Zoning in on a Talisman

Not too many of us may remember the journalism of the early seventies. In part because those were tumultuous and troubling times a world apart from the current obsessions with India shining or as a superpower in the making. Even as the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, was consolidating her image as a left of centre, populist and nationalist politician – via garibi hatao, bank nationalization, abolition of privy purses and, above all, inflicting a resounding defeat on Pakistan and helping the birth of Bangladesh – there were magazines that struck a critical and contrarian chord.

Competing Demand and Management Practices

In recent decades, scarcity of water has been experienced due to an increasing trend in competing demands of the different stakeholders in different countries leading to a number of conflicts within the basin, between the basins of the state and between the states and countries. It has now been aggravated manifold due to the demand from different users like agriculture and industry besides domestic water supply.

On Strategies and Limitations

Privatization of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) increasingly dominated the policy canvas for the better part of a decade until the coming of the UPA coalition. The previous BJP-led government made sweeping privatization of non-core SOEs its mission, with fair number of sales, until its denouement with the HPCL/ BPCL controversy. Thereafter, Manmohan Singh’s government pulled back the privatization reins.

Time to Bite the Bullet?

With the Indian economy rebounding strongly, there is no doubt whatsoever that this provides a favourable conjuncture to tackle its fiscal challenges decisively. GDP growth of 8.1 per cent last fiscal and a 7 percent plus trajectory in prospect in 2006-07 and beyond does provide a context for lowering the government’s fiscal and revenue deficits and reducing public debt levels relative to output. For such reasons, the recent Union budget for 2006-07 was expected to make a strong statement regarding the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s intentions to address these fiscal challenges.

Activist/Development Strategies in Micro-finance

The central issue addressed by this book, using six Indian case studies, is the impact of micro-credit (financial services for the poor) on poverty and women’s empowerment. The six case studies cover a range of organization forms. Micro-credit in India predominantly uses two group-lending models-the Self-Help Group [SHG] and the Grameen-and is usually focussed on women clients.

Multi-Layered Process of Development

This book is to be welcomed for a number of reasons. Firstly, it brings politics back into the discussion of development issues; secondly it examines industrialization as a process that transforms society (rather than viewing it as merely a numerical growth in industrial output); thirdly, by analysing the experiences of Nigeria, India, Brazil and South Korea it addresses the problems of countries with undistinguished records, in addition to that of an East Asian Tiger.

Multi-Layered Process of Development

This book is to be welcomed for a number of reasons. Firstly, it brings politics back into the discussion of development issues; secondly it examines industrialization as a process that transforms society (rather than viewing it as merely a numerical growth in industrial output); thirdly, by analysing the experiences of Nigeria, India, Brazil and South Korea it addresses the problems of countries with undistinguished records, in addition to that of an East Asian Tiger.

Love And Some Learning

Amitava Kumar is a widely admired writer, chiefly for his non-fiction work like his A Matter of Rats, a book about Patna that is as insightful as it is witty. The Lovers is his second novel, set, not unsurprisingly mainly in a university on the east coast of the US but with vivid images of Ara, the town in Bihar where the protagonist, Kailash grew up. In a BBC interview not so long ago Hanif Qureishi said, a little lugubriously, ‘ Well, all novels are about love.’

A Tale Of Love And Sacrifice

Anybody reading the blurb of the book will be forgiven for feeling a sense of déjà vu—another novel about the atrocities and indignities meted out to the widows of Vrindavan! Yes, the book does contain some harrowing accounts, but read it and you’ll realize what a tale with a twist it is.
It is a very short novel, only about a hundred pages long, but it racks the reader with its very unusual point of view. The book is about Tulsi and Madhav, two attractive, modern people.

Of Faultlines Old And New

There is a kind of anger that is necessary in the world as it is right now. It is an anger that sticks to the truth like tar to your shoe on a hot day. It is the anger that powers the best storytellers, who not only stick to the truth but sing while they do it. This is a popular stand currently, because it is powerful. We live in a time where it is possible, as chaos shifts under our feet, to break the rules we have been fed and speak out, even if only for an instant.