Updated on Jan 20, 2017 10:56:37

 

 

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19-Jan-2017

Lifting the veil over BJP's digital army

"Why does the PM of India alone among world leaders follow some of his country's worst online abusers?" Journalist Swati Chaturvedi asks this damning question and goes to answer it in an explosive expose of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) secret...

17-Jan-2017

The brothers who failed the West in Afghanistan?

What went wrong for the West in Afghanistan? Why couldn't a global coalition led by the world's pre-eminent military and economic power defeat "a bunch of farmers in plastic sandals on dirt bikes" in a conflict that outlasted both the World Wars combined?...

16-Jan-2017

A destructive demoness from the Ramayana or tormented woman?

Like the space-time it is set in, Hindu mythology too seems to trace a circular course -- in fiction. Its once unmitigated villains are being re-evaluated, their motives and actions re-assessed, and epics retold from their perspective. But while the great...

15-Jan-2017

The US statesman who out-argued the Devil and his curious career

Among the outstanding American statesmen (and one stateswoman) to never become President, Daniel Webster never let ambition, pride or popularity deflect him from his inalienable political principle: his country's preservation, even by tactical compromises...

14-Jan-2017

Karan Johar's memoir lays bare all, reflects Bollywood's ambiguity

This much-anticipated memoir of filmmaker Karan Johar has been creating waves on social media after chapters describing his fallout with actress Kajol were leaked on Twitter -- and for candid talk about his sexual orientation.But contrary to the initial reports...

14-Jan-2017 New Delhi

Less demand for regional language books at World Book Fair

The 44th edition of the World Book Fair might be seeing a good number of footfalls but stalls catering to regional languages are not getting sufficient visitors readers this year.Regional publishers said that because of the lack of readership, many of them...

12-Jan-2017 New Delhi

Book on Swami Vivekananda launched

Remembering Swami Vivekananda on his 154th birth anniversary, a book titled "Himalaya Mein Vivekananda" written by former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal was launched here on Thursday.The book launch at the ongoing World Book Fair was attended by Haryana...

12-Jan-2017

Relatively simple: The equation that explains our complex world

For what is the most famous and significant scientific equation ever, E=mc2 (c squared) appears rather simple. But in its five characters -- three letters representing significant physical forces or states, a number and a symbol, is the basic blueprint of...

11-Jan-2017 New Delhi

PM's 'Mann Ki Baat' now a book

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Mann ki Baat' can now also be read as author Rajeev Gupta has compiled all his speeches in a single book titled "Pradhan Mantri Ke Mann Ki Baat".The book, published by Sahitya Sanchay was launched by Union Tribal Development...

11-Jan-2017 New Delhi

Books for Rs 100? Head for World Book Fair, not Daryaganj

Publishing stalwarts might be drawing huge crowds at the World Book Fair, but giving them some competition are stalls and stands offering books for just Rs 100.Though stalls by Penguin, Harper Collins, Om Book Stores, Oxford are packed with readers, bookworms are...

11-Jan-2017

An 'Upanishad' on Greek mythology

The Ancient Greeks' enduring contributions to the world are the idea and practice of democracy, a system of philosophy but, above all, a colourful mythology whose influence, and reinterpretation, still permeates art, language and popular culture -- as the...

09-Jan-2017

An Indus Valley city's end and its shadow on the present

Certain patterns of behaviour crop up regularly in the course of human history. Attempts to channel supposed power over the unseen, or even religion, to secure unquestioned authority, enrich oneself and yet crave more influence -- behaviour regularly seen down...

08-Jan-2017 New Delhi

Bookworms throng World Book Fair, children's book sees demand

From Jeff Kinneys Wimpy Kid series to Amar Chitra Katha, the second day of the ongoing World Book Fair saw huge demand for childrens' books from tiny book-worms who thronged the venue in large numbers.With weather remaining pleasant and not playing a spoilsport...

07-Jan-2017 New Delhi

World Book Fair kicks off, a lot to look forward to

The sudden change in weather may have been a setback for those with elaborate plans over the weekend but it did not deter visitors from thronging in large numbers to the World Book Fair that kickstarted here on Saturday afternoon.The nine day-long literary...

06-Jan-2017

A Pakistani 'Herstory' of a community, city and country

Several ancient philosophical traditions held a human to be a microcosm of the universe. This holds true for history too, but here sometimes a personal, or family, record may offer a more vivid picture of affairs than accounts of larger social and political...

06-Jan-2017

The recipe for looking good? Eat well

If you happen to think that all top models have gone through their phase of anorexia and bulimia, here's something to break the myth -- they eat well, and, well, still look great and gorgeous.Former beauty queen Shvetha Jaishankar, who was crowned Miss...

05-Jan-2017

Bottling up feelings no solution to any problem

If you are going through emotional turmoil in your own life, "The THC: Under a Gibbous Moon" is a great motivator to make you sign up for therapy at the fictional Total Holistic Centre (THC), a wellness health farm in Mumbai, to find solace. This is because...

05-Jan-2017 New Delhi

New book on Mughal Emperor Akbar launched in the Capital

Emperor Akbar is among the most fascinating of the Mughal rulers and the latest addition to the scholarly offerings on him throws more light on his decisions as well as the frame of mind in which he made them.Written by Shazi Zaman and published by Rajkamal...

01-Jan-2017

An altruistic Arabian prince and his legendary quests

In our contemporary, high-tech world where a range of inventions and devices once thought magical are common, it is easy to understand why fairy tales have gone out of fashion. But reflecting human creativity and experience, they still have a lot to teach...

30-Dec-2016 New Delhi

Vivekananda, travel adventures and contemporary India

Know and understand the bewildering, fascinating and complex Swami Vivekananda; flick through an interesting story of travel adventures; map the history of contemporary India through the eyes of the Amul girl; and read the tale of four sisters who live the...

30-Dec-2016

A quest for wisdom across the ages and around the world

Wisdom is elusive and doesn't even have one accepted definition, but it still has been ceaseless pursuit of humans, who have been long enamoured of it, naming specific deities (especially goddesses) or even legendary forebears as its patrons, searching for...

28-Dec-2016

An unseen but admirable aspect of Genghis Khan

He has a prominent place in the annals of history, but as a restless, relentless warrior who shook up the world of his time, invaded territories across what are now 40 modern nations, slaughtered millions of people and ravaged cities and countryside alike...

26-Dec-2016

A man born of the soil returns to the soil

"Didn't Ramchandra give up the kingdom to Bharat and walk away into the forest? But then, that had happened in another age. Can you expect such a thing to happen today? Nowadays one brother will slit another's throat. Why, only the other day a brother in a wealthy...

26-Dec-2016

A 'spirited' history of the British empire and its 'high' legacy

This is one legacy for which avid party animals with thirsty throats will always thank the British Empire, which is otherwise not very popular currently. Besides English and cricket, one more abiding -- and cheering -- legacy is preserving (with generous...

23-Dec-2016

A trio of unlikely arms suppliers in the US' Afghan and Iraq wars

The premise -- a trio of Miami youth, barely in their 20s and habitual drug-users, turn top US arms suppliers, even landing a $300 million contract in 2007 to supply the new Afghan army ammunition, until jealous competitors, crusading journalists and vengeful...

22-Dec-2016 New Delhi

Book on love, emotional journey launched

Love has always remained an eternal theme in books and Avinash Pushkarnas debut book ‘My Red Butterfly is a passionate journey of love, emotions and compassion.Launched here on Wednesday, the book, published by Niyogi Books, is an enchanting story of an innocent...

22-Dec-2016

Zebras, giraffes, impalas and other evolutionary conundrums

It was birthplace of the human race but that is not the only contribution of Africa to life on our planet. On its sprawling savannah can be seen many intriguing and inexplicable natural phenomena, spanning morphology (stripes/long necks), behaviour (deer...

19-Dec-2016

Love lessons from the great philosophers

It is inexplicable, irresistible, makes the world go around, but its course may never run smooth. Falling in love with someone, somewhere, sometime is inevitable and so is some problem, big or small, emerging in the relationship. Advice may then be sought...

16-Dec-2016 New Delhi

Bad guys, teen woes, Karma

Flick through a funny and naughty story about bad guys, know the interesting experiences of a teenager in the voice of one, understand the doctrine of Karma in relation to your life, and read about the struggles and exploits of the art society.The IANS bookshelf...

16-Dec-2016

The schizophrenic, suspicious world of spying - and its costs

For any spy agency, even more worrisome than the possibility of its agents abroad being unmasked and inviting some sort of reprisal from the targeted country, is the prospect of its spies (or even ex-spies for that matter), their heads full with secrets,...

15-Dec-2016

Of loot, massacres and exploitation: The legacy of the Raj

For those of us in India and elsewhere, whose perspectives of the Raj have been shaped by the British version -- that the metaphorical political unity, democracy and law-bound society as well as modernity and technological advancement were a direct result...

14-Dec-2016 New Delhi

Book on black money launched in Delhi

A new book launched here looks at the world that thrives in the shadows, fuelled by money that exchanges hands in the dark and never gets reported -- "The Kala Dhan".The book, titled 'The Black White & Grey - Re-Coloring The Rupiah', authored by Pragun...

14-Dec-2016

A catalogue of unlikely, unexpected museums around the world

If you have a penchant for collecting something strange, say car horns, chocolate wrappers, or college yearbooks, of which your family or friends can never see the point, go on. If you amass a sizeable collection, your display may soon be among some unique...

12-Dec-2016

A whodunnit of Princely India and its royal investigator

As 1909 dawns, the British hold unquestioned sway over the Indian subcontinent with the freedom movement yet to achieve critical mass and Mohandas Gandhi not even back home, let alone being a known name. A large expanse is princely India, where the native...

11-Dec-2016

Daring the 'zamaana', focussing on thorns along with flowers

An art contemporary Indians seem to have forgone is of using an apt quote from a rich and vibrant literary tradition -- and recognising the usage. In what is among his trademark dialogues, Bollywood actor Raaj Kumar declaims in his bombastic drawl: "Hum...

11-Dec-2016

Kohinoor wasn't gifted but looted by British, say authors

Kohinoor was not gifted to the British but they took it away by force from India, says historian and author William Dalrymple, who has written a new book with journalist Anita Anand on the "rock star gem" that has a complex history and has been the subject of...

10-Dec-2016

Where from here? The curious case of Free Tibet Movement

Astounding as it may sound, but the arguments put forth by the current Director of Himalayan Aid in a recent book bluntly show that the United States as well as the Western world has lost track of what it set out to achieve from the "Free Tibet" movement. And this...

09-Dec-2016

Understanding Ukraine through its complex history and demography

Truth is the first casualty of war, goes the old saying, and this holds most true in civil wars where the arguments over legitimacy of a government, the course and meaning of history (which rarely remains in the past), and the validity of a separate identity...

08-Dec-2016

A world tour of words for unique feelings and sights

Supposing you were hosting a party and repeatedly went out to check if anyone was coming. Is this anxiety or anticipation, or is there a specific word capturing the mix of excitement and impatience you may be feeling? Is there any particular word for sunlight...

07-Dec-2016

Solving a messy life - with Audrey Hepburn's advice

She has been sacked from her miniscule onscreen part which is going to make her pushy mother furious, her alluring sister has hijacked the gorgeous actor who actually talked to her, and her scheming landlord has halved the size of the newly-rented apartment....

06-Dec-2016

Nazi past meets Cold War intrigue on the French Riviera

Surviving the Nazis, World War II at its most brutal, Soviet captivity, post-war deprivation, Latin American dictators, American gangsters, intelligence machinations and more, he had sought a quiet life, working as a hotel concierge in the French Riviera. But...

05-Dec-2016

The forgotten Gandhi and why he should be remembered

He was a "VIP" in independent India, not because he was son-in-law of the Prime Minister (while his wife and son would go on to hold the post and a daughter-in-law be offered it), but because he was a lawmaker always ready to pin down his own party's government...

04-Dec-2016

Solving crime and murder the Scotland Yard way

The London policeman, a member of the modern world's first professional law and order enforcement force, has long been a model for his counterparts and a subject for crime novelists. However, the crime-solving skills of Scotland Yard's finest were initially...

03-Dec-2016

The sad finale to Ramayana

The Uttara Kanda is the seventh and last book of Valmiki's Ramayana. It chronicles events after Lord Rama's exile and as the reinstated king of Ayodhya. As scholar Arshia Sattar says, it acts as an epilogue to the main story whose loose ends are tied up...

02-Dec-2016

An ode to life at the turn of the previous century

"One fateful morning, I woke up with the echoes of azaan in my ears, and before my eyes stood one minaret of the village mosque. I knew instinctively that I was committed to carry the powerful internal echo of this voice through the century."While writing...

30-Nov-2016

Solving life's mysteries with ancient and modern wisdom

Upstaged by "TV talk show hosts, smartly dressed motivational speakers, and pop gurus who tend to favour flowing robes", philosophers have themselves to blame. For they have abandoned their central pursuit of finding the meaning of life and how to live it best,...

29-Nov-2016

This travelogue takes you through Indian medicine

The story of India's healthcare system, as most of us look at it, is one of apathy, abominably rooted in deprivation and inequality, but this striking chronicle of Indian medicine argues that despite all odds, it is also a story of constant innovation, hope...

29-Nov-2016

Love and heartbreak, Allahabad style

A university teacher once told me that Allahabad used to be so full of historians and lawyers that you couldn't throw a stone without hitting either of them. But even in its decline, like many other Indian cities where past glories outstrips present potential,...

28-Nov-2016

When the gurus speak, it is pure wisdom

Author of the best selling Fakir trilogy, Ruzbeh N. Bharucha, transports Dada Vaswani, a guru to millions, into every reader's heart, as only Ruzbeh can with his characteristic mix of spirituality and humour. This is a book of 288 wisdom-filled pages, one you...

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