Articles and Reviews

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bara Andre Ellarigu Ishta, translated by G.N. Mohan

   G. N. Mohan, tr. Bara Andre Ellarigu Ishta 
Bengaluru: Abhinava, 2012                    pp. 504; price: 350/-
               “yahan admi aur bail me kya pharak hai?”

     People like Medha Patkar, Baba Amte, and Teesta Setalvad  are very different from others –because they choose to tread a ‘path not taken’ by the ‘brightest and the best.’   Palagummi Sainath is one such in the field of journalism: he gave up his prestigious jobs in such periodicals as The Daily and  Blitz, got a Times fellowship, and, during 1993-94, toured  two of the poorest districts  in each of the five  states: Orissa, Bihar,  Madhya Pradesh, Uttara Pradesh, and Tamilnadu.  During this challenging tour lasting 15 months and, roughly, 80,000 km,  he filed a series of reports based on his experience, published in the Times of India.  Later, he undertook another trip to some of those and other districts in order to write a book based on those reports; and the book, Everybody Loves a Good Drought, was published by Penguin Books in 2000.  Immediately,  it became a best-seller and got translated into many other languages.   G. N. Mohan, another committed journalist and Sainath’s friend, has ably translated this book into Kannada.

Bhargavi Narayan -Naanu, Bhargavi

Bhargavi Narayan,   Naanu,  Bhargavi
Ankita Pustaka, 2012                 pp. 415; price: Rs. 250/-
               “Poignant Tale of a Gutsy  Artist”

       What is it that drives one to the stage and don the role of some one else
for a brief period,  against all odds?   Money? –there isn’t any in the Kannada theatre; fame? –very short-lived; inner urge to be somebody else?  Such questions  haunt one while  going through the autobiographies of  theatre-persons—like   CGK , BVK,   Prema Karanth, and others.  The most recent one in this illustrious group is the autobiography of  Bhargavi Narayan – the famous stage-film-TV artist.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

"Kannada Vishwavidyanilaya Charitre" by Vijay P. Tambanda

   Vijay P. Tambanda (Ed.), Kannada Vishwavidyanilaya  Charitre, 8 Vols.
      Prasaranga: Kannada Univ., Hampi, 2010
                                   “Useful Volumes”    

       During the colonial period, histories of India were written by British historians like James Mill, Vincent Smith, and such others as part of the Imperial agenda of England.  As a reaction to such histories, during the 20th century, there were many ‘Nationalist’ histories of India written by Indians, the most influential among them being the ones by Jadunath Sarkar and R. C. Mujumdar.  Towards the latter part of the last century, there arose many scholars like Romila Thapar, Bipan Chandra, and R. S. Sharma, who owed allegiance to Marxist ideology.  And then there were ‘Subaltern Histories,’  focusing on the those classes and communities that hadn’t found a place in ‘Elite histories.’  What these different histories tell us is that the narrative called History  is the ‘construct’ of an ideology, influential and powerful at a particular period of time, which may tell us about what may have happened in the past.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

“For Reasons of Their Own” -book by Ramachandran C.N.

New book; released on Feb. 6, 2012

 “For Reasons of Their Own”:  A Study of Authors, Texts and Issues          
  with Particular Reference to Kannada Literature  

-Ramachandran C.N.