The Unfailing Nehruvian Touch

Like its forerunners, the fifth volume in the second series of Jawaharlal Nehru’s, selected works makes delightful reading. If, in some ways, it is even more absorb¬ing than some of the preceding volumes, the reason is that it deals with a period closer to our times which also happened to be a crucial, indeed climactic, one. During it the nation suffered the trauma of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination at the hands of a Hindu fanatic, the Kashmir war dragged on, relations with Pakistan hovered on the brink and myriad pro¬blems of national integration and econo¬mic development cried out for attention.


For the first time ever in a decade and more, the NCERT, the apex body advising the Government of India on educational matters, has woken up from its hibernation and brought out a book that is something worthwhile possessing or presenting to the younger generation. For here is a beautiful book to behold, to feel and to read. Ever since Dr. Malhotra migrated from the Vocational Education set¬up to NCERT, there has been a noticeable sea-change. This book is true evidence.


Everyone is aware of the fact that service in banks, especial¬ly nationalized banks, has deteriorated over the years in our country. Many attribute this to job security, which nationalization has given to the bank employees. It is this confidence in job security we thought, that infused a great deal of arrogance and indiffe¬rence among them. But a reading of the book under review shows up vast areas of hitherto unknown, behind-the-scene activities of bank personnel.


For about two decades now, there has been a very lively and often acrimonious debate on the questions of ‘free and balanced flow of information’, Freedom of the Press, the right to sources of news, the right to know, the right to privacy, protection against exploitation via media, distor¬tion, bias and misinformation, selective exposure and so on. The Third World’s demand for a New World Information and Communication Order has emerged from this debate.


This compact volume with an introduction by Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, former Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff, United States, consists of three essays. In the first one Geoffrey Kemp discusses ‘Maritime Access and Maritime Power, The Past, the Persian Gulf and the Future.’ The second by Admiral Robert J. Hanks and Alvin J. Cottrell deals with ‘The Strait of Hormuz: Strategic Choke-point’ and the third on ‘A Permanent Naval Presence in the Indian Ocean’ by Admiral Moorer and Alvin J. Cottrell, as is clear from the title, presents the case for a perma¬nent US naval presence in the Indian Ocean area.