Books Tag

Posted On October 20, 2008By SandeepIn Commentary, Indian Politics

The White Tiger Redux

Meera beautifully weighs in with an open letter to Aravind Adiga. It proves one my pet-peeve theories that the biggest intellectual celebrity is also the one with zero commonsense. I have read much about how you came to write this book. You have been quoted as saying,” So, where’s this Shining India everyone’s talking about? It was time someone broke the myth,” and that “The world needed to see the other side of India.”Read More

Posted On October 16, 2008By SandeepIn Commentary

When an Award is not Just an Award

In the beginning of an essay on contemporary literary criticism, S.L. Bhyrappa dissects a Kannada short story, entitled Rotti (a dish made of rice flour) and cites numerous similar stories written in that vein. He observes that the story, like U.R. Anantha Murthy’s novel, Bharatipura is merely a filler of a pre-set pattern, a template. The template: various methods of oppressing the working class (in India the template is modified only to mean class=caste), their plight thereof, and some solutions. But those were the ’70s when the stranglehold of CommunismRead More

Posted On September 19, 2008By SandeepIn Indian Politics

Reexamining False Heroes

I know Nehru’s legacy as a person, patriot, freedom fighter, and Prime Minister has been examined to death. By both his admirers and arch-critics. In the Indian landscape of the history-political books, the Nehru-as-God books severely outnumber those that critically examine him. The “critical editions” are mostly not subject to review. For example, a book like Genesis and Growth of Nehruism still remains in cold storage, inaccessible in print, and generally ignored. For all purposes, criticism of Nehru remains confined to stray, forgotten articles, or preserved in a few excellentRead More

Posted On August 19, 2008By SandeepIn Commentary, Indian Politics, Media Watch

Spare the Comics, Dammit!

It takes tremendous amounts of grotesque perversity to detect ulterior, sinister motives behind producing children’s comics. That’s perhaps why it takes only a Tehelka to do the job. Their target is the Amar Chitra Katha series of comics that educated millions of children mostly about India’s history and mythology. ACK is a case study of how to make history-teaching to kids as an activity they enjoy, and look forward to. But in Tehelka’s world, it is tantamount to brainwashing the kids with dangerous, nationalist, and communal food. Excerpts follow. TheRead More

Posted On August 10, 2008By SandeepIn Abrahamism, Commentary, Media Watch, Tracking Leftism

Academic Terrorists

Goes by the name of Denise Spellberg. Starting in 2002, Spokane, Wash., journalist Sherry Jones toiled weekends on a racy historical novel about Aisha, the young wife of the prophet Muhammad. Ms. Jones learned Arabic, studied scholarly works about Aisha’s life, and came to admire her protagonist as a woman of courage. When Random House bought her novel last year in a $100,000, two-book deal, she was ecstatic. This past spring, she began plans for an eight-city book tour after the Aug. 12 publication date of "The Jewel of Medina"Read More

Posted On April 13, 2008By SandeepIn Indian Philosophy

Who Wrote This?

The Mohammadan conquest with its propagandist work and later the Christian missionary movement attempted to shake the stability of Hindu society and in an age deeply conscious of instability, authority naturally became the rock on which alone it seemed that social safety and ethical order could be reared. The Hindu, in face of the clash of cultures fortified himself with conventions and barred all entry to invading ideas. There were no longer any thinkers but only scholars who refused to strike new notes and were content to raise echoes ofRead More

Posted On March 15, 2008By SandeepIn Indian Philosophy, Tracking Leftism

Ramanujan’s Ramayana

The old suspect, A.K. Ramanujan emerges out of the woodwork on Outlook’s pages. The magazine’s leader to this article says: …in a pocket of the Delhi University, right-wing student activists have taken exception to this essay by the celebrated scholar A.K. Ramanujan, on the many Ramayanas living across languages and narrative genres, each different but no less legitimate than Valmiki’s epic. Given that right-wingers are always at fault, let’s see what this inebriated celebrated essay says. The Outlook essay is a condensed form of the complete version found here. WhereRead More

Posted On December 31, 2007By SandeepIn Uncategorized

Book Review: Exodus

When it was first published, Exodus deservedly became an instant bestseller. In a brief period after its publication, it was translated into 50 languages. It remains an enduring, classic saga of the Jews, who as the book shows, "return home." That Leon Uris has poured passion into the book is apparent on every page.Exodus is almost an epic narrative of the history of Jews beginning somewhere in the late 1900s right up to 1948 when Israel was formally born. It is narrated through the spirit, deeds, and achievements of aboutRead More

Posted On August 22, 2007By SandeepIn Indian Philosophy

Book Review: Autobiography of a Yogi

My circle of friends is as large and varied as the interests, hobbies and passions of each person in that circle. There’s no one, absolutely no one there who hasn’t heard of or read the classic Autobiography of a Yogi.Read More
Shashi Tharoor is a delightful novelist. I loved his Riot not just for its unique experiment in structure and form but for the author’s skillful treatment of a delicate subject. I wish Tharoor displays a bit of that in his columns and sundry articles. Sadly, he doesn’t. Blame it on his St. Stephen’s pedigree. I suspect that institution mysteriously indoctrinates its spring chicken in Political Correctness 101. The ideas, and pattern of thought of every Stephens luminary alumni are systemmatically uniform. From Tharoor to Pankaj Mishra, every Stephens star thinksRead More
Our cops seem to be eager to perfectly fit the mould that Bollywood/Indian cinema has set for them. The Hyderabad police have registered a case against controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who was recently attacked by workers of Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) in Hyderabad, for allegedly creating ill-feeling among communities. The writer has been booked under IPC Section 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, language etc) on a complaint registered by MIM legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi, police said. The best we can say in theirRead More
Aavarana is a book Indian secular intellectuals love to hate but cannot ignore. The “average reader” (which increasingly means someone endowed with commonsense, a healthy sense of balance, and has not mortgaged brains at the ideological altar) chose to respond differently. In the miniscule market for Kannada fiction, Aavarna has seen nine reprints in just four months since it was first published in February this year. This however, is not a significant measure of its success. Aavarana owes its success by justifying what its title signifies.Read More