Colonial State And The Military Labour Market

D.H.Kolff’s pioneering study Naukar, Rajput and Sepoy : The Ethno-History of the Military Labour Market in Hindustan, 1450-1850 (1990) has dealt with an unexplored aspect of medieval Indian economy. His aim is to investigate the contribution of manpower as a factor in the formation and upholding of the state. In order to understand the nature of medieval Indian economy, specifically its redistributive aspect, he has identified Rajputs as one of the major social groups in Eastern Hindustan or Purab who offered their soldiering services in the military labour market in North India.

Overrunning a Nation

For the global citizen, Tariq Ali needs hardly any introduction. Born in Lahore into a Communist family in 1943, Tariq was sent to England for studies, mainly for his personal safety. His uncle who headed the military intelligence was convinced that his nephew stood a good chance of being incarcerated in Pakistan, even running the risk of getting killed by the state. Tariq flourished in Oxford and became president of the Oxford Union in 1965. At the time of the global outrage against America’s war on Vietnam, Tariq became famous with his much publicized debate with Henry Kissinger.

Possible Scenarios

There is consensus that America is the only superpower, and that no one can prevent it from going its chosen way or hold it accountable. After 9/11 the voices of dissent and criticism were largely silenced in America and abroad. That has given the US President almost unlimited discretion and immunity from scrutiny. This book brings together views from around the world outlining possible scenarios during Bush’s second Presidency.

India’s Strategic Leap

More has happened in taking India –US relations to higher levels in the last twelve months than in the preceding twelve years. The period has witnessed one of the most intensely argued public discourse on India’s strategic needs. The discourse involved political parties, India’s Atomic Energy Establishment, a host of experts in India and the US. Indian and US officials parleyed intensively and extensively to make it possible for a new strategic partnership to begin.

Saga of Courage

The book narrates the operational performance of Pakistan’s 6 Armoured Division in the 1965 Indo-Pak war. Pakistan had inducted its Special Services Group personnel in J&K in August1965 to stir an uprising and later launched an offensive in the Chhamb Sector on 1 September 1965. India retaliated by launching an offensive across the Indo-Pak international border in the Lahore Sector on 6 September: India’s Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had warned—retaliation at a place of its choice.

Presenting a Paradox

The Indian subcontinent stepped into its independent nationhood amidst the greatest refugee crisis in the modern era, when an estimated fourteen million people migrated across the borders of India and Pakistan. And yet, a theoretical understanding of the refugee phenomenon has evolved much more recently in the1990s. This is especially true of the International Relations literature in the South Asian region that has been dominated by the neo-realist analyses.

City as a Sacrificial Site

This volume is a posthumous publication of what would have been a part of Bert van den Hoek’s magnum opus on the ritual structure of Kathmandu. His untimely death, in a road accident in Mumbai in 2001 while on his way to a conference in Pune, put an end to a project that would have covered various aspects of the Newari ritual calendar. A dense monograph that examines the way in which the city of Kathmandu is imaged as a sacrificial arena, this work reflects the best traditions of the Leiden School of Indology.

A Cultural Conglomerate

The North West Frontier Province and Baluchistan have for long been a source of fascination for outsiders. But few have ventured into the region and spent long years living the harsh lives of the local people in the way that Grima has. The author, an ethnographer who currently teaches Pashto at the University of Pennsylvania, has spent twelve years in Peshawar, the Swat valley, Quetta, Zhob and other adjoining areas. At the very outset she tells us that Pashto, the language of this region which she mastered, is not just a language but a complex conglomerate of cultural behaviour.

Neighbourly Concerns

It is encouraging that several books on Bangladesh have appeared in recent months. There have been few publications on Bangladesh in India, and perhaps fewer from abroad, to be seen on the shelves. For India, this is regrettable on two counts. Firstly, we should know more about a neighbour of nearly a hundred and fifty million people whose territory adjoins the most sensitive region of India for over four thousand kilometres, and, secondly and consequently, whose internal developments have an inescapable fall-out on India.