The book, the dust jacket claims, is the first ever collection of long Hindi poems written in our time. The poets whose works are included are Agyeya, Muktibodh, Dharmvira Bharati, Raghuvir Sahai, Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Dhoomil, Amrita Bharati, Baldeo Vanshi, Mani Madhukar and Leeladhar Jagoodi.
It may sound ironical but the fact is that the production of literature on human rights as well as human rights violations is moving at the same pace. There is no dearth of Human Rights literature in India. However, the available literature can broadly be divided into two categories, academic and non-academic, the latter mostly comprising journalistic works, reports by rights groups and bodies.
Moynihan is full of bounce and breeze in this 300-page account of his stewardship of American interests in the United Nations for eight months, July ‘75 to February ’76. It pullulates with controversies, but for an author whose background is trumpetted to be one of research and analysis, these are surprisingly built on many wrong premises and unsatisfactory data.
To use a cliche, something Pothan Joseph abhorred, he was an institution by himself. Among the ‘greats’ of Indian journalism, during a period when giants abounded in the Indian press unlike at present, Joseph was as much admired and loved for his personal qualities as he was respected for his writing skill.
Very few political leaders in the world, not to talk about a woman, have attained such iconic stature, fame and received so many laurels as the symbol of democracy and freedom as that of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, who has made enormous sacrifices, including her own family life and spent her best years in captivity, to see democracy, freedom and betterment of life of her countrymen fulfilled in the face of a brutal authoritarian military junta.
Partho Datta’s book turns out to be a particularly instructive read in a city struck by an epidemic of dengue and viral fevers in an August of disappeared monsoons, the spread of the vector and virus linked in no small degree to civic mismanagement and lapses in public health administration.
The Rebellion of 1857 has elicited a relentless flow of academic and popular responses, scholarly as well as polemical works, though unarguably, the fiftieth (1907), hundredth (1957) and hundred and fiftieth anniversaries (2007) have generated exemplary interventions on the nature, internal contradictions as well as inhering diversities of 1857.
At a time when it has become fashionable in some academic circles to champion the cause of empire as a guarantee of global stability, at a time when Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s influential Empire seeks to make colonialism respectable by advocating the notion of a ‘centreless Empire’, at a time when we are being told by apologists such as Niall Ferguson that imperialism has been a benign historical force, Partha Chatterjee’s important book, Black Hole of Empire, reminds us that empire is ultimately about lies, deceit and violence.