A Life At Many Levels

Malcolm Muggeridge’s Life of Christ contains this statement of windowpane transparency:
Christ’s mother, Mary, conceived him out of. wedlock…

The sentence dispels, deftly but simply, the coyness with which narrations down the ages have veiled that unself-conscious provenance in a Bethlehem manger. Dr. S. Gopal’s absorbing biography of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan commences, similarly, with a paragraph of refreshing candour:

As Others See Us

Some readers may question the utility of reviewing a book that has hardly been seen in this country even three years after publication. If such readers will grant that the primary purpose of a book-review is to make known the existence of that book, then at least that purpose will be served here. Students of Anglo-Indian fiction are by no means snowed under with critical material, and any addition to this sparse field needs to be taken note of as soon as possible.

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.