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The Agartala Doctrine

A Proactive Northeast in Indian Foreign Policy

The ‘border states’ of India, especially in the Northeast, are now considered crucial to the conduct of India’s foreign policy in the region. There is an urgent need for a robust national doctrine that could guide them in tackling pressing issues concerning them and also helping them boost their economy by accessing opportunities beyond borders.
Much as it is important to check cross­border infiltration of illegal migrants and terrorists, a defensive security mindset may prevent states from leveraging the neighbourhood for economic opportunities.
This volume constructs such a framework by exemplifying Tripura’s not­so­well­known influence on India’s policy towards East Pakistan and then Bangladesh for more than half a century—the so­called ‘Agartala doctrine’. The contributions to this volume detail the regional environment in India’s eastern and northeastern neighbourhood, where its ‘Look East’ policy is unfolding.
The collection provides definite pointers to challenges and opportunities that can be explored for India’s economic growth, strategic advantage, and cultural influence in a comparative view of similar experiences from China, Russia, and USA. Bringing together a rich mix of perspectives from academics and practitioners from South Asia, this book is a valuable window for all those interested in understanding India’s foreign policy in this region.

Edited by Subir Bhaumik

Publisher: Oxford

Pages: 360

Price: INR 895

Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet

Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet 

Author: Akshay Manwani

HarperCollins Publishers India

Year 2013

320pp

Indian Rupees 399

Reviewed by ASIF ANWAR ALIG

This October 25 marked 35th death anniversary of Indian subcontinent’s legendary poet lyricist, Sahir Ludhianvi. Three and half decades have passed since his death but his popularity is still intact in India and surrounding countries. Indian cinema ensured fame of legendary songwriter doesn’t wane in the culturally hollow environment that forgets as fast as foretells literary giants.

Born Abdul Hayee on 8 March 1921 in Ludhiana city of Punjab, he chose penname, Sahir Ludhianvi to associate with the place of birth. Troubled childhood of being deprived of comforts or growing under constant fear psychosis in adolescent period depicts in his poetry to exasperate negative experiences encountered then and literally scarring him for whole life. His father’s immoral lifestyle, repeated tortures and ill-treatment meted out on his mother brought uncertainty in mother and sons’ lives. He couldn’t forget bitter memories until death on 25 October 1980.

Sahir Ludhianvi distinguished him in Urdu poetry with that works that enlivened Indian cinema. “His poetry won’t fade so easily,” foresees biographer, Akshay Manwani in this book. He further stresses that “Sahir’s poetry is a brilliant portrayal of multiple aspects of his personality as a songwriter. His poetry was immortalized by Indian cinema in his lifetime itself through his poems being voiced during golden era of Indian cinema that ceased to exist without Urdu’s contribution.

The book is an immaculate research on Sahir Ludhianvi’s life and works. A narration of his agonies and relationships with men, women, peers or friends to his professionalism, Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet is a must read and an addition in treasure of works on this legend.

Highly research based description of Sahir Ludhianvi’s personality turns this book valuable asset for us to know the poet of an unequal caliber. His penchant for poetry was an interesting story— “His own inclination aside, one person responsible for Sahir’s development as a poet was his teacher at Malwa Khalsa High School, Faiyaaz Haryanvi. The Maulana taught him Urdu and Persian and fostered in his young ward a taste for poetry and literature. Other influences he admitted to be of Urdu poets of early to mid-twentieth century—Muhammad Iqbal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Majaz Lucknawi and Josh Malihabadi (Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet – p-13).

(This celebration, is not one of joy, but a circus; In the guise of something new, the attempt to plunder is afoot; After putting out the lights on communal harmony, this radiance; Is of those lanterns that have been nurtured in the dark; Such light that has been cultivated from the throes of darkness; If it spreads, shall only spark many a flame; And if it doesn’t spread, until the break of a new dawn; Will poison this nation’s soul)

Thorough detailing of Sahir Ludhianvi’s truculent time to prosperity while he was a helping hand for others are oddities in that personality. He was even forced to sell his mother’s gold bangles to pay electricity and water bills. Once he rewrote and faired Krishan Chander’s unintelligible handwriting from latters’ scripts for a measly sum of Rs. 150 to make his ends meet.

Sahir Ludhianvi had fulltime entry into Indian film industry in 1951 alongside other songwriters. The genius of works by them provided India’s film song its finest hour through 1950s and early 1960s with immaculate contribution by him and his counterparts. He partnered with stalwarts and his association with S.D Burman in more than 15 movies in a span of seven years’ professional relationship from 1951 to 1957 presented great work of poetry in cinema. Movies Jaal (1952), Taxi Driver (1954), Munimji (1955), Devdas (1955), House No 44 (1955) and Fantoosh (1956) couldn’t attain that success without Sahir’s magical lyrics.

Pioneering lyrics of Sahir Ludhianvi is reminisced for Pyaasa (1957) and vestiges reference point in the Indian cinema’s songwriting history. Notable songwriting works for Yash Chopra’s Dhool Ka Phool (1959) and most of B.R Chopra’s movies starting with Naya Daur (1957) until those in later years were ultimate. His songwriting was appreciated then and still remains pathfinder for new generations—“Sahir’s unique ability to marry poetry and philosophy and take contemptuous view of world, even in a light number, places him several echelons above other songwriters. Sahir took songwriting extremely seriously to make that his identity.

Sahir Ludhianvi’s numinous poem in 1969, while India celebrated Mirza Ghalib’s 100th death anniversary (15 February 1869), showcased his anger and revolution. He wrote Jashn-e-Ghalib (Celebrating Ghalib) to expose the double standards of politicians commemorating Urdu’s finest poet but themselves responsible for demise of Urdu as a language.

Jis ahad-e-siyaasat ne yeh zina zabaan kuchli
Us ahad-e-siyaasat ko marhoomoun ka gham kyun hai?
Ghalib kise kehte hein, Urdu hi kaa Shaayar thaa
Urdu per sitam dhaa kar, Ghalib ke karam kiyun hai?

(The government that crushed this effervescent language; Why should that government grieve over the dead? The man called Ghalib, was a poet of the Urdu language; Why should they be unfair to Urdu and benevolent towards Ghalib?) Other wonderful poem of Sahir Ludhianvi, Gandhi Ho Ya Ghalib Ho (Be It Gandhi or Ghalib) composed on the occasion of 100th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (2 October 1969) coinciding Ghalib’s death centenary, lamented the declining prominence of both personalities in the Indian society.

 

This biography raises an imperative question—“Regardless of Talkhiyaan’s overwhelming success and his immensely perceptive poems in Aao Ki Koi Khwaab Bunein, Sahir and his poetry don’t evoke same interest like those of Allama Iqbal, Mir Taqi Mir and Mirza Ghalib among Urdu intelligentsia in the subcontinent. Neither is Sahir taught in classrooms, nor is there a detailed critique of his film or non-film works in Urdu or English by eminent Urdu scholars.”

Sahir Ludhianvi’s ability to merge the social conscience with poetry in songs makes him relevant anytime and every time. He had several firsts in the career as poet and songwriter—like a person being accepted as he was; with his language, vocabulary and imageries. Several successful films have become immensely popular due to his lyrics instead of the tunes or a singer’s prominences.

This book fiercely describes his lifetime from birth as Abdul Hayee to Chaudhri Fazl Mohammed and Sardar begum to death of Sahir Ludhianvi at age 59. This book also has complete list of songs he wrote. It is treasure for Urdu poetry lovers willing to explore his pied creativity.

Asif Anwar Alig was executive producer in ETV; Editorial Coordinator at Management Development Institute, Gurgaon; Media Specialist at Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Saudi Arabia before joining Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia as an Assistant Professor cum Media Relations Specialist.

Gita and the Art of Selling: Memoirs of a Sales Yogi

By Kiran Bettadapur

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd

Number of Pages: 450

Language: English

Price: Rs.335

Gita and the Art of Selling, Memoirs of a Sales Yogi may be non-fiction, but the retro storyline and the blazing narration make it more like a roman-a-clerf that tickles your imagination. The story is woven around a protagonist, Mahesh Kumar, who s engulfed in the inscrutable ennui of a dull n dreary gig at a fuddy-duddy outfit in the 1970s. The machismo in him craves for the adrenalin rush of a parkour-like sleigh ride, albeit in his career. So, with a Laozi-esque jaunt-of-joy-starts-with-a-job-jump hunch as alibi, he joins an upstart, BCL- a cauldron wherein assiduity and absurdity; profanity and profundity coexist in blissful solitude. Highballing-express-train-like BCL s elan vital is its flamboyant founder-CEO, Shiv Nair. Everything about Shiv is big dreams, desires...ship-like cars; tennis-court sized offices... even Patiala pegs of whiskey he pours! Acutely obsessed with market dominance, he lets gladiator-like reps loose in the coliseum called marketplace, to ride roughshod over competitors. Put into a boot-camp-like grind, Mahesh finds himself at the forefront of a groundbreaking mission. Jumbo quotas, a turbo-charged culture; mucho toil; but nada sales overwhelm him! Does BCL s ecosystem, an epitome of espirit de corps, help the rookie pull his socks up, and climb the corporate food-chain? Filled with anecdotal flotsam and jetsam, this languishing-laggard to shooting-star story thrills n teases even as it teaches the nuanced craft of selling. An antipodal attempt to step away from the ivory tower of academe, it offers from-the-trenches insights on the Jerry Maguire and Willy Lomans of this world-smiling heroes who stride out on a shoeshine, shed loads of sweat and schlep in orders. Finally, if this book gets Drucker to rephrase his pedantic credo as, marketing makes selling plain-sailing (instead of superfluous), that s a bonus!

The 6 Spheres of Life: Unlocking the Door to Success and Happiness

By Chitra Lele

Publisher: Atlantic

Number of Pages: 208

Language: English

Price: Rs 195

'The 6 Spheres of Life: Unlocking the Door to Success and Happiness' written by young and talented author Chitra Lele. Kindly request you to encourage this unique book on personal transformation. Her latest book is about unleashing inner powers and initiating the self­healing process. It has received praise and blessings from the Hon. Ex. President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil, the Ex.Police Commissioner of Pune, Dr. Satyapal Singh, The Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Smt. Prabha Rau and many more world leaders and world organizations.The book is loaded with unique formulas and emotional tools you can use to turbo­charge your life. It’s a practical guide which provides concrete ways to achieve inner peace, virtuous values and overall well­being. It will help to cut down the unfair competition and focus on ways of collective growth.

This book is a wonderful tool to help you chart your overall progress in all spheres of life. This book will certainly be a valuable addition to your home and office library. This book will certainly be of great value in employee personality development programs and induction sessions. In these times of tough competition, this book will help to maintain inner calm and a positive focus on all the spheres of life. And you can add it to your collection by ordering it online, the links are as follows:

http://www.amazon.com/Spheres­Life­Unlocking­Success Happiness/dp/8124802165/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398333745&sr=1­1
or call 011­40775300 and 09911154313

About the Author: Chitra Lele is a young record­setting author, multi­time world record holder, keynote speaker and management consultant, all rolled into one. Her publications include academic and reference books, international anthologies, peace poems, scholarly articles and research papers. Chitra’s books have become very popular in government libraries, universities and colleges, and corporate workshops. She conducts sessions on team management and personal transformation across the world. Chitra has been conferred with the title of “A Versatile Writer” by the India Book of Records. She set this record by penning maximum number of academic books in a short span of 18 months. Some of her record­setting titles are: The 6 Spheres of Life: Unlocking the Door to Success and Happiness; Organizational Democracy: Collaborative Team Culture: Key to Corporate Growth; and English Language: The Gateway to Global Growth.

Tripura's Bravehearts

A Police Success Story of Counter Insurgency

Author: B.L. Vohra
Year: 2011
Price: Rs. 595
Pages: 273

Publisher: Konark Publishers

Summary
This book tells the success story of police in controlling insurgency decisively in Tripura state in India's northeast. This is only the second success story of its type in India after the success of Punjab police in controlling insurgency. Since many people in the rest of India do not know about this story it has been written by B.L. Vohra who was Director General of Police of Tripura when the fight back started with determination against the insurgents from the year 2000 onwards with full political backing of an honest political leadership led by the Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and the bureaucratic backing led by the Chief Secretary Shri V. Thulasidas. Para military forces like CRPF and BSF ably assisted the local police in achieving the objective. Very few people in India know about Tripura, its fascinating history, of its fight against the insurgency and how and when it was controlled. It was a big empire once upon a time dating back to the days of Mahabharta and finds a mention in the epic. By the time the partition of India took place in 1947 it had become a small state due to the vagaries of history. At that time it lost quite a bit of land and communications facilities to what was then East Pakistan and now Bangladesh. Many Bengali Hindus came over to Tripura due to the atrocities there and soon became the majority in the state whereas the local tribals had earlier formed the majority. This led to discontentment among the tribals, which manifested itself in many forms till it became a full-fledged insurgency in the late 1970s. From then on it grew in strength and by 2000 it had become a hydra headed monster. It was then that the state police backed by strong political will took on the insurgents and defeated them using innovative strategies. The story also proves the case in point that only the efforts led by the local police can handle such situations effectively. Though the violence has been contained the issues of the tribals still remain in Tripura. One only hopes that these will be taken care of to avoid a return to insurgency in the future.