PERSPECTIVE & ANALYSIS: Elated publishers say will return to city next year – firmly keeping the Gorkha Issue on the minds of the reading public in India and abroad ?!!
From The Times of India
LUCKNOW, Oct 11, 2010, 03.19am IST (TNN): The publishers who participated for the first time in the 8th National Book Fair were delighted with the response shown to the fair by denizens. “We have beautiful memories of the book fair in Lucknow and this will surely bring us back here next year. We never thought the people here are so crazy for books,” said manager of Rajpal Prakashan, Subhash Jetia while he packed his bags. The book fair ended on Sunday. Similar views were shared by Vinod Kumar, managing director, Glorious Publications, and Umanana Bharma of Gayatri Gyan Kendra.
On the last day, teenagers were seen searching for their favourite novels. While children evinced interest in colouring and puzzle books, the adults preferred the books on literature, be it Hindi, English or Urdu. The most sold out book this year was `Bharat Ka Swatantra Sangrah’ by Bipin Chandra. Over 1100 copies of this book were sold out at the fair. Next was `Prachin Bharat Ka Itihaas’. Books of Chetan Bhagat, Twilight, Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s Madhushala and Jinnah – India, Partition, Independence Day by Jaswant Singh remained high on demand. In Urdu, Maulana Abul Hasan ruled the hearts. His books `Nadeer Ahmed’ and `Islam Ek Parichay’ were bought by book lovers.
On the occasion, mayor Dinesh Sharma said: “People believed that with the coming of internet, the value for books will go down tremendously. But the book fair proved it wrong. The number of people who participated in it clearly tells that the craze for books will never die.”
Vice-president, Knowledge Tree Foundation, Umesh Dhall said: “It has always been a nice experience. Till the last day, people kept coming. We recorded a total sale of Rs 2.10 crore, which was 50 lakh more than the last year. Even the most expensive books saw buyers this time. Almost 10 sets of `Education in a box’ of Oxford were picked up by people. The cost of one set, that includes five books, is Rs 40,000,” said Dhall.
INDIAN POLITICS ? LEFT AND RIGHT DILEMMAS – a blessing in disguise for Darjeeling MP Jaswant Singh ?!!
From India Blog
By KR Surendran
The dust has not yet settled down. The churning process still goes on with “desperate” vigour. The proverbial “Amrit” is no where in sight. The churners are losing steam. The “party with a difference” is turning out to be the “party with differences”. Yes, I am writing about BJP.
The “Chinthan Baitak” (brain-storming session) was organized at Shimla with the best of intentions. Contrary to expectations and hopes it has turned out to be a damp squib. This time the bomb shell came in the form of a work by Jaswant Singh, the senior party leader. “Jinnah–India-Partition-Independence”- eulogising the founder of Pakistan simultaneously casting aspersions on Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
The same stand of Jaswant Singh held by Lal Krishna Advani in 2005 terming Jinnah a great man only with the exception of keeping mum on Sardar Patel cost him the post of BJP President apparently under orders from paterfamilias – the RSS leadership. The same Lalji Advani had to stand by the majority assembled at Shimla to show the door to Jaswant Singh is a cruel joke of history.
By making Jaswant Singh a martyr, the party with the best of intentions earnestly hoped for keeping the house in order by silencing the dissenting voices waiting in the wings. Party President Rajnath Singh must have aimed at keeping the cadre-based character of the party intact.
Subsequent events dashed his hopes to the ground. Actually he was opening a can of worms. After Jaswant Singh, the most dangerous man appeared on the scene with a challenge to take action against him. He dared to castigate Rajnath Singh and co., called him ‘Alice in Blunderland’ and ‘Humpty Dumpty’, called upon RSS leadership to take over the party leadership.
The biting acerbic pen of Arun Shourie is known to all, particularly the leadership. Up till now the leadership has not dared to take disciplinary action against the journalist turned politician.
In Rajasthan, the royal blood of Vasundhara Raje, the opposition leader, keeps boiling. The lady is up in arms with the support of more than 70 MLAs. If the latest reports are any indication, she is not willing to step down as opposition leader owning up responsibility for the defeat in the assembly elections in 2008 and the 15th Loksabha elections. Today’s news reports indicate another revolt by B.C.Khanduri, the former CM of Uttarkhand. Who is the next one to take up cudgels? Yashwant Sinha…? No idea.
This is the story of the so-called right-wing party of the nation. What about the communists – the so-called left-wing parties?
Similar is the case with the left also. Here also the churning process has not led them to anywhere. The much touted cadre character is nothing but a charade. Parliamentarism, corruption, nepotism, even sycophancy have reduced the communists to the level of typical bourgeois parties.
If an independent political observer points out the rot set in these parties, no amount of frowning or name-calling is the solution. The assembly elections in Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura are scheduled nearly two years from now. No serious attempts are being made to regain the lost ground, which was very much evident in the 15th Loksabha election results except in Tripura, instead much time got wasted in infighting and initiating disciplinary actions.
Genuine criticism from whosoever needs to be heeded by the leadership in true spirit and build up the cadre from grassroots level if the leftists wish to hold sway in politics. Alas dedicated leaders like Pramod Das Gupta, A.K.G, Rajeswar Rao or E.M.S, are nowhere in sight among communist leaders. Holding Press conferences frequently, convening Polit Bureau, penning articles in Party publications, and to and fro flights are not enough for the growth of left movement in the country.
The other day I came across an article by Seema Mustafa in a national daily whom I hold in high esteem. On going through the article, I happened to note her views on the role played by regional parties in India. It was the second time I was reading her encouraging views of regional party politics. Regrettably I can’t digest and agree with her views.
For a third front to come up in India we needn’t have the presence of regional parties. Unfortunately the mushrooming of regional parties in almost all States proved to be detrimental instead of being a boon to the nation. Parochialism, nepotism, narrow-mindedness, lack of a national outlook are all consequences of regional party politics. In the long run, I fear a going back to the days of princely States, might be a possibility.
Furthermore, take for example, once communist parties held sway in certain States like Bihar. The likes of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Lok Janashakthi Party (LJP) of Ram Vilas Paswan, Janata Dal(U) of Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar were even unheard of. The myopic views of regional parties confined to their respective State frontiers will always remain a bane of the nation. Now the communist party is practically non-existent there.
Regional chauvinism always leads the party leaders to lobby for their respective States caring two hoots for the interests of other States, even if these leaders are holding portfolios at the centre. If the leftists- they are with national outlook also- are nourished and nurtured by the comrades (they will have to take pains) a third front is well nigh possible in India.
The leftists will have to seriously ponder over their abject failure in spreading its hold in the Northern States, especially U.P, where Mayawati is allegedly spending crores and crores of rupees in building parks and installing statues of herself, her mentor Kanshi Ram and Ambedkar, while lakhs of hapless citizens are starving from hunger, malnutrition and even pure drinking water. It is a pity that even after sixty two years of Independence, the communist parties are nowhere near reaching a position of power or even a marginal influence in the Northern States.