Mera koi hai nahinGhar mujhe chaahiye:Ghar ke bheetar prakash hoIs ki mujhe chintaa nahin hai;Prakash ke Ghere ke bheetar meraghar ho —Isi ki mujhe talaash hai.
There is nothing a Jesuit will not do, if it is humanly possible. He will cross the seas, cross deserts, climb mountains, live among aboriginals, learn strange tongues and write in them with authority. Carlos Valles and Paul Johnson are both Jesuits. Valles, a Spaniard, is a scholar in Gujarat. In 1980 he was chosen by the Gujarati Literary Academy for the prestigious Ranjitram Gold Medal.
My tiny friends, if you remember, I had mentioned in the Nov/Dec. ’87 issue of The Book Review that a wagon full of new books written by Indian authors had arrived in our book market. I wonder if you had the time to read some of them what with examinations on your head, but I delved into the wagon and guess what I found—two exciting books published recently by CBT.
The India-culture boom of post ’84 years has almost bypassed vernacular literature, the Spic Macayian increase in the tribe of Hindustani/Carnatic music and dance lovers notwithstanding. All to the credit then of editors Iqbal Narain and Lothar Lutze to take on the com¬pilation of seven papers presented at the VIII European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies (held in Sweden in 1983).
C. Bhan’s ‘Farm Mechanisation and Social Change’ and Nadkarni’s ‘Farmers’ Movements in India’ are two recent studies which focus on the impact of technological development and moder¬nization of agriculture to explore the different dimensions of social and political changes engendered by, and within, a process of agricultural moder¬nization.
The Coming of the Devi is a minutely researched and sensitively written history of the transformation of an obscure small¬pox propitiation ceremony into a move¬ment for social reform and tribal self assertion. Hardiman’s empirical investi¬gations into the origins, spread and growth of the Devi movement among the tribals and peasants of South Gujarat also addresses more general issues such as the nature of peasant consciousness and the understanding of those movements for social and political change which remained independent of elite control and initia¬tives.
Those who had known Thondup Namgyal, the late Chogyal of Sikkim, would find Nari Rustomji’s portrayal of his persona¬lity extremely interesting and readable. The personal letters reproduced reflect the conflicting trends which contributed substantially to the course of events in Sikkim. Charming and sensitive, Thondup Namgyal was human to the core.
Social change is associated with realign¬ment of individual and group interests as the economy moves from one stage to another in the course of its development. It is, therefore, axiomatic that those whose position is challenged in this pro¬cess should resist and those who feel deprived of their due entitlements make a bid for fair deal. One of the legitimate functions of the State is to ensure that these changes take place without disturb¬ing the order through the processes which are generally accepted as legitimate.
About five months before his martyrdom, Mahatma Gandhi gave us in a short sentence a key to an understanding of his complex personality and of his place in human history; he told the Shanti Seva Dal, ‘My life is my message.’ Nothing more needs to be said.
This is the full story of the military operations in Jammu & Kashmir during 9147-48 undertaken to save that princely state, which had acceded to the Union of India, from a brutal invasion by Pakistan. The year-long campaign saw many triumphs and tragedies which are narrated objectively in detail. The Indian Army and Air Force, just emerging from the throes of partition and still in the process of reorganization, emerged from the or¬deal stronger.
A timely book. Timely, since it synchro¬nized with a vigorous debate in the national press on the justification for present outlays on the armed forces and the limits of defence expenditure. This debate was engendered by the rapid escala¬tion in defence outlays for 1987-88 by as much as 43 per cent over the last financial year to over Rs. 12,000 crores.
As though to make up for the past neglect of Sri Lanka, there has been lately a spate of writing on the island and the complexities of its politics, particularly in relation to the Sinhalese-Tamil ethnic conflict. As is only to be expected in a highly sensitized situation, much of this writing specially in newspapers, tends to be either consciously or unconsciously tendentious or simplistic in its perception, whether it be of the Sinhalese-Tamil conflict or its implications for India’s Sri Lankan policy.