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Revisiting the legacy of free India’s founding fathers… In the Indian context, these could entail the prospects that could have ensued if Vallabhbhai Patel had been free India’s first prime minister instead of Jawaharlal Nehru, or if Subhas Chandra Bose had sta… The Lal Masjid stand-off in 2007 after abduction of some Chinese citizens and the bloody clearing-up operation was a watershed for Pakistan, triggering open conflict between Islamist extremists and security fo… Written by two IAS officers, ‘The Queen Could Sing’ narrates five different stories in an inimitable style. The delightful verses, fired by a childlike imagination, sparkle with wit, humour and archaic characterizations, instantly c… Less than half a dozen cities, almost all ports, of the British Empire are enough to give a vivid idea of character, rise and fall over two centuries, says British politician, historian and writer Tristram Hunt. The Zamorin—ruler of the kingdom of K??ikk??u in modern-day Kerala—left an indelible mark on world history when he welcomed Vasco da Gama in 1498. But a few centuries earlier, the Zamorin was only … As an Indian diplomat in Karachi, Prabhu Dayal once had an opportunity to “break the ice” with two counter-intelligence agents tasked to tail him everywhere – like the little lamb that always follo… The moment we try to erase differences instead of accepting them, it creates problems. This is because human beings are programmed to differ and no two persons can be the same, said noted    They were two years that may have decided the fate of the Mughal empire, and by extension, that of India where it was the paramount  power but did the events of 1658-59 when the so… What lies at the root of Pakistan’s persistent animus against its larger, eastern neighbour? Was it rancour over the process of Partition and the territorial division, over Kashmir, the division of river w… Navtej Sarna, the newly appointed Indian High Commissioner to the UK, belongs to the crop of writers who have come to be known as the ‘MEA school of literature’. However, he can also claim the distinct… Interestingly, in the measured narrative by Kasuri one observes that India is an integral calculus in Pakistan’s foreign policies. It has become imperative for Pakistan to re-assess the causal dynamics that have negatively impacted durabl… 1979 was an year of changes, both internal and external, which would impact Pakistan, not only then, but down to the present as well quite a bit of the wider world, especially the US. And we get a chance to se… Many books have been written about the somewhat underperforming “strategic partnership” between India and the European Union. A new anthology edited by  Krishnan Srinivasan, former Indian fo… A stirring first person account of the ensuing battle in the Sialkot Sector and its aftermath, running into 16 dog-eared and yellowing foolscap sheets, emerges from the pen of Major Sukumar Talukdar, conveying the twists and turns of (1965 Indi… There has been conformity on Christophe Jaffrelot’s genuine hold over the issues of South Asia; he reaffirms this further with his meticulously researched and narrated book The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience. British accounts of the Second World War rarely, if ever, acknowledge the “Empire’s” contribution to its victory. Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition Author: Nisid Hajari Publishers: Penguin/Viking; Price: Rs 599; Pgs: 328; When Pakistan launched a full-scale war against India in 1965 and prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri announced a “fitting reply”, Army commanders were quick in deciding India would also capture enemy… More than Pakistan and China, India seems to be waging a greater battle in its own backyard in the northeast consisting of eight states that are racially and culturally different from the mainland.   The Butterfly series, published by Random House India, are a wickedly comic satire but should not be let go at that only. It is satire’s unerring attribute that its t… With India also purportedly falling into ISIS’ sights, it was time that Indians focussed on the threat. A pioneer in the effort is Rasheed, a senior research fellow at the United Services Insti… With the publication of Theatre for Social Change: Ajoka’s Journey 1984–2014 (Lahore, Ajoka Publications, 2015), we now have a very readable text that sheds light on the origins, missio… Pakistan released a list of banned terrorist and sectarian organisations a few days ago. The first group listed is the 313 Brigade. India and Pakistan have just celebrated their 69th Independence Days. But born in a climate of pervasive hostility, indiscriminate violence and unimaginable suffering and force… Was the British Raj good or bad is a question that has no easy answer. But celebrate or ignore, some tangible, and unavoidable legacies remain in evidence – residents of India&… There is no dearth of books on Iran – histories, analyses, travelogues, memoirs and so on  – by both Iranians (natives and diaspora) and foreign writers.But for a perceptive account of what makes Iran tick, what do its people believe, what… China sees itself as a Great Power in Asia, and India as a major competitor.  The Author has traced out the military equations between the two Asian giants and bringing out implications for ea… In the last week of April, Abdul Majid Sheikh’s book, Lahore: 101 Tales of a Fabled City (2015), was released. It again brought to the forefront that Pakistan’s anthem was first written by a Hindu poet of Lahore, Jagannath Azad. Thr… Noted Pakistani author Aamer Hussein talks about his new collection of short stories, the people who inhabit them, and the art of telling a tale   Punjab Ka Batwara: Aik Almyia Hazaar Dastaaney Translated by: Vaseem Butt; Author: Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed Publisher: Karachi, Paramount Books; Pgs: 558; Price: Rs 1,295 Discontent and Its Civilisations: Dispatches from Lahore, New York and London Author: Mohsin Hamid Publisher: Riverhead Books; Pgs: 240 Meri Akhaari Jang: Afghanistan, Soviet Affuaaj kay Inkhala kay Baad (My Last War: Afghanistan after the exit of the Soviet Armed Forces from Afghanistan)  Translated by: Dr Najam ul Sahar Butt  Author: Makhmut Akhmetovich Gareyev &nbs… Satnam provides an insight into Maoist way of life in the dense jungles of Bastar, their compulsions, thought process and motivation amidst the dire poverty of the tribals who live in the mineral ore-rich Chhattisgarh forests wri…  I received my political grooming in the Lahore of the late 1960s, the standard view was that its supreme leader, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, wanted a separate state for the Muslim nation to escape exploitation at the hands of the Hindu moneylend… The eyes of Amina Appa, Rafia has sketched a portrait of Pakistan some may not like but one that is important and timely nonetheless.   Rajiv Dogra, India’s former consul general to Karachi, has written a compelling account of the more than six decades old conflict between Pakistan and India.    Adhikari’s book traverses a broad and sweeping canvas of the Maoists’ armed struggle for ‘justice’ outside the political system in Nepal, their formi…  Former federal minister Lieutenant General (retired) Abdul Majeed Malik has reportedly revealed that former President and military strongman General Pervez Musharraf kept ex-army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in the dark while conduc… Few in history share the unenviable fate that has befallen the people of the landlocked Afghanistan. From playing host to a liberal monarchy to a communist takeover to being the centre-piece of the Cold War to a civil war-ravaged country to one… The students were part of the movement that sought equal recognition for the language spoken most widely in East Bengal, and the mother tongue of most, Bangla. Bangladesh was part of Pakistan then, and the national language was Urdu.  … ‘Flying with the Winged Elephant: Niche themes that may emerge in India for global businesses’ looks at some niche business themes… Rajiv Dogra, India’s former consul general to Karachi, has written a compelling account of the more than six decades old conflict between Pakistan and India. The seasoned former diplomat provides a firsthand account of the fractious relat… The ideological origins of the idea of Pakistan, and the political momentum that led to its creation, still remain deeply perplexing. Crea… Afghanistan, not Kashmir, can be the issue for India and Pakistan to resume a sustainable dialogue, where it will be relatively easier for them to reach agreement on issues like trade and security … Narrated for the first time in this book, are never before published stories by soldiers who fought the Liberation War.  There is “not much of a literary scene in Pakistan and the infrastructure is underdeveloped with only a handful of English publishers”, says author Bilal Tanweer, adding that a few in the Urdu … For a long time, Himalayan kingdoms remained unaffected by the landmark events of world history. When countries like Nepal and Bhutan opened up to the outside world—the latter … Not every individual in Kashmir in the early 1990s turned against the army driven by political vendetta. There were many who rebelled because it was hard for them to accept the killings and disappearance of people they knew. &n… Kiran Ahuja’s historical novel, set in the Amritsar of 1900-1940, traces the contrasting destinies deriving from two separate but identical acts of two classfel… “Pashtuns are very hospitable and friendly, if you are mindful of their customs and traditions.” — Dr Hassan Abbas The First World War was probably the last war that soldiers went to with a sense of glory and the feeling that something good may come of it. The war itself was to prove otherwise, particularly as the … Through ages nations have been torn apart and much of it due to internal turmoil that has wrecked civil societies cutting across cultures and civilizations. By the same token families have been put thr… Jerusalem comes alive through the story of an Indian family we did not know existed.   The Pakistan military believes parliamentary democracy is inappropriate for the country and sees itself as its saviour. The book details the life of Mujib and the various transitions he underwent – from a young man who vigorously championed the cause of Pakistan, a homeland for South Asia’s Muslims in the 1940s, to his joining the fledgling Awami Muslim Leag… Can five seemingly unrelated stories spread across four countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka – have anything in common? Yes, seems to say journalist author Meenakshi Iyer, as she unveils gripping tales of hu… New Delhi: For close to a century, many generations of an Indian family have been looking after the Indian Hospice, a symbol of India`s heritage, in the old city of Jerusalem. This existence… The latest book by the former New York Times contributor and author Arif Jamal meticulously describes why there should be little expectation of a trial and due punishment in November 2008 Mumbai attacks. When enacted, a written constitution takes on a life of its own. It has its own ethos, and its own philosophy. It ultimately guides the destiny of the country for which it is written. In the long and detailed Constitution o… The packed hall at the Galle Literary Festival was stunned into silence by a series of abuses hurled on a Sri Lankan human rights activist by a member in the audience.  Few countries get the kind of international political and policy attention that Pakistan draws. The nation’s pivotal role in shaping the global war on terror and the American occupation of Afghanistan after 9/11 has g… Fair’s assessment of the Pakistan army is out: it is an ideological war machine that is not amenable to any inducements or assuaging of its security concerns. The attack on the Indian consulate in Afghanistan’s Herat Friday brings into sharp focus a book, written by an American journalist and published this year, that traces Pakistan’s lin… Penguin Books India is proud to announce the publication of one of the most sensational books of the year:  Some titles like Evolving Dynamics of Nuclear South Asia will never go out of fashion. And, if a much-awarded former fighter pilot were to offer a manuscript, most publishers may not even read it before committi… Even as India elects a new government, some of the most important figures in its strategic establishment have been making the time to read a new book on China: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his aides say, has been through journalist Shishir Gu… A colleague recently visited Lahore to cover a fashion show. She enjoyed her sojourn but experienced a poignant episode when returning which she immortalised on Facebook. The great Indian election continues to generate global interest and wonder, partly on account of its uninterrupted success and partly because of the obvious challenges of demography, geography, and the mind boggling… Ms Gall’s account of Dr Mohammed Najibullah’s lynching, a war crime by any standard, matches what many Afghans and Pakistan’s Pashtun nationalist leaders have said all along. She also chronicles that the ISI… As the world’s largest democracy gears up for the general election, political parties are literally promising the moon. Amid this extensive wooing, a few books have done honest postmortems of Indian governance, highlighted grievances of peo… It is frequently described as the most dangerous place in the world. With suicide bombings and shootings, terrorists camping on its territory, high and entrenched levels of fundamentalism and anti-Western sentiment, rampant social, ethnic and s… In his latest novel, Romesh Gunesekera zooms in on post-war Sri Lanka, grappling with the ghosts of its troubled past. “My father came back in early August 1947 to take us away from Lahore. ‘I don’t like the stampede and the rush,’ he said. But he couldn’t leave because of the riots,” recalls Khalid Chima, … Targeted killings of terrorists in badlands of the world has been taken to a new high by the US and looks likely to intensify in the foreseeable future amid indications that other major powers may also adopt th… Let me confess that this is not the book I set out to write. The book I had in mind was about the unchanging face of Muslim fundamentalism in India. But barely a few weeks into research, I discovered I was completely on the wrong track. The big… Book: 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh, Author: Srinath Raghavan, Permanent Black Pages: 358, Price: Rs 795 Authors: Husain Haqqani Publisher: PublicAffairs; November 5, 2013 Hardcover: 432 pages Language: English Price: US$ 28.99 Archer Blood was the American consul general in Dhaka (then Dacca) in 1971-72. He not only witnessed the slaughter of thousands of civilians by the Pakistani Army and dutifully reported on the genocide to his government but also, when the US co… More than Maoism: Politics, Policies and Insurgencies in South Asia   Edited by: Robin Jeffrey, Ronojoy S… Ishtiaq Ahmed’s interesting book demonstrates how and why a weak and apolitical army evolved into the most powerful institution in Pakistan, virtually having de facto veto power over politics. It also controls Pakistan’s nuclear wea… A Sri Lankan constitutional amendment done with Indian backing to devolve autonomy to provinces remains “historically significant and indispensable”, says a new book by a well known political scientist from the island nation. Ishtiaq Ahmed’s latest book is another outstanding piece of scholarship by an erudite scholar. This intellectually stimulating work is an important addition to the corpus of writings on modern and contemporary Pakistan, which by design an… Contrary to popular wisdom in India, a new book on Ravana, the ‘demon king’ in the Ramayana epic, says he ruled a rich and vast kingdom in ancient Sri Lanka, wrote books and built a maze of underground tunnels to protect his empire…. A courageous, comprehensive and no-holds-barred account, by a veteran journalist, of a 66-year-old nation that is still trying to find its identity and fighting its own demons… The 30-year-old ethnic conflict in the Sri Lankan state, an essentially Sinhalese majoritarian preserve, and the uncompromising and relentlessly violent Tamil leadership claiming a separate state, Tamil Eelam, on behalf of the Tamil minority of… Book: India’s Foreign Policy: A Reader; Edited: Kanti P. Bajpai and Harsh V.Pant Critical Issues in Indian Politics Series; Publisher: OUP Price: Rs 1095; Pages: 464 Such a massive tome (663 pages) on a country that calls itself India’s only permanent friend in South Asia demands serious attention. Bhutanese scholarship is so rare and scholarship on Bhutan has been so scanty since M… India and China have shared historical ties and, as immediate neighbours, have seen many ups and downs in their relations. As a result, bilateral ties between the two countries… Delhi-based poet Sudeep Sen has been invited to address the Nobel Laureate Week being held in Saint Lucia, a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea, in January. Mr. Sen is the first Indian, and the only one thu… Book: Fountainhead of Jihad Author: Vahid Brown and Don Rassler Publisher: Hachette India Price: Rs 650 ‘Imperialists, Nationalists, Democrats: The Collected Essays of Sarvepalli Gopal’  edited by Srinath Raghavan. Permanent Black, 444 pages, Rs 895…. Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific Author: C. Raja Mohan Publisher: OUP Price: Rs 895 Pages: 329 BOOK: “False Sanctuaries: Stories from the Troubled Territories of South Asia”, AUTHOR: Meenakshi Iyer;  PUBLISHER: Bibliophile South Asia (Promila & Co.);  PAGES: 282;  Like so much else in India’s recent past, the First Afghan War (1839-42) means little to India’s elites. But the military history of the British Raj has been a specially neglected domain. With their many other preoccupations, India&… Journalist-author Frances Harrison tells ANJANA RAJAN her book on the human suffering engendered by Sri Lanka’s “hidden war” is written with the belief that if people know, they will care “La Nueva India” ( The New India) is the first Latin American book on the rising of India in the twenty first century in the Spanish language. It was launched on December 4 at Santiago, Chile. After Joseph S Nye coined the term “Soft Power” (culture, language etc), it became a fad and, for some, an academic necessity to use it to discuss notions of ‘power’ in international politics. Though accepted, still unmo… This study seeks to solve the following puzzle: In 1947, the Pakistan military was poorly trained and poorly armed. It also inherited highly vulnerable territory vis-à-vis the much bigger India, aggravated because of serious disputes wit… Author / Editor: P R Kumaraswamy   Middle East Institute at New Delhi, 2012   Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon for MEI@ND, September 2012   Book: Ramkinkar: The Man and the Artist Author: A. Ramachandran Publisher: NGMA Pages: 168 + plates The middle class will decide the course of liberalisation in India which will become more micro-level in search of solutions to problems, says writer and journalist Hindol Sengupta in his new book, “The Liberals”. The future of Afghanistan depends upon how it strengthens its fledgling democratic institutions and arrests corruption, says Sujeet Sarkar, the author of a new book on the war-ravaged country. Consumers and Economic Cooperation: Cost of Economic Non-cooperation to Consumers in South Asia… Religious Movements, Militancy, and Conflict in South Asia: Cases from India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan… Author(s): Robert D. Lamb, Liora Danan, Joy Aoun, Sadika Hameed, Kathryn Mixon, and Denise St. Peter Publisher :Center for Strategic and International Studies ISBN 978-0-89206-738-1 (pb) Book: Afghanistan in Transition Beyond 2014? Author: Shanthie Mariet D`Souza (Ed.) Pages: 264 Price : Rs. 795 Publisher: Pentagon   Book: The Prabhakaran Saga Author: S. Murari Publisher: Sage Publishers Pages: 362 Price: Rs.425 Book: The Unfinished Memoirs Author: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Translated by Dr Fakrul Alam with a preface by Sheikh Hasina) Publisher: Penguin Viking Pages: 323 Price: Rs 699 The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed- Unravelling the 1947 Tragedy through Secret British Reports and First-Person Accounts… Book: Nepal in Transition: From People’s War to Fragile Peace Author: Edited by Sebastian von Einsiedel, David M. Malone and Suman Pradhan Publisher: Cambridge University Press Pages: 398… Book: The Taliban Cricket Club Author: Timeri N. Murari Publisher: Aleph Pages: 325 Price: Rs 595 Burma has been ruled by a succession of military regimes which rank among the most oppressive dictatorships in the world. In these turbulent times, Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies of non-alignment and mixed economy need to be revisited, says P.C. Jain, author of a book on India’s foreign policy during the first prime minister’s tenure. The killing of Osama bin Laden spotlighted Pakistan’s unpredictable political dynamics, which are often driven by conspiracy theory, paranoia, and a sense of betrayal. In Pakistan, the late prime minister Benazir Bhutto famously declared, t… The growing English language publishing industry in India has taken a step north with three veteran publishers – David Davidar, Ravi Singh and Kapish G. Mehra – joining ranks to push high-end literary fiction from the subcont… The subcontinent can become a paradise in the region by retaining cultural, social and political identities of countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, says former Pakistani Army officer, journalist, writer and commentator Abdul Rahman Si…
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On February 26, 2016

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