Bonded labour is one of the forms of urs freed labour exist¬ing predominantly in rural India. It is one of the most inhuman forms of social stig¬mas rooted in the socio-economic structure of our country. Poverty and unemp¬loyment are the chief driving forces behind bondage. In addition to this, the Hindu caste hierarchy plays an important role in preserving this evil as low-paid and menial jobs cannot be done by higher castes. Hence, it is pre¬valent since many centuries.


The book under review forms the substance of a seminar held in 1979. It was jointly organized by National Insti¬tute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi and International Insti¬tute of Educational Planning, Paris. The two papers, ‘Edu¬cational Disparities, World Politics and the New Inter¬national Economic Order’ by Johann Galtung and ‘Inequal¬ities in Education and In¬equalities in Employment’ by Louis Emmerij were among the background papers circu¬lated at the seminar. The seminar focussed on three main themes: Role of edu¬cation in: a) Reduction of in-equalities in income and wealth; b) Increase in emp¬loyment; and c) Development of rural area.


The book under review is the fifth in the series of annuals brought out by Sage Publica¬tions in cooperation with the Section on the Political Eco¬nomy of the World-System of the American, Sociological Association. As indicated by the Series. Editor, Immanuel Wallerstein, ‘the intent of this series of annuals is to reflect and inform the intense theo¬retical and empirical debates about the ‘Political. Economy of the World-System’ (PEWS). The debates assume that the phenomena of the real world cannot be separated into three (or more) categories—Political, economic, and social—which can be studied by different methods and in closed spheres.’


Aurobindo Ghose pierced the veil of Vedic mysticism during the second decade of this century. His line was followed up by masters like Nolinikanta Gupta, Kapali Shastri and others. Simultaneously, Swami Pratyagatmananda revealed the Vedic vision of Sound in Japasutram and the deep scientific basis of Veda in Ved-O-Vijnan; and Ramendrasundar Trivedi laid bare the symbolism of Vedic ritual in Yajna-katha. Kshitimohan Sen discovered the link be¬tween the Vedas and Baul—the most progressive dharma of the world.


When any institution has functioned for a considerable length of time of 30 years, it calls for an examination of its successes and failures. From that point of view, Prof. Umashankar Joshi, the former President of the Sahitya Akademi, was perfect¬ly justified when he stressed on the assessment of 25 years of its existence the need to have ‘a close, even a hard, look’ at the working of the Akademi.


To say what the book is about is like trying to capture a conflagration in a glass jar; it escapes farther afield; it displays a new dimension; it teases and is lambently in a number of places at once. It is impossible of definition. The Unbearable Lightness of Being is, at one level, about Czechoslovakia in the sixties, the period during and after the Russian occupation, Czechoslovakia as mirrored the lives of a tiny handful of intellectuals, the suffocation in their abilities, and their final dwindling into non-existence through social disuse and frustration.


An American scholar, Leslie Fleming, has accomplished what no one among our litter-ateurs could in 40 years: a bio¬graphical assessment and a critical study of Manto’s writings against the backdrop of contemporary literary trends in the Urdu-speaking world. Instead of being inspir¬ed by this effort, Anis Nagi of Lahore has plagiarized the book and published its trans¬lated version in his own name. This is our way of paying tri¬bute to a foreign lady whose lifetime’s labour it was sup¬posed to be.