There is a common adage in American academic par¬lance, ‘publish or perish’. The theory justifying this saying is that the compulsion for publishing makes it pro-bable that only some publica¬tions will be worthwhile in terms of new ideas and inno¬vations. It is perhaps too tall a claim to say that gradualist reform as a strategy for human development is any¬thing new or innovative. It is an oft-beaten track among academics, administrators and politicians, particularly after the Second Great War. Neither is it novel to undertake politi¬cal analysis of development processes at different epochs in human history.
The richness of historical detail with which David Hardiman has woven his narrative would amaze even the most hardened empiricist. But there is something about the style which sustains one’s interest even when the going is slow. When one sifts the detail, there emerge two cen¬tral themes which seem to have guided the author in his research, namely, the textures of social differentiation and of mass mobilization.
In 1972, the Indus Civilization completed the Golden Jubilee of its discovery. It was cele¬brated in Pakistan, but nothing happened in India, al¬though we loudly claim heri¬tage from that great civiliza¬tion; for, as Sir Mortimer Wheeler said: ‘Indus has given India her civilization and Ganga her faith’. Nothing of this heritage was left in India at the time of Partition in 1947, as all the centres of the Indus Civilization such as Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Chanhu-daro and many others formed a part of Pakistan.
Wim Van Der Meer’s book is an interesting study and a significant addition to the already existing works on the subject. It has been said that one must live a millenium to understand the subtleties of Hindustani music. Though this statement has a certain grain of truth, Van Der Meer has, in the short space of three to four years, made a credit¬able attempt to unravel the complex mysteries of Hindu¬stani music and has thrown light on certain un-researched aspects of Indian music with thoroughness and persever¬ance.
A new translation and com¬mentary on the Gita always arouses curiosity as to what fresh insight has been found in this much-translated and exhaustively commented upon corner-stone of Hindu philo¬sophy. What is important in studying the Gita is not to lose sight of the matrix from which it evolved: the Mahabharata.
Stella Kramrisch has spent more than half a century studying Indian art. She has authored more than half a dozen definitive studies on Indian architecture, sculpture and painting. Her insights into the mysteries of Indian meta¬physics, literature (Vedic and Puranic), and architectural and sculptural texts have been couched in a style which has lent new dimensions to critical studies relating to the arts of India.
One might be tempted to treat Dances of the Golden Hall as yet another coffee-table ‘glossy’ on the glories of Indian art, glance through the photographs and put it aside. This would be a mistake for this joint tribute by Ashoke Chatterjee and Sunil Janah to an illustrious dancer and her art is a work of ori¬ginality and brings something entirely new, surprising and refreshing into the world of art books.
This volume of selected poems by Bertolt Brecht trans¬lated into English brings into focus an aspect of Brecht’s creative writing which for a long time was not given its due importance. Brecht has gained world-wide fame as a drama¬tist, as the innovator of the epic theatre and of the ‘alie¬nation technique’ (V-Effekt).
This book is a collection of four lectures delivered at the University of Rajasthan in 1972 in the newly, instituted lecture chair named after Dr. A.G. Stock. The first three lectures were originally deli¬vered in English, and the fourth in Hindi. A very brief fifth chapter, ‘Times Hunt’, a translated section from the Hindi book Samvatsara ap-pears at the end to exemplify and wind up the issue discus¬sed.
Foreigners’’ writings about India do not easily fall into set categories. Undoubtedly the openness and hospitality of Indians—the authorities as well as the common people— makes our country a happy hunting ground for those in search of experience. It seems a pity that the reportage-fiction genre of writing by foreigners absolves its prac¬titioners from the discipline of true literature—especially the great novel—through which the mind and the world-view of the writer communi¬cates to the reader its deep encounter with the ‘lived-in’ and ‘thought-of reality of the world.
Service memoirs, if well-written, are perennial draws. They bulge with ‘inside’ stories, they are written by men who have been at the top, privy to intrigue and decision, and they also seem to termi¬nate the service man’s code of silence. The memoirs often, contain analysis and opinion that comes easier with hind¬sight. There has, therefore, been a number of such memoirs recently, mostly writ¬ten by ex-Army men.
Marion Woolfson, a journalist, has ploughed through mountains of docu¬ments to show that Zionists will stoop to any depth in order to populate Eretz Israel, their land of destiny. They will kill, torture, lie, and bomb, as long as Jews flock to Israel. They will also spread misinformation, terro¬rize innocent civilians, alter facts of history and send letter bombs to blast scientists work¬ing for their enemies.