At a time when India is seen, rightly or wrongly, as intensely engaged in an effort to get closer and closer to the United States, it is useful to read this book by the wellknown journalist and author Kalyani Shankar. The principal theme is how Indira Gandhi was crafty enough to outwit Richard Nixon, himself a superb practitioner of the wicked art of realpolitik, in the context of the 1971 war between India and Pakistan bringing into being Bangladesh. Those of us who are old enough do have an idea of how Indira Gandhi did it.
This earnest and thoughtful volume is invaluable, not least because it brought back to the present reviewer the presence of Professor K.J. Shah, the first philosopher who connected emerging approaches to purushartha, including his own, to Gandhijis thought and praxis. Parel himself discusses in the introduction K.J. Shahs work on Gandhi.
The slight sarcasm added in the subtitle to Environmental History,as if nature existed, triggers questions for the reader of this volume. Why as if? Are we to be taken en route through a landscape of perceptions and constructions, or are we brought to see the raw realities behind benign conservation regimes? Or is this a question for the environmental historian, an initial word of caution not to take nature for granted in our analyses?
Since the inception of the discipline, there has been a close link between archaeology and the state. This was the case since the early decades of the nineteenth century when archaeology was both an imperial project and a military endeavour, often an offshoot of colonial policies and which included their relationships with the colonized subjects.
From the desert state of Arizona in the U.S., a researcher was drawn to the printed word emerging from this small region called Goa. Donna J. Young tells Frederick Noronha what made her look at the literature of this distant land, and why she found Goan writing (primarily in English, which she studied) to be interesting.
Zadie Smith in her collection, Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays has a piece where she talks of the craft of writing.In ‘The Crafty Feeling’, Smith says that it is when the writer reaches a point called the ‘middle’ that the novel and the experience of writing it begin to totally consume her. She has to finish writing it, and sees nothing else.