Khushwant Singh

Sahibs who loved India? Khushwant Singh didn’t know too many. I knew four sahibs who loved India so much that they stayed on after independence, lived and died in India and called this country their home.

Reviewed by: Bunny Suraiya
Satish Alekar

Satish Alekar’s best plays are like jigsaw puzzles in which not all the pieces are designed to fit in exactly. Some do, some don’t seem to, but no piece is random. The action often proceeds at a tangent to what the words are saying; the narrative gets refracted through subplots which seem unrelated.

Reviewed by: Anjum Katyal
Jahnavi Barua

Next Door is a collection of eleven short stories by Jahnavi Barua, recently published by Penguin India. Set for the most part in the valley of the Brahmaputra in Assam, these stories deal with extraordinary events in the lives of ordinary people living there.

Reviewed by: Mitra Phukan
Uma Chakravarty

Uma Chakravarty’s chatty yet sound introduction is the highlight of this collection of novellas. She cautions against the nineteenth century labelling of the novel as a lighter genre that women not only read but even write.

Reviewed by: Nivedita Sen
J.P. Das

The laconic, understated style of the book is prefigured in the titles of the stories: not only the title story, but ten of the eleven pieces that make up the volume have cryptic titles like ‘Responsibility’ ‘Eyes’ The Image’, ‘The Balance’ and so on.

Reviewed by: Meenakshi Mukherjee
Rosinka Chaudhuri

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio (1809–31), a Eurasian of Portuguese Indian ancestry, has been described as the first Indian poet to unleash the Age of ‘Modernity’. Derozio has been traditionally portrayed as a harbinger of ‘Indian Renaissance’ by many a critic.

Reviewed by: G.N. Saibaba

In a literary landscape dominated by prose and the prosaic, poetry has become an imaginative-aesthetic rarity; a kind of aesthetic insertion that is at a discount amidst the prosaic sensibility of the present.

Reviewed by: Anup Beniwal
Lokesh Chandra

This is an extraordinary book, and its author, Lokesh Chandra is an extraordinary man; combining esoteric learning and an active public life in a characteristically Indian mode.

Reviewed by: Laila Tyabji
Sumit Ganguly, Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner

Indian democracy is perhaps the most-discussed academic theme in contemporary scholarship. Reasons for this are many. There is undoubtedly the growing consolidation of values in support of socio-political processes endorsing vox populi or the voice of the people.

Reviewed by: Bidyut Chakrabarty
Autar S. Dhesi and Gurmail Singh

Punjab’s economy experienced phenomenal growth since the 1960s but its agricultural sector is now facing an acute crisis, raising serious questions about future sustainability in development.

Reviewed by: Anita Gill Agnihotri
R. Swaminathan

On occasions Gujarat’s development and growth scenarios look enviable but at the same time, it is also perceived as an enigma. How is this state able to attract investments and at the same time invest outside the state substantially? In every nook and corner of the world one can find a Gujarati, yet in some sectors notably in education there is a shortage of qualified manpower.

Reviewed by: R. Parthasarathy
Prabhat Patnaik

Several great divides in economic theories including that between liberal traditions of the ‘classical’ school and ‘marginalist’ theories of neo-classical tradition could not capture the essential division in the theoretical constructs of analysing capitalism.

Reviewed by: Satyaki Roy
Sachidananda Mohanty

Sachidananda Mohanty’s compilation, so far as I am aware, is the fifth such work to be published in the space of the last thirty years or so. Of these, the earliest to arrive was the compilation of Manoj Das (1972) followed by those of Peter Heehs (1998, 2005) and Makarand Paranjape (1999).

Reviewed by: Amiya P. Sen
Ishita Banerjee-Dube and Saurabh Dube

Mexico City is among the most distant places from India where Indian history and culture are taught and studied. The Centre for Asian and African Studies, part of El Colegio de México which was founded as the ‘Casa de España’ in 1938 with the purpose to offer a place of study to Spanish intellectuals who had fled the civil war in their country, is the largest and most prestigious of its kind in Latin America.

Reviewed by: Michael Gottlob
Edwin Hirschmann

Twenty-two year old ‘Mr Knight, Merchant’ caught a glimpse of the Empire’s underbelly even as he stepped off the steamer that brought him to Bombay on 8 October, 1847.

Reviewed by: Ulrike Stark
Sri Ram Sharma

The year 2007 was celebrated in India as the 150th anniversary of the Great Uprising of 1857 by the state and the community of Indian historians with much fanfare. Seminars were held all over the country to celebrate the event.

Reviewed by: Anirudh Deshpande
Alice Albinia

Alice Albinia’s book Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River brings to life almost all major episodes in the long history of human settlements along the river Indus. The river rises on the northern slopes of Mt. Kailash in the Gangdise range of the Himalayas in the region of Tibet.

Reviewed by: Srimanjari