Dialects of Unity

It is sixteen years ago that I’ had the opportunity to be introduced to George Sioris’ interest in the comparative study of Japanese and Greek Mythology, when he presented his paper, ‘Two Char¬acteristic Similarities in Japanese and Greek Mythology, Amaterasu and the Cave, Persepone and the Underworld—Demeter’ at the International Conference on Japanese Studies held in Kyoto, Japan in November 1972.

Into the Past

Of late, studies on socio-economic history of the peninsular India, especially of the regions that were under the Colas and later under the Vijayanagara rulers have received a great fillip with the adoption of new conceptual frameworks that were not employed by scholars till recently. Attempts made by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, Appadorai, B.A. Saletore, T.V. Mahalingam, Kenneth R. Hall and a few others to throw light on the socio-economic aspects of peninsular India during the medieval period have been re-examined by foreign scholars like Burton Stein and Naboru Karashima.

Emerging Dynamism

Many serious writings in Chinese journals during the last two years have started characterizing the emerging poli¬tical economy in China as ‘Market Socialism’. This new formulation refers to a system where there is planned econo¬mic development but it is at the same time responsive to the market; the princi¬ple of distribution is ‘each according to his work’, but interpreted as adequately giving material incentives for higher labour productivity; and while public ownership remains predominant, diverse forms including cooperative, individual and joint forms of ownership would be promoted.

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Earlier, texts were illustrated by pictures; today photographs are more often supple-mented by texts. This book is a collection of very beautiful photographs of the better-known monuments of Delhi, by a well-known photographer. It is not a guide-book, for it lacks the professional¬ism of one—no map, no index, no chronological chart (which is necessary in a book written entirely in terms of the various rules of Delhi), no bibliography.

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The importance of the education of the handicapped is now universally recognized. All over the world special education is increasingly demanding and getting attention. In the developed countries interest in special education is certainly not new, issues involved in special education have been discussed, debated and acted upon since the last century. Conse¬quently an enormous amount of material, in the form of books and research writ¬ings, is available on this important sub¬ject.

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Any publication in the value of the socio¬economic dimensions of education in India is a welcome addition as study in the field is much needed and writings are few and far between. This rather compre¬hensive collection of readings embraces a number of vital issues presented for dis¬cussion at a conference held at the McGill University in Montreal in June 1985.

C.I. BHASKAR

Viswarupa is usually synonymous with the dazzling revelation of Krishna’s infinite divinity, as narrated in the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita. The visual association that has gained popular vali¬dity is that of Vishnu, standing like a veritable pillar and the entire Hindu pantheon arranged around and in the space inhabited by the principal deity.

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Two important books have appeared recently which seriously examine the environ-mental problems with the inten¬tion of working out a strategy for sur¬vival. These books differ in more than one way from each other. Still there is a commonality—they agree that all major malfunctions in society are ecolo¬gical. They intend to see ecology emerge as a ‘super’ subject, just like August Comte saw sociology and Karl Marx saw political economy.

Environment Concerns

In some recent literature on aspect of food problem, there is a welcome initia¬tive to look at some long neglected areas. For example, problems like pollution or depletion of drinking water sources, loss of forest-based foods including fruits, flowers and roots which prove particularly useful in drought years, the conversion of staple foods of the poor into luxury foods of the rich though various processing technologies, and of course the growing problem of wood-fuel shortage.

Miles To Go

The Centre for Policy Research has a knack of selecting issues of national importance, investigating them in all aspects and bringing out policy impli¬cations for the benefit of planners and practitioners. The focus of this publication is on one such issue of great national significance i.e. people’s participation in family planning without which there is no guarantee that the programme will succeed in future.