All the three books under review deal with significant dimensions of Indian social structure and are works of noted social -anthropologists. Notwithstanding the inevitable overlaps, I propose to discuss them successively in the order in which they are listed.
‘Today’s children want everything about everything—and right away too. Keeping this in mind, Pustak Mahal of Delhi has brought out the Children’s Knowledge Bank in six volumes…. The question and answer format with an illustration is one of the best ways, to give young children basic information on various subjects and thus develop a healthy interest in books and reading’—Pioneer, Lucknow.
Small, insignificant provincial towns enjoy brief moments of prominence when they are catapulted on to the centre-stage of the country’s attention. The reason is a combination of people and events which culminates in outbreaks of violence in previously peaceful environs.
It has been well and truly said: Bhagwan Rajneesh is his worst enemy. He is the agent provocateur of the first order. It is not that he is out to provoke people for the sake of provoking them, though, one suspects that he does, too, for effect. Plainly, the man believes in what he says. And there lies the difficulty of all those who want to take him seriously. He seems to say: ‘Don’t take me too seriously. I am enjoying myself watching your discomfiture’.
It is intriguing as to why Penguins chose this book for inclusion for the first lot of six books with which they started their operations in this part of the globe last year. First, this book was originally published by Vanguard Press Inc., in New York five years ago. This particular publisher is one of the many book-publishing (packaging) racketeers in New York. This outfit for purely mercenary considerations lends its NY.
A handy paperback version of the original collection published in 1973 by the Uni-versity of California in 1973, this collec¬tion remains neither modern nor truly representative of the short story trend in Modern Hindi. Perhaps the ‘modern’ in the title could have been defined in a subtitle indicating the years which this collection represents.
We have from the author of Circle of Reason (1986) a square, a cube, a tantalizingly misarranged Rubik Cube of Emotion. Action and reaction in Amitav Ghosh’s The Shadow Lines do not follow or justify each other. They are caused by and influence events that are widely dis¬tanced in space and time. Relationships are established and broken by acts, feel¬ings and thoughts that belong to other arenas, other theatres, other times.
It is sixteen years ago that I’ had the opportunity to be introduced to George Sioris’ interest in the comparative study of Japanese and Greek Mythology, when he presented his paper, ‘Two Char¬acteristic Similarities in Japanese and Greek Mythology, Amaterasu and the Cave, Persepone and the Underworld—Demeter’ at the International Conference on Japanese Studies held in Kyoto, Japan in November 1972.
Of late, studies on socio-economic history of the peninsular India, especially of the regions that were under the Colas and later under the Vijayanagara rulers have received a great fillip with the adoption of new conceptual frameworks that were not employed by scholars till recently. Attempts made by K.A. Nilakanta Sastri, Appadorai, B.A. Saletore, T.V. Mahalingam, Kenneth R. Hall and a few others to throw light on the socio-economic aspects of peninsular India during the medieval period have been re-examined by foreign scholars like Burton Stein and Naboru Karashima.
The November 1987 Kathmandu Summit ‘ of the leaders of the SAARC countries seems to have accepted the principle that efforts of these countries to operationalize ‘regional cooperation can only be helped – by including the economic dimensions of regional cooperation at some future date in the official SAARC action plan.
Many serious writings in Chinese journals during the last two years have started characterizing the emerging poli¬tical economy in China as ‘Market Socialism’. This new formulation refers to a system where there is planned econo¬mic development but it is at the same time responsive to the market; the princi¬ple of distribution is ‘each according to his work’, but interpreted as adequately giving material incentives for higher labour productivity; and while public ownership remains predominant, diverse forms including cooperative, individual and joint forms of ownership would be promoted.