Articles by: Bhaskar Parichha

Socio-political Thought of Rabindranath Tagore

Socio-political Thought of Rabindranath Tagore

Eighty years after his death, Rabindranath Tagore continues to be written about. Any biographical or critical account of Tagore’s life and works — whether it is in Bengali, English or any other language — is noticeable and is received with reverence and respect. Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, ‘Where the Mind is Without Fear’, demonstrates the continuing universal appeal of the poet’s signature composition.[Read More…]

by March 23, 2021 Book Review
The Presidential Years

The Presidential Years

‘The Office of the President is an emergency light. It comes on automatically when there is a crisis and goes off automatically when the crisis passes,’ observed former President Ramaswamy Venkataraman in his book ‘My Presidential Years’. Whether present-day Presidents are any longer backup lights is difficult to say. Yet, diaries of past presidents sometimes give explicit account of the[Read More…]

by March 15, 2021 Book Review
Beyond Dharma

Beyond Dharma

Title: Beyond Dharma – Dissent in the Ancient Sciences of Sex and Politics Author: Wendy Doniger Publisher: Speaking Tiger Books, 2020 When one of the world’s most acclaimed and charming scholars of Hinduism presents a trailblazing interpretation of ancient Indian texts and their historic influence on subversive resistance, the book ought to be of more than ordinary interest. Eminent Indologist Wendy[Read More…]

by February 25, 2021 Book Review
 ‘In Pursuit Of Justice’

 ‘In Pursuit Of Justice’

A socialist, a believer in equal opportunities, a defender of civil liberties, a deeply involved citizen of India and a humanist, the late Justice Rajindar Sachar (1923–2018) was a celebrated jurist. One who believed in standing for the last man in the line and was armed with a moral remit that never wavered, his life was momentous. Few jurists in[Read More…]

by February 2, 2021 Book Review
India’s Tribes: Unfolding Realities 

India’s Tribes: Unfolding Realities 

India has witnessed a sea change in its social structure and political culture since Independence. Despite the progressive developmental model that the country has followed, we are witness to fissiparous tendencies that is on the path of dividing the Indian masses based on religion, ethnicity and caste ladder. Unquestionably, there is a need to develop a fresh approach to dismantling[Read More…]

by January 27, 2021 Book Review
Role of Editors in News Media

Role of Editors in News Media

Bhaskar Parichha, a senior journalist, explores the role of editors in swaying public opinion. In recent years the increasing influence of the media has changed the shape of Politics all over the globe. Consequently, it has raised provocative questions about journalism’s role in the political process. There are questions about media’s effect on the political system and the subsystems– the[Read More…]

by January 10, 2021 Life/Philosophy
Portraits of Power

Portraits of Power

Autobiographies by bureaucrats every so often raise curiosity for the reason that they hide more than they reveal, even as the sequestered information and the behind the scene camaraderie in day to day governmental functioning is a lot sensational. In recent years, India’s top civil servants have been writing their memoirs. But they have only been penned only after being[Read More…]

by January 6, 2021 Book Review
The Brass Notebook

The Brass Notebook

A recently penned autobiography by eminent economist Devaki Jain, written based on a suggestion made by Doris Lessings in 1958, with a forward by Amartya Sen and reviewed by Bhaskar Parichha. This is an unusual memoir. Unusual because it isn’t archetypal, not old-fashioned nor even written in a sequential order. The autobiography is set apart into personal and professional years,[Read More…]

by January 5, 2021 Book Review
‘Sabji Cooler’ in Hockey Land: Empowering women, helping farmers

‘Sabji Cooler’ in Hockey Land: Empowering women, helping farmers

Ever heard of ‘Sabji Cooler’ or the zero-cooling chamber? It is a refrigeration unit built indigenously that runs without power and helps farmers preserve their vegetables for days. And this has been made possible in Odisha’s Sundargarh district which is known as mecca of Indian hockey and has produced many hockey legends. Today, farmers of this tribal-dominated district have been[Read More…]

by December 23, 2020 India
The Maharaja of Jodhpur’s Guns

The Maharaja of Jodhpur’s Guns

When an international arms historian discovers the famous Indian firearms in a book with a focus on the legendary Jodhpur collection, it ought to be stimulating. Jodhpur was one of the most important military states in Rajasthan, playing a major role in the subcontinent’s history. During the reign of Maharaja Ajit Singh (1678-1724), large of numbers of guns were purchased[Read More…]

by December 14, 2020 Book Review
A Plate of White Marble: A Woman’s Journey

A Plate of White Marble: A Woman’s Journey

“The house at Number 45 Shyambazar Street had its date of construction engraved right at the top of its façade. From this, it could be learnt that the house was not built in this century. If not a hundred, it was close to eighty-five years old. Thanks to the moist winds from the holy Ganges in its close proximity and[Read More…]

by December 1, 2020 Book Review
Tribal Development in India

Tribal Development in India

The term tribe or tribal is not defined anywhere in the Indian Constitution. According to Article 342, Scheduled Tribes (ST) are ethnic communities that are notified by the President of India. India’s tribes are not part of the traditional Hindu caste structure. They are more similar to the “indigenous” or “native people” in other parts of the world. Tribal communities[Read More…]

by November 28, 2020 Book Review
Middle Class, Media and Modi

Middle Class, Media and Modi

  ‘The spectacular victory of Narendra Modi and the BJP in 2014 and again in 2019 demands a nuanced exploration of the factors that led to it. Though the role of the middle class and the media in the making of what is called the ‘Modi Wave’ is often talked about, a clear-eyed and unbiased look at how they transformed[Read More…]

by November 8, 2020 Book Review
Gandhi & Aesthetics

Gandhi & Aesthetics

…the nine essays are a fitting tribute to the inventive beauty of Gandhiji and its wide-ranging applicability in present-day society… As India celebrated the sesquicentennial of MK Gandhi last year, Marg had come out with a special issue on the lesser-known aspects of Gandhi’s engagement with aesthetics. Gandhiji’s aesthetics was two-fold: one, it was a quest for exquisiteness and two; it was a[Read More…]

by October 29, 2020 Book Review
Political Economy of Caste in India

Political Economy of Caste in India

Caste plays a role at every stage of an Indian’s economic life: in school, university, the labor market, and into old age. The influence of caste extends beyond private economic activity into the public sphere, where caste politics determines access to public resources. Sure, there has been a convergence in education, occupations, income, and access to public resources across caste[Read More…]

by October 26, 2020 Book Review
‘Empowering the Differently Abled’

‘Empowering the Differently Abled’

India has roughly five crore incapacitated people. Persons with Disabilities (PwD) could in fact be as high as 5 – 6% of the total population. Almost half of them are uneducated and a significant number of that populace lives in rural areas. Differently-abled people deserve to progress in all facets of life- whether it is physical, economic, or social. They[Read More…]

by October 14, 2020 Book Review
 ‘Public Sector Enterprises in India’

 ‘Public Sector Enterprises in India’

A state-owned initiative in India is called a public sector undertaking or a public sector enterprise. These establishments are owned by the union government or one of the many state governments or both. The company stock needs to be majority-owned by the government to be a PSU. Public sector enterprises in India have now and always been the whipping boys[Read More…]

by September 27, 2020 Book Review
How old is the Kashmir Dispute?

How old is the Kashmir Dispute?

There can be, and have been, countless books on Kashmir and Kashmiris. Given its geopolitical importance in the Indian subcontinent and the constant needling by Pakistan, Kashmir has been a boiling point in the relationship between the two disagreeing neighbors. It has now been a year since the Indian government changed the status of Kashmir by making amendments to Articles[Read More…]

by September 24, 2020 Book Review
Unearthed: An Environmental History of Independent India

Unearthed: An Environmental History of Independent India

There couldn’t be a better audience than the youngsters for a book on the environment. If the youth are the harbingers of change, it is they who will have to care more about the earth and the environment. This new book on India’s environmental history is a commendable work simply for the reason that it is written for children.  ‘Unearthed:[Read More…]

by September 16, 2020 Book Review
On the Trail of Buddha

On the Trail of Buddha

  On the Trail of Buddha—A Journey to the East is ‘a unique sojourn in the search of the spiritual, philosophical, and cultural linkages that bind India to the East Asian civilizations. From the wandering monks of Asia to the temples and monasteries they visited; from the statues and frescoes in grottoes to those in the museums; from the diverse ethnicities[Read More…]

by September 7, 2020 Book Review
‘The Museum of Broken Tea Cups’

‘The Museum of Broken Tea Cups’

  What do we expect from an author who is a story teller, an international development strategist and a gender policy specialist? A lot to be sure. A Master’s degree holder in Public Administration from Harvard University, an equal   grade in International Relations from the University of Warwick, a policymaker Health, Nutrition and Gender portfolios with the Government of India[Read More…]

by August 24, 2020 Book Review
The Bomb

The Bomb

When a defense researcher and an aggressive reporter takes us into the White House Situation Room, the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “Tank” in the Pentagon, and the gigantic chambers of Strategic Command to bring the myriad stories of how America’s presidents and generals have thought about, threatened, broached, and just about avoided nuclear war, it is bound to be an exceptional[Read More…]

by July 19, 2020 Book Review
Unbecoming: A Woman’s Journey to the Future

Unbecoming: A Woman’s Journey to the Future

Title: Unbecoming: A Memoir of Disobedience Author: Anuradha Bhagwati Publisher: Atria Books/ Simon & Schuster Inc. “After a lifetime of buckling to the demands of her strict Indian parents, Anuradha Bhagwati abandons grad school in the Ivy League to join the Marines—the fiercest, most violent, most masculine branch of the military—determined to prove herself there in ways, she couldn’t before.[Read More…]

by June 5, 2020 Book Review
Sita Under the Crescent Moon: A Travelogue in Syncretism

Sita Under the Crescent Moon: A Travelogue in Syncretism

Title: Sita Under the Crescent Moon Author: Annie Ali Khan Publisher: Simon & Schuster India, 2019 There is a poignant tale to this book. Before the manuscript could see the light of the day, its author Annie Ali Khan died in an accident in Karachi. Annie was merely thirty years at the time of death. A brilliant journalist with a master’s[Read More…]

by May 1, 2020 Book Review