Shahryar Khan, formerly Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary and Ambassador in France, Jordan etc., and presently Chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board, is an old friend. This is his late mother’s autobiography.
The book under review, Social Transformation in Rural India, consists of 15 essays which are grouped into three sec¬tions. The first section mainly deals with theoretical and methodological issues. The second section, which is entitled ‘The State and the Rural Poor’, focuses atten¬tion on socio-economic changes in rural India.
The book under review is authored by the winner of the prestigious V.K.R.V. Rao award for social sciences this year. It is a collection of papers grouped into four parts but displaying continuity and unity of discourse because the issues under discussion relate to various dimensions linking politics and social structure.
The book under review is a collection of nine essays by a German academic of the Heidelberg University (FRG). Rothermond’s interest in social, economic and modern Indian history is an on-going affair since he has written books which include The Phases of Indian Nationalism & Other Essays, Government, Landlord and Peasant in India and Agrarian Relations under British Rule 1865-1935.
In this volume the Editors have put together a number of research papers and personal memoirs relating to ‘the various phases of the armed and militant movement in our country, aimed at the over¬throw of the system represent¬ed by the oppressive British and other vested interests.’
Dr. Sarup Singh makes it clear right from the preface to his book that in the plays he has chosen to discuss, his primary concern will lie not with structure or language or detail of craft. He says: ‘My sub¬ject is the ‘life’ that the play¬wrights treat of—certain basic human relationships as deter¬mined or influenced by the problems of larger social rela¬tions. I see the situations in these plays more or less as I would see similar situations in real life’.
The Ramayana, unlike its mighty compere, the Mahabharata, has received compara-tively less attention from critics and scholars alike. One reason might be the very nature of the epic: its being the first kavya, the conscious¬ly: literary composition, as opposed to the more oral character of the other.
Shrikant Verma has been considered a controver¬sial writer right from the beginning. He has carried out many experiments in his poetry. On the basis of his poetic diction evident in his latest poems, it can be said that Shrikant Verma has given a new idiom to Hindi poetry, which is not merely playing with words but giving a digni¬fied expression to the poetic temper in terms of language embedded with layers of meaning.
Redeeming Higher Education is a collection of 15 essays written during the period 1972 to 1985. Four essays were published in the ‘seventies and the rest were written in the eighties. These are grouped into four sections: 1. The Baby-sitting Syndrome; 2. Towards Restructuring; 3.On Teachers and Teaching; and 4. In conclusion. In his introduction Amrik Singh provides a connecting link between the various readings.
This comprehensive and eru¬dite study on peace, stressing the imperative need for pre-serving it in a turbulent world, is of great relevance today in the context of the menacing nuclear arms race, the immi¬nent possibility of extending nuclear weapons deployment to space and the increasing number, frequency and inten¬sity of ‘local wars’.
Observing the failure of anti-participatory development strategies of the last three decades and realizing the increasing trend of worldwide poverty, the author of the book suggests and creates arguments for the adoption of people-based participatory development in the Third World. He fervently believes that the construction of a just world is possible if people are empowered.
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.
This book is important—not as a study of the American police—as for projecting the bias inherent in police-acade¬mic collaboration. Public criticism of police harassment of minorities and dissidents, the failure to con¬trol rising crime, in countered by a better appreciation of police work through research programmes into police performance.
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.
Education Under Siege is the outcome of the doctoral thesis of Nirmal Singh. The investi¬gator has studied seven colleges under private manage¬ment in the City of Kanpur at micro-level in the broad frame of the growth and deve¬lopment of higher education in India at the macro-level.
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).
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.