Looking at ‘India’ from the long-drawn historical point of view, it is a country (and an idea as well) that has primarily grown by accretion. The inclusion and subsequent exclusion of Burma both were peripheral colonial acts. The Partition of India in 1947 was significantly different inasmuch as it was made by the peoples of India as much as by the colonial power. Before the country was divided, the peoples of India had become divided through their own numerous acts of commission and omission.
Visalakshi Menon has given us a fascinating story of a political party at the crossroads. Having spearheaded an anti-imperialist movement and had its cadres languish in colonial jails, it debates whether to assume office and eventually forms governments in eight provinces of British India.
This collection of lectures organized by the Nehru Centre, Mumbai, two years ago to reassess the relevance of Jawaharlal Nehru of the modern world makes pleasant reading. The writers are all well-known experts on politics, foreign policy, national security and modern Indian history.
Satish Alekar’s best plays are like jigsaw puzzles in which not all the pieces are designed to fit in exactly. Some do, some don’t seem to, but no piece is random. The action often proceeds at a tangent to what the words are saying; the narrative gets refracted through subplots which seem unrelated.
Krishnan Srinivasan has worked at high levels in the Foreign Service and the Commonwealth Secretariat. He has spent several years in Africa where he seems to have acquired an insider’s perspective into the shuffle and elbowing that go by the name of diplomacy in most countries. This is Srinivasan’s second book, which he describes as his prequel to The Eccentric Effect, published in 2001.