The word city has become synonymous with crisis. The unplanned chaos and the complete inability of the various city planning authorities to cope with the urbanization process in India has resulted in this crisis. It requires great commitment and vision to see beyond the sprawling urban cities of India to a future where a balance is achieved between rural and urban life.
The last two decades have witnessed an emergence of Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) in India as a significant concern in inter/national policy discourse and initiatives. Incidentally, this period has also been one of liberalization and globalization of the Indian economy.
It has been about eight months since Apple co-founder and longtime CEO Steve Jobs died, and the adulation he received in life has not receded even in death. After all, the character of the company he helped build—how it stood for a quirky, independent alternative to the gigantic and frankly bland Microsoft—was a rallying point for so many people fed up with Windows computers, Microsoft’s lack of innovative software and general Big Corporation mindset. Of course, that is not to forget the much more recent innovations in the form of the iPod, iPhone and iPad—so popular and trendy that the prefix ‘i’ has become almost synonymous with modernity and innovation.
Like every great newspaper, the Hindu has accreted to itself legends of various kinds illumining its unique qualities. My own favourite is the one told me by the late Professor Bhaskaran ‘Oh! the Hindu! They won’t print an obituary without first checking with the deceased.’
Stephen Hawking, the retired Lucasian Professor at Cambridge is without doubt the most well known scientist in the world. Much like the image of the white haired Einstein with the mischievous smile came to signify the Atomic Age for most people, Hawking is the public face of high brow science in our times.
The publication of the set of papers presented at the International Society for Metaphysics at Vishwa Bharati in 1976 should be welcome to all students of philosophy and perhaps more so to those who have no specialization in the subject. As one belonging to the second category but deeply interested in the implications of the discovery of science on philosophy have been greatly stimulated by these sets of essays which cover a wide range of subjects.
In the year 1996, Jatin Das, the much celebrated painter, sculptor, muralist and poet, created the Flight of Steel. Commissioned by the Bhilai Steel Plant, the Flight of Steel was one of the largest sculptures ever made by the artist. Forged out of steel with the help of engineers and welders from the Steel Plant, it stood on a roundabout in Bhilai City, in what was then Madhya Pradesh. In March 2012, on a visit back to Bhilai City, the sculptor was in for a nasty shock: the sculpture had vanished from the roundabout, and was rumoured to have been moved piecemeal to a zoo.
The present discourse on Capitalism has two kinds of people, a pessimist and an optimist. A pessimist is one who says, ‘things are so bad that it cannot get any worse’, an optimist is the one who butts in here and says ‘wait, it can..’; well when an economic system can be reduced to the previous joke, it is certainly time to transform the system.
My first reaction to this book was shock and horror: Shock that the subject needed such a monumental tome to do justice to it. And horror that there were so many birds that required special care and protection—like patients in a rather large intensive care unit. The genesis of the book is interesting.
This is one of those books that puts a reviewer in a dilemma. It is so promising in its design and intent that one is tempted to characterize it as a near classic, but in its execution it leaves one dissatisfied. Of course, to say this is not to criticize the book, but merely to suggest the level that the book could have attained.
To give the essays in this collection a unifying theme, the editor raises what is perhaps the most interesting question about the historical experience of India in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: How did the British manage to stay so long? For they did stay a long time in comparison with the record of most imperial rulers in India and elsewhere.