Is America Witnessing a White Revolution? – Firoze Hirjikaka

When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States in June 2015, the first public reaction was incredulity tinged with amusement. After the initial shock, ordinary Americans began to like the idea. Heck, the Republican convention was still 12 months away; so why not have some fun along the way. If Americans had learned one thing about Trump, he was unpredictable; and a bit batty. Perhaps he imagined he could overcome the other Republican candidates in the field, by pointing his finger and telling them “You’re fired”.  It would be a refreshing change from the boring political speeches they were used to anyway. Continue reading

Will Democracy Ever Happen in China?

N. S. Venkataraman

Twenty-seven years ago, Chinese military tanks rolled into the Tiananmen Square in Beijing to crush pro-democracy protests in China.  Thousands of unarmed activists and civilians were killed. While the world was shocked at this ruthless and merciless act, the communist leadership in China remained unconcerned about world opinion and did not care what the world thought regarding its actions. Continue reading

Farthest Field – An Indian Story of the Second World War

FF 2015 Cover - KARNAD BOOK

Author : Raghu Karnad

Publishers : Harper Collins, Noida, U.P.

Year of Publication:2015; Pages:320; Price:Rs.550

Reviewed by : K. S. Nair

Raghu Karnad’s Farthest Field – An Indian Story of the Second World War was published in mid-2015.  So this review is a little late, but the book and its content remain eminently worthwhile subjects for discussion.  It is, in some important ways, different from many other books on the subject.

Farthest Field, essentially, follows the lives of Karnad’s grand-father, and two of his grand-father’s brothers-in-law, all three of whom served during the Second World War. One each joined the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Medical Service (the organization delivering medical services to the armed forces of India which, till the late 1930s, was a separate military organization).  Almost hilariously mirroring today’s Indian middle-class obsessions for children’s careers, Karnad’s three protagonists are a doctor, an engineer and a pilot.  The book covers their individual stories, ranges widely over the historic background, wonderfully captures the feel of the times, and delivers a masterful summary of the Indian contribution to the Second World War.  Continue reading

Different Shades of White

Christie Davies

When staying in a hotel at Bhopal I found in the bathroom, nestling next to the shampoo and the shower gel, a third little jar marked “Ayurvedic Skin Lightening Lotion”.  As a pale skinned Welshman designed for a gloomy climate, it was the last thing I needed.  After a day of walking in the fierce sunlight of India, I was only too conscious of the problems encountered by people with Celtic skins.  I knew of course that it was not intended for me, or indeed my English wife, but for the many Indian ladies striving to become a slightly lighter, comely shade of brown.  My Indian readers will know the matrimonial advertisements – filling entire pages of Indian newspapers and magazines – where parents try to stress how fair skinned the would-be bride is.  The phrase “wheat-coloured” is particularly popular. Continue reading

A Governors’ Raj

BOOK - A Governors' Raj

A Governors’ Raj – British Administration during Lord Irwin’s Viceroyalty, 1926-1931

Author : Michael Fenwick Macnamara

Sage Publications (I) Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi; Year:2015; Pages:250; Price:Rs.895

Reviewed by Brig. Suresh C. Sharma (retd.), freelance writer and advisor to the telecom industry.  E-mail: sureshsharma236@yahoo.com 

The British were foreign conquerors and ruled India for their own benefit. The rule also brought benefits of railways, canals and improved agriculture to the people. Along with military subjugation, they talked of Independence too. The author examines the papers of Lord Irwin, Viceroy of India, during 1926 to 1931 to explore the truth of these perceptions and the role played by the governors in the administration.   Continue reading

Billion Dollar Plan

This article is based on an interview published in the online issue of Mint-on-Sunday, March 27, 2016.  Persons working in the field of public policy were asked to draw up a plan of what they would do if they are given One Billion Dollars! 

We bring you some highlights of Mrs. Meera Sanyal’s vision of the policy initiatives she would undertake with a billion dollar, with specific reference to Mumbai, her hometown. Continue reading