This book is one among a number of recent publications dealing with various aspects of the origin and development of Muslim communal politics during the national movement. Many of these—for example, Sheila Sen’s work on Bengal, A.K. Gupta’s book on the N.W.F.P and Francis Robinson’s work on the growth of Muslim separatism in the United Provinces—deal not only with specific periods but only with given regions.
In its skeletal form Swarga is the story of an environmental crime that occurred in Kerala; an account based on the author Mangad’s observations. It is a true story of the horrors inflicted on the environment by the official use of endosulfan—a banned insecticide and acaricide—that was sprayed to destroy the ‘tea-mosquito’ a nonexistent pest that supposedly destroyed plants. The real reason was that endosulphan was beneficial to the growth of Kerala’s lush cashew plantations, all of them owned by the higher echelons of society.
Awell-intentioned anthology of literary pieces from different genres and across several Indian languages by Dalit writers, excerpted and made available in English translation, this latest offering from the Oxford University Press adds a new creation: a text-book to the growing corpus of Dalit Writings.
Rajesh Kumar’s translation of Ranendra’s Global Gaon Ke Devta (itself just 100 pages) is in unpretentious Indian English. Spiced up with local dialect, it’s an easily-acquired taste. You soon find out that what this thin book contains is an endeavour to melt down a mountain of memories and extract the here-and-now from an ancient civilizational predicament.
There is a growing interest among western scholars in various aspects of South Asian languages, in general, and in Urdu in particular. However, the book under review is least about Hindi (Nagari), and very much less about what came to be known after Partition in 1947, as Pakistan. This is rather an exploration of ‘the history of Urdu literature as a sociological phenomenon’.
Editing an anthology has always been a risky proposition. One can hardly predict from which perspective the readers will look at, educationists receive and the critics evaluate it: of academic value, the representation of genres, movements and authors or the overall approach reflected in the introduction and the contents.
Yeravedekar and Tiwari have presented an insightful argument towards the need for strengthening the internationalization of higher education in India. Their rich experience as scholars as well as administrators in India and abroad has contributed to the development of meaningful insights in locating education in India within the context of neighbouring countries and the world at large.
It is hard to remember a time when ‘Higher Education’ in India was not in a ‘state of crisis’. It is equally difficult to meet a ‘stakeholder’ in the system—student, teacher, administrator, policy maker, prospective employer, educational entrepreneur, consultant or lobbyist—who would not complain about how ineffective, inefficient, corrupt, expensive, exploitative, unjust, unimaginative and soul crushing the system is. All of them concur that the existing order is unviable.
In a country where audio and filmic documentation of theatre is abysmally poor, Badal Sircar will perhaps be remembered primarily as a playwright simply because we don’t have nearly enough record of his plays in performance for future generations, and what we have is not of very good quality.