Words: An Introduction to My Teachings and Philosophy
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Ed. Rajiv Mehrotra.
Hay House.
Pages 210. Rs 195.

Competition redefined
D. S. Cheema
On Competition
by Michael E. Porter
A Harvard Business Review Book.
Pages 544. $39.95.

End of an era
Gandhian poet and writer Vishnu Prabhakar, who died in New Delhi on April 11, was the last link between contemporary Hindi literature and that of the pre-Independence era.

Glimpses of Haryana

Randeep Wadehra
Haryana: an overview
by Dr. SP Gupta.
ESS PEE Publication.
Pages: xvi+256. Rs 195.

My Guru in disguise
by Priya Mookerjee.
Wisdom Tree.
Pages: viii+209. Rs 245.

What’s wrong with man?
by Jaspreet Singh.
Rose Books.
Pages: 104. Price not mentioned