Frightening Parameters

Any attempt to find a parallel between Rajgopal’s works on crime and criminals in India and the novels of Charles Dickens would, on the face of it, look odd and far-fetched. Yet the frightening para¬meters of the rapidly worsening crime situation in this country, progressive erosion of human sympathy and compas¬sion in our society and the all-pervasive phenomenon of criminalization of politics portrayed by him bring immediately to mind the London scenario of 1820’s and 30’s.

The Two Lalls

John Lall has written two books and had them bound together in one volume. Of the six long chapters the last one of about sixty pages stands by itself. It is a clear account of relations between free India and People’s China from the start till the large-scale aggression of China in 1962, written by one who, first as dewan of Sikkim and then as a senior official in the defence ministry, had an insider’s view.

Cultural Confrontations

‘I’m craze for foreign. Just craze for foreign’, said a character (Mrs Mahindra) to V.S. Naipaul, which he recorded in 1964 in An Area of Darkness. This irra¬tional admi-ration for anything from the West in post-colonial India is only the crudest manifest-tation of one side of a behaviour pattern that had started in different parts of this sub-continent with the onset of the British rule, and the emergence of an English educated elite.