Religion in India with all its complications has been a subject of study for social scientists from a range of disciplines including sociology, history and politics. Iyer underlines an economic approach to the study of religion which ‘involves the application of economic theory and statistical methods to evaluate the role of religion in society at both micro and macro levels’(p. 11).
It is rare to find books which are easy to read even though they are dealing with relatively non-readable topics such as Fiscal management, Institutional development and Policy formulation. This book, while it pulls no punches on these usually convoluted issues, is both lucidly simple and yet packed with information, which is presented in a very readable manner.
The much-defeated citadel of Delhi was little more than desolation. The Persian ruler Nadir Shah had bled the city. And what remained had been plundered by the rapacious hordes led by the Afghan, Ahmad Shah Durrani. Delhi could barely sustain a population much less afford the patronage of the arts. By the end of the eighteenth century Delhi was no more.
Of the seven books written by Swami Sahajanand Saraswati in the Hazaribagh Central Jail between 19 April 1940 and 7 March 1942, Mera Jeevan Sangharsh or The Struggle of My Life is the most important in terms of style, substance and historical significance. First in the series, he ‘started working on it the moment he reached the Hazaribagh jail’ (p. 355), the manuscript was completed within eight months in December 1940 and covers his recounting…
Photojournalists, press photographers, amateurs, followers and family members visually documented Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s life in great detail. Many of these photographs are housed in specialized archives, the National Gandhi Museum being a leading repository. Based on several photographs displayed at an exhibition organized by the National Gandhi Museum and the India International Centre and curated primarily by Aparna Basu, Gandhi’s Vision
Few texts in history have generated as much debate around philosophical and ethical issues as did the ancient Indian text named the Mahabharata. Its huge size, encyclopaedic nature, and openness in discourse has turned the Mahabharata into an archive of diverse thoughts and viewpoints prevalent in early India, alongside the extensive period of the composition of the text, ranging over a millennium if not more.
Dev Lahiri’s book is a slim, easy read on the complex and multi-layered topic of school education in India. The author draws from his vast experience of over four decades as a teacher, principal and educator, both in India and abroad. The book is replete with real, and often funny anecdotes from his stint in various schools and his sense of humour and ‘joie de vivre’ come across in many parts of the book.
The notion of professional ethics in the realm of higher education emerges because it is being recognized that professors and instructors are the one (and in many countries the only) group of teachers who are not required to be trained, educated, certified and licensed to teach. Therefore, they clearly have no structured opportunity to learn about the professional ethics of their roles and responsibilities as teachers.
According to a study con¬ducted by a United Nations Commission (1980), women form one-third of the total world labour force and do most of the unpaid work. But they receive only ten per cent of the world income and own less than one per cent of the world property.
The book under review here is not just one of the many narratives available on the life of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Instead Shazi Zaman’s Akbar deftly treads on the line that demarcates historical facts and fiction. It is difficult to categorize the novel as a work of Historical Fiction, because the narrative encapsulates a vivid account of the reign of Akbar by careful amalgamation of historical facts with fanciful legends (also recorded in history).
There is a relentless quest to retrieve and recreate the past by dwelling on authentic tales from history and society. The recovery of lost tradition and the emphasis on a need for female tradition in literature has been widely acknowledged. Sahela Re by Mrinal Pande is a novel that traces the tradition of women’s voices in classical Indian music.
The rich literary and historical trajectory of Maithili language and its recognition as a distinct identity, both linguistic and cultural-political have been well documented and examined in Mithilesh Kumar Jha’s Language Politics and Public Sphere in North India: Making of the Maithili Movement. It is a sophisticated and well-argued work cutting across the disciplinary boundaries of History, Sociology, Political Science, Cultural Studies and Linguistics.
Contraries lead to progression, so goes the old Blakean adage. Alongside the growth of science, technology and phenomenal strides made over centuries in intellectual thought process, revolutions, political coups, military wars and communal strife have played their part in reorienting notions of ‘progress’ and ‘welfare’. In a similar vein, dissent and questioning have long occupied a rightful place in any civil society, albeit in varying degrees and effect.
An indefatigable experimenter with genre and form, Udayan Vajpeyi has written poetry (Kuchh Vakya, Paagal Ganitagya ki Kavitayen), short stories (collected in Sudeshna, Door Desh ki Gandh, Saatvan Button), essays and travelogues (Charkhe par Badhat, Janagarh Kalam, Patjhar ke Paon ki Mehandi), scripts (for Kumar Shahane’s films), and adaptations (of Uttararamacharitam and Abhijnanashakuntalam).
The great modernist writer Dharamvir Bharati has enjoyed much critical acclaim in translation and/or adaptation into several languages including English. Outside the Hindi world, he is celebrated most notably for stage and film adaptations of his verse play Andha Yug and the novel Suraj ka Satvan Ghoda. Most general Hindi readers also know and love him as the editor of Dharmyug, one of the bestselling middlebrow magazines in Hindi.
It is a stupendous achievement by any yardstick, putting together the English translation of 299 to be exact of Premchand’s short stories in a collection spread over four volumes. If we add to this the work of excavation in two important Indian languages—Urdu and Hindi—for Premchand’s published and unpublished stories, and then translate into English after judicious comparison, it adds a significant research dimension to this work of translation and editing.
The Tale of the Missing Man, the newly published translation of Manzoor Ahtesham’s Dastan e lapata is strikingly prescient. Originally published in Hindi in 1995, Ulrike Stark and Jason Grunebaum’s translation brings Ahtesham’s masterpiece to an English reading audience at a time when the relations between the Indian state and Muslims are once again at the heart of the political debate.
Sheoraj Singh ‘Bechain’, currently Professor in the Department of Hindi, University of Delhi, was born in a family of Chamars in Nadrauli, in the Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh. He cleared his matriculation in 1978 at the age of 18, with extraordinary resilience, courage and determination, surmounting a heart-breaking period of social isolation, family alienation, extreme physical hardship, hunger and poverty.