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The Book Review

Volume XXXVI

No. 3 March

Aditya Nigam

Lineages of Political Society by Partha Chatterjee

Bidyut Chakrabarty

Cosmopolitan Political Thought: Method, Practice, Discipline by Farah Godrej

Partha S. Ghosh

Varieties of Federal Governance: Major Contemporary Models edited by Rekha Saxena

P.R. Chari

Complex Deterrence: Strategy in the Global Age edited by T.V. Paul, Patrick M. Morgan and James J. Wirtz

Ayesha Siddiqa

The State of Islam: Culture and Cold War Politics in Pakistan by Saadia Toor; Poetry as Resistance: Islam and
Ethnicity in Postcolonial Pakistan by Nukhbah Taj Langah


Kanwal Sibal

Afghanistan and Pakistan: Conflict, Extremism, and Resistance to Modernity by Riaz Mohammad Khan


Ashok Behuria

The Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination & Instability by James P. Farwell


Luv Puri

Religion, Inter-community Relations and the Kashmir Conflict by Yoginder Sikand


Kishalay Bhattacharjee

The Caliphates Soldiers: The Lashkar-e-Tayyebas Long War by Wilson John


Anuradha Chenoy

Women, War and the Making of Bangladesh by Yasmin Saikia


Jabin T. Jacob

The Tibetan Government-in-Exile: Politics at Large by Stephanie Roemer


Rukmani Gupta

The Rise of China: Implications for India edited by Harsh V. Pant


Arun Vishwanathan

Indias National Security: Annual Review 2010 edited by Satish Kumar


Srinath Raghavan

Article 370: A Constitutional History of Jammu and Kashmir by A.G. Noorani


Ajay K. Mehra

India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nations Remaking by Anand Giridharadas


G.S. Iyer

Diplomacy: Indian Style by K.P. Fabian


Dhruv C. Katoch

Warfare in Ancient India: Organizational and Operational Dimensions by Uma Prasad Thapliyal


Farhat Hasan

Writing the Mughal World: Studies in Political Culture by Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam


Barbara D. Metcalf

Inside a Madrasa: Knowledge, Power and Islamic Identity in India by Arshad Alam


Harbans Mukhia

Religious Cultures in Early Modern India: New Perspectives edited by Rosalind OHanlon and David Washbrook


M. Raisur Rahman

Islam Translated: Literature, Conversion, and the Arabic Cosmopolis of South and Southeast Asia by Ronit Ricci


Nikhil Govind

Settlers, Saints and Sovereigns: An Ethnography of State Formation in Western India by Farhana Ibrahim


Hilal Ahmed

Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics and the Partition of India by Neeti Nair


Amar Farooqui

Partition of India: Why 1947? edited by Kaushik Roy


Mohammad Sajjad

Resisting Colonialism and Communal Politics: Maulana Azad and the Making of the Indian Nation by Rizwan Qaiser


Sukumar Muralidharan

Witness to History: Transition and Transformation of India, 1947-1964 by Nehru Centre


Llyod & Susanne Rudolph An Indian Political Life: Charan Singh and Congress Politics, 1937-1961 (The Politics of Northern India: 1937-1987)

Amiya P. Sen

by Paul Brass


The Monk as Man: The Unknown Life of Swami Vivekananda by Sankar


Chandra Chari Uma Iyengar
Consultant Editor Adnan Farooqui

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The Book Review / March 2012 / 1

Wajahat Habibullah

History and Politics in Post-colonial India by Michael Gottlob


Devika Sethi

Windows into the Past: Life Histories and the Historians of South Asia by Judith M. Brown


Upinder Singh

South India Under Vijayanagara: Art and Archaeology edited by Anila Verghese and Anna L. Dallapiccola


Nuzhat Kazmi

Mosques of Cochin by Patricia Tusa Fels


Parul Pandya Dhar

Nainsukh of Guler: A Great Indian Painter From a Small Hill-State by B.N. Goswamy


Anisha Saxena

Indian Art History: Changing Perspectives edited by Parul Pandya Dhar


Anand Vivek Taneja

Photography and Anthropology by Christopher Pinney


Ratnadeep Banerji

Rapture: The Art of Indian Textiles by Rahul Jain


Keshav Desiraju

Music as History in Tamil Nadu by T.K. Venkatasubramanian



University Press of Missisippi


Meena Bhargava

Environmental History of Early India: A Reader edited by Nandini Sinha Kapur


Grard Toffin

Recognizing Diversity: Society and Culture in the Himalaya edited by Chetan Singh


Chetan Singh

The Politics of Belonging in the Himalayas: Local Attachment and Boundary DynamicsGovernance, Conflict,
and Civic Action edited by Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka and Gerard Toffin


Richa Kumar

The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia by James C. Scott


Krishna Menon

Family Laws and Constitutional Claims: Volume 1 and II by Flavia Agnes


Lakshmi Kannan

Indigenous Roots of Feminism: Culture, Subjectivity and Agency by Jasbir Jain


Nivedita Menon

Making a Difference: Memoirs from the Womens Movement in India edited by Ritu Menon


Jasbir Jain

Intimate Others: Marriage and Sexualities in India edited by Samita Sen, Ranjita Biswas and Nandita Dhawan


Sarath Rajapatirana

Trade Liberalization and Poverty in South Asia edited by Jayatilleke S. Bandara, Premachandra Athukorala,
and Saman Kelegama


Sona Mitra

Integrating Services in South Asia: Trade, Investment and Mobility by Rupa Chanda


Pamela Philipose

Occupational Choices, Networks, and Transfers: An Exegesis Based on Micro Data from Delhi Slums by Arup Mitra


Aasim Khan

Manto in India: Still Brewing at College Cafes


Rakhshanda Jalil

Stories about the Partition of India; Volumes I-III & IV edited by Alok Bhalla


Anjana Sharma

Writing India, Writing English: Literature, Language, Location by G.J.V. Prasad


Navtej Sarna

An Evening in Lucknow: Selected Stories by K.A. Abbas edited by Suresh Kohli


Sania Hashmi

Smoke Without Fire: Portraits of Pre-partition Delhi by Abdul Rahman Siddiqi


N. Kamala

Othappu: The Scent of the Other Side by Sarah Joseph


Dipavali Sen

Delhi City of Rainbow Dreams by Nita Berry


Priyanka Bhattacharya

The Oxford Anthology of Writings from North-East India: Poetry and Essays; The Oxford Anthology of Writings

& Debasish Chakrabarty

from North-East India: Fiction edited by Tilottoma Misra

Rumki Basu

The Golden Boat: River Poems edited by K. Satchidanandan; A Sinner Says by Sanjiv Bhatla; Malabar Mind
by Anita Nair; The Yearning of Seeds by Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih

The Book Review Literatry Trust thanks the SAARC Division of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of
India, for its sponsorship of this special issue of The Book Review.

2 / The Book Review / March 2012



Taking Stock: South Asia 2012

South Asia at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st-century appears to stand at a cusp. There are two distinct patterns of stability and
instability emerging, one government inter-state affairs and another the internal affairs of the various countries of the region. How one pattern or
trend impacts the other will dictate the course of the history of these countries as the decade unfolds. Underlying it is the undeniable factors of much
commonality among the diversities in South Asia. Therefore the flow of events is frequently dictated by the momentum of cause and effects between
these countries which provides an exciting area of studies.
Inter-state conflict, especially planned on conflict as papered off to being almost non-existence in the region. Talk of an nuclear conflict between
India and Pakistan is a thing of the past, and inspite of an overweening climate of doubt about possibilities of peace and amity between the two
countries, steps towards that goal are constantly being taken. Intra-regional cooperation between the countries of South Asia is an agenda upper most
with their governments. This is the first pattern.
However, every country of South Asia, except perhaps Bhutan, is in the grip of a deep malign of unrest which could spell instability in the blink
of an eye. In India, insurgencies, in the North East, in Kashmir and by Naxalism in the last decades are continuing with varying degree of virulence
which in turn lead to violence by the state. Pakistan is plagued by internecine conflict among its peopletribal, ethnic, sectarian and secessionist
conflicts are the order of the day. Bangladesh is a hotseat of frequent attempts at coups, small and bigthe latest being the foiled bid to topple the
democratically elected government by a group of serving and retired army officials in January this yearthe Army being the institution to have foiled
the attempt.
Srilanka enjoys an ominous peace of the day with the Tamil insurgency having been crushed and Sinhala dominance established over the polity.
Even the land of many islands and resorts, the Maldives, is not immune from the internal instability, as recent events have shown. Nepal is yet to
resolve its problem of accommodating the Maoists credibly within its system of governance.
A third feature to have emerged in the region in the last decade is the assertion by civil society to call the state to book, to demand good
governance. In Pakistan it led to the ouster of President Musharraf. In India, the Anna Hazare phenomenon shook the Central Government out of
its aparthy towards the existing venality and corruption on a massive scale. The implications of that movement have not been fully absorbed to date.
But overall, there is scope that the collective will shall prevail and that democratic tradition is what the people of South Asia want and will get.
The negative side to the collective will prevailing is when shades of fundamentalist rhetoric take over. The most recent phenomenon of Salman
Rushdie being prevented from having a video show at the Jaipur Literature Festival is a case in point.
It is the innumerable positive and negative stand prevailing all over South Asia which make it a region full of vitality and energy. It is for this
reason that putting together the special issues of The Book Review on South Asia twice a year is an immeasurably rewarding and learning experience.
We begin this issue with three reviews of books which looked at how political theory is possible to be read away from the western paradigm and in the
light of the South Asian experience. This is followed by a long section focussing on politics, history and art and culture of the region. The reviews in
these sections highlight the research on crucial aspect as they evolve in each country on South Asia. The sections on environment, sociology and
gender follows, voicing global concerns. We conclude with the section on economics and literature, both of which highlight the vibrancy obtaining in
these areas.
We are happy to share with our readers that The Book Review has gone online as of January this year. The next step is to digitalize the entire archive
of the journal going back thirty-five years which, we hope will provide a useful resource for students and scholars. We request that anyone who may
have issues of The Book Review, especially of the early years should communicate with us and help us in our efforts to upload the archives.
In the first of many events which we have planned for this year, a discussion on Hundred Years of Delhi was organized jointly by The Book Review
Literary Trust and the India International Centre on 17 February. The speakersAkhilesh Mittal, Sohail Hashmi, Mridula Garg, Ravi Sundaram and
T.C.A. Srinivasa Raghavanbrought to the fore the sense of past and present that Delhi evokes. Narayani Gupta, a member of our Advisory Board
and herself an authority on Delhi chaired the discussion and was able effortlessly to be with into a mix of nostalgia and practicality. To mention just
one bit of information that the audience was recalled tonimish, a unique dessert of North India was a highlight claimed by Delhi, Lucknow and to
cap it all, Kapurthala, as their own during the discussion, with all the speakers agreeing to let it be regarded as a common heritage of all three cities.
We will upload the text of the discussion on our website: www.thebookreviewindia.org very soon.

The Book Review / March 2012 / 3

Tracking Security Paradigms

Arun Vishwanathan

Edited by Satish Kumar

Routledge, New Delhi, 2011, pp. xv+520, `995.00

nitiated in 2001, the Indias National Security Annual Review (INSAR)

over the past decade has evolved into a useful companion in studying
Indias national security challenges. Like the previous volumes, the
INSAR 2010 review covers a wide gamut of issues and areas spanning
from global security trends to challenges to Indias internal security to the
state of play in Indias neighbourhood to issues a nuclear India has had to
grapple with as well as a very comprehensive account of the evolution of
the Indian national security system. A very interesting experiment that
has been reintroducedafter a gap of three yearsin the current volume
of the INSAR is the National Security Index 2010. Though, as detailed
below, the index is not without its problems and requires further fine
tuning, it is nevertheless commendable that an attempt to put forth such
an Index has been made.
The volume provides an interesting mix of articles which provide a
detailed analysis of several challenges to Indias security. The study is divided
into four sections namely: National Security Review, National Security
Challenges and Opportunities, National Security Index 2010 and finally a
Chronology of Major Events in 2009.
The first section on National Security Review begins with a
description of the global security trends, the external security situation as
well as internal security developments. This is followed up by detailed
analyses of Indias neighbourhood and the security challenges therein.
Kudos are in order to the editor and the FNSR Research Staff for putting
together two chapters focused on Indias engagement with Asia, Africa
and Latin America as well as the domestic situation in Pakistan in 2009.
Both are crucial issues which require in-depth study and analysis. Indias
recent engagement with Africa and Latin America seeks to tap the immense
potential for cooperation on economic, cultural and diplomatic fronts.
Similarly, understanding the political and security situation within Pakistan
is crucial to formulating Indias strategy towards our western neighbour.
One hopes that the next annual number of the INSAR would devote a
special chapter on the internal political situation in China focusing on the
new generation of leaders who will take charge following the leadership
transition at the eighteenth Chinese Communist Partys (CCP) Party
Congress. One lacuna that does come to mind while going through this
section is the lack of separate chapters on internal security challenges like
Left Wing Extremism and insurgency in the North East. Both these are
important security challenges that India as a nation is grappling with.
Chapters studying both these issues are definitely in order in a volume
that seeks to study Indias national security.
The editor has given thought before selecting authors to pen the various
chapters. This is apparent throughout the volume but more so in the
section that studies Indias relations with China, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan,
Myanmar, Sri Lanka as well as Nepal. In this section, Ambassador K.C.
Singhs chapter on Iran, Yubaraj Ghimires chapter on Nepal, K. Yhomes
chapter on Myanmar and Wilson Johns chapter on Pakistan deserve special
mention. The command of the authors over their issue areas is apparent
in their clarity of writing while at the same time successfully putting across
the nuances of the issue at hand.
Wilson Johns handling of the chapter on Pakistan brings out the
depth of the authors understanding of the country into perspective. The
situation in Pakistan and US-Pakistan relations have undergone a sea
change subsequent to the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden by
the US Special Forces in the May 2011 Abbottabad raid and the killing of
twenty-four Pakistani soldiers in the NATO cross border raid in November

2011. Despite such watershed events having taken

place since the chapter was
penned, it is commendable
that its central thrust still
retains its relevance. The
author has captured the
very essence of the
problematique that plagues
Pakistan and which has
immense bearing on, or is
at the root of, the current
problems troubling that
The second section of
the volume is titled National Security Challenges and
Opportunities. The editor
needs to be commended
for conceptualizing security
in a broader sense. While
incorporating the traditional components of
security like military and
nuclear capabilities of Indias neighbours and the concerns emanating
from such capabilities, the volume at the same time analyses issues like
economic security, water security and challenges to national security from
recent phenomena like climate change. Non-traditional threats to Indias
security are given due attention by devoting separate chapters to the issues
of climate change and water security.
Writing about climate change Ambassador Shyam Saran succinctly
brings out Indias concerns on this crucial issue. The divisions between
the developed and the developing countries on the issue of climate change
which have been on display at the Conference of Parties (COP) to the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
are highlighted. Describing Indias climate change policy as having two
dimensions, Saran states (pp. 398-400, 403) that Indias strategy has been
to engage in multilateral negotiations under the UNFCCC, in order to
ensure that the global regime which eventually emerges is supportive of
Indias own efforts to pursue an ecologically sustainable development
strategy and does not hamper Indias growth prospects. This external
dimension has to go hand in hand with attempts to ensure the early
implementation of the National Action Plan domestically both for reasons
of energy security and climate change.
In Water Challenges for India Uttam Kumar Sinha provides an
excellent overview of the availability of and demand for water in India.
The author points to the critical yet scarce nature of the resource therein
carrying the potential for cooperation or conflict between riparian states
depending on the manner in which relations between the countries are
managed. Sinha provides a concise picture of Indias relations with its
riparian states namely, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and China.
Though the chapter does describe the existing and likely future tensions
between riparian states over sharing of hydrological resources, more
attention could have been paid to the tensions among these states and
their positions depending on whether they are a downstream or an upstream
countrythe case of Indias relations with Pakistan and China over water
issues being a case in point. The lessons learnt from the Sino-Indian
context and its possible application, if any, to alleviate tensions and
misperceptions in the Indo-Pakistani context is another useful area the
author could have explored. Calling for synchronization of internal water
management measures with external riparian policies, the author calls (p.
417) for a policy revamp, moving away from a narrowly understood
framework of water management to a broad-based and wide-reaching
water resource management.
The entire section dealing with the nuclear issues is a very strong
component of the volume. There are three chapters on various aspects of

22 / The Book Review / March 2012

The volume provides an interesting mix of articles

which provide a detailed analysis of several
challenges to Indias security. The study is divided

Mired in Misconceptions
Srinath Raghavan

into four sections namely: National Security Review,


National Security Challenges and Opportunities,

By A.G. Noorani
Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2011, pp. 487, `850.00

National Security Index 2010 and finally a

Chronology of Major Events in 2009.

nuclear issues. These study the missile capabilities of Pakistan, China and
Iran; Pakistani nuclear weapons going on to Indias engagement with the
various treaties like the NPT, CTBT and the FMCT.
The volume carries an excellent chapter on the evolution of the National
Security System by S.D. Pradhan. It provides a birds-eye view of the
manner and pace at which the Indian national security system has evolved
since Independence. One important point which comes across after reading
the chapter is the reactive nature of the process of evolution of the national
security apparatus. The establishment of the committee headed by
Ambassador Naresh Chandra in July 2011 to review the entire gamut of
issues relating to order management, internal security, defence management
and intelligence reform is a welcome step to address these issues proactively
rather than reactively as has been happening in the past.
The National Security Index though a very interesting attempt has
several loose ends. One of the most glaring lacuna in the Index indicative
of its skewed nature is the position that South Korea and Norway enjoy in
it. It is very surprising that both the countries occupy higher positions in
the Index vis--vis Germany, France and United Kingdom. This is as a
result of the weightage given to certain elements such as technological
prowess while calculating the overall national security index of a particular
country. Clearly, the parameters and the weightage given to each of them
in the Index needs more thought.
Given that the analyses deal with happening in 2009, by the time the
volume hit the stands in late 2010 or early 2011, myriad developments in
the issue area have taken place. This makes a lot of the information in the
chapters in the volume quite out of date. This problem is however built
into the very nature of such a compilation. To some extent, this can be
overcome by ensuring that the production time is compressed and the
volume hits the stands earlier.

Arun Vishwanathan teaches at the International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of
Science (IISc) Campus, Bangalore. He was previously Assistant Director, National Security Council Secretariat, Government of India. He can be contacted
at arun.vishwanathan@gmail.com.

Book News

he question of autonomy for the State of Jammu and Kashmir has

been mired in myths and misconceptions. In the six decades since
the adoption of the Indian Constitution, few provisions of the
document have been as misunderstood and contested as Article 370. The
Sangh Parivar and its associates have for long demanded the wholesale
abrogation of the Article, which they claim inhibits the complete
integration of the State with the Indian Union. Radical champions of
Kashmirs cause curiously echo this position in viewing Article 370 as
bogus and irrelevant. The more mainstream and moderate position amongst
Indians sees the Article in a more favourable light: as an example of
Indias flexible and accommodative approach to Kashmir.
A.G. Noorani has for long argued against all three positions. A lawyer
and publicist, Nooranis engagement with Kashmir goes back to over five
decades. He started out as an advocate of plebiscite in Kashmir. Following
Pakistans attack on Kashmir in 1965, Noorani, like other proponents of
plebiscite such as Jayaprakash Narayan, deemed the idea as no longer
feasible. In the years since, he has called for the grant of meaningful
autonomy to the State. Throughout this period, he was also an associate
of Sheikh Abdullaha statesman who he rightly felt had been grievously
In his command over the constitutional problems of Kashmir, Noorani
has no master. In this volume, he brings together a collection of key
documents pertaining to Article 370 and its workings. These include official
and personal letters, memoranda, gazette orders, court rulings, and so on.
Many of these are not available even in the best of our libraries. As such,
the volume will be indispensable to anyone with a serious interest in
Kashmir. Noorani deserves our gratitude for putting together this excellent
compilation. Then again, he is not merely interested in making these
documents easily accessible to readers. He also wants to advance a
particular reading of the history of Kashmir. The book is subtitled A
Constitutional History of Jammu and Kashmir. Given the contents of the
book, this is misleading. But it does advertise Nooranis intent with this
As a historian of Kashmir, Noorani is not entirely reliableespecially
in his treatment of the early years after accession. After all these years, he
still finds it difficult to rise above the passions of that period. He continues
to write as a partisan of Sheikh Abdullah and as an opponent of Jawaharlal

Book News

When he turns from history to constitutional law

Noorani comes into his own. He shows how
successive Indian governments sought to shore up

Armies, Wars and Their Food by D. Vijaya Rao examines the subject of
ancient and modern military forces, wars and practices from the point of
a food scientist. Providing insights into the concept of nutrition during
different periods of time, it discusses the evolution of military rations,
the supply systems in force and the nature of foodstuffs required by
soldiers. The principal theme of the book is the historical development
of armies and the supply and delivery systems prevalent at different periods of time.
Foundation Books, New Delhi, 2012, pp. 534, `995.00

their slipping hold on Kashmir by creatively

undermining the States autonomy. For instance, by
a gross misuse of Article 370s provisions the Central
Government continued to extend its powers over
Kashmir by merely seeking the approval of pliant
State legislatures.

The Book Review / March 2012 / 23