The word city has become synonymous with crisis. The unplanned chaos and the complete inability of the various city planning authorities to cope with the urbanization process in India has resulted in this crisis. It requires great commitment and vision to see beyond the sprawling urban cities of India to a future where a balance is achieved between rural and urban life.
Like every great newspaper, the Hindu has accreted to itself legends of various kinds illumining its unique qualities. My own favourite is the one told me by the late Professor Bhaskaran ‘Oh! the Hindu! They won’t print an obituary without first checking with the deceased.’
The publication of the set of papers presented at the International Society for Metaphysics at Vishwa Bharati in 1976 should be welcome to all students of philosophy and perhaps more so to those who have no specialization in the subject. As one belonging to the second category but deeply interested in the implications of the discovery of science on philosophy have been greatly stimulated by these sets of essays which cover a wide range of subjects.
This is one of those books that puts a reviewer in a dilemma. It is so promising in its design and intent that one is tempted to characterize it as a near classic, but in its execution it leaves one dissatisfied. Of course, to say this is not to criticize the book, but merely to suggest the level that the book could have attained.
To give the essays in this collection a unifying theme, the editor raises what is perhaps the most interesting question about the historical experience of India in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: How did the British manage to stay so long? For they did stay a long time in comparison with the record of most imperial rulers in India and elsewhere.
A Brief History
THE HIMALAYA AS A FRONTIER
By Ram Rahul
Vikas, New Delhi, 1978, pp. 154, Rs. 36.00
VOLUME III NUMBER 5 March/April 1979
The title of this book is something of a misnomer. After India and China clashed in 1962 to establish their respective claims over their frontiers in the Himalayas interested scholars in their quest to find out the truth about the different claims started vigorous research to trace out the history of the Sino-Indian frontier in the Himalayan region at least since the Simla Conference of 1914 when the boundary between Tibet and North East India was settled.
The metamorphosis of Sino-Indian interaction into a developing adversary relationship from 1959 onwards and the climax of this process which was reached in 1962, when Peking resorted to a military option and out-manoeuvred New Delhi in a border war, has been a subject of study from several points of view, both by Indian and foreign scholars.
The world over, the bureaucracy is fair game for anyone who wants to have a go at it. Very few institutions have been as reviled, jeered at and abused as continuously as the bureaucracy. Not that it is entirely unwarranted, as anyone who has had to go to a Government office and deal with forms or permits knows. And because most people cannot avoid the bureaucracy, a book which rails at it will always be read with interest.