The late anthropologist Bernard Cohn famously referred to the Delhi Coronation Durbar as colonialism’s ‘hyperbolic historical fantasy’. There were actually three such Durbars in Delhi organized by respective colonial Viceroys, each expanding in scope and spectacle. The first was held in 1877 by Lytton, the second in 1903 by the widely unpopular Curzon.
One of the most heard-about figures in history is Asoka, the Mauryan king who ruled in the third century BCE. Ever since he was discovered in the nineteenth century by British scholars —or was it a case of invention?—he presented himself to different people in different ways.
Global Justice: Critical Perspectives contains eight articles—four of them published previously and reproduced here and four of them written specifically for this volume. Peter Singer and John Rawls’s contribution to the global justice debate roughly around 1970s and onwards remains an overlapping theme through the book.
The debate over humanitarian intervention started soon after the death of the Cold War and slowly faded, like rigor mortis. This book is a collection of essays by West European historians outraged that both its advocates and opponents either deny or are unaware that, both as concept and practice, humanitarian intervention has a long and living history.
There are groups of men around the world whose sole occupation is to plan for offensive and defensive wars; these include nuclear conflicts. Buried in Operations Directorates these contingency planners must foresee all possible threats to a country’s national security, however remote; they must also draw up military plans for promoting a country’s national interests, however fanciful. War gaming is played by them with the same earnestness as chess.
Recently, after the publication of the volume under review, parts of coastal Andhra, and to a lesser extent coastal Tamil Nadu, faced the fury of a cyclone, with considerable loss of life and property, leaving a grim trail of sorrow and suffering. But this year’s cyclone can hardly be compared with the calamity that struck the Andhra coast twenty months ago.