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Book Shelf: Hand-picked books on history, art and defence

Book Shelf: Hand-picked books on history, art and defence
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First Published: Fri, May 04 2007. 11 28 AM IST

Updated: Fri, May 04 2007. 11 28 AM IST
Defence from the Skies
Indian Air Force through 75 years
By Air Commodore Jasjit Singh
Publisher: Knowledge World
Price: Rs2,300.00
The history of Indian Air Force over the last 75 years is replete with incidents/actions that have had seminal implications for the country’s defence. Being the only national military institution exclusively devoted to military operations in the aerospace continuum, the book pays close attention to their role in modern defence and the protection of national interests in pursuits of our foreign policy.
It reads like a part study, part interpretative essay and reflects on significant issues/events of the past 75 years. It goes a step forward by outlining challenges that IAF faces in the coming decades. The author, Air Commodore Jasjit Singh is one of India’s leading strategic experts in national defence. He brings his vast experience and knowledge of air operations in peace and war to suggest guidelines in a volume that can serve as a future defence of India from the skies. Formerly, Director of India’s think tank, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), presently he is Director of Centre for Air Power Studies.
The Religion of Tibet
By Charles Bell
Publisher: Rupa & Co.
Price: Rs195
This volume forms a sequel to the author’s Tibet: Past and Present and the People of Tibet. Here, he traces the history of the introduction of Buddhism in Tibet, of the resistance and gradual decay of the old magic, workshop of Ponism and of the developments which have taken place within Tibetan Buddhism itself.
The latter part of the book deals with religious organization, life in monasteries and customs and beliefs of the people. It helps establish an in-depth understanding of old histories and biographies, poems and legends while tracing their developments in Tibet. The author, Sir Charles Bell developed a special affinity with Tibet when he was posted to Kalimpong in 1901 as Political Officer. The book is a reprint by Rupa.
Close to Events: Works of Bikash Bhattacharjee
By Manasij Majumdar
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Pages: 250
Price: Rs2,000
A pictorial book on the life and works of one of India’s most gifted contemporary artists,
it deals with his early life in an old North Calcutta locality, the urban social ambience that shaped his creative personality and explores why he chose to remain ’close to events’ and free from the dominant trends in post- independence Indian art.
It unveils the influence and stylistic development of art with detailed exposition of themes and subjects that figure in his work. It takes the readers through a world half-created and half-perceived by him.
Striking reproductions of women in different moods give the reader a feel of the ‘typical Bikash’. He was intimately involved with the book, helping the author chronicle the events in his life but sadly did not live to see the final product. Manasij Majumdar’s earlier works on art include Sakti Burman, Dreamer on the Ark and Art Moves and Works by Sunil Das.
French Military Influence in India
By Lt Gen Mansingh
Publisher: Knowledge World
Price: Rs990.00
After the collapse of the Mughal empire, following the demise of Aurangzeb in 1707, a number of powers, including the English and French were left competing for grabbing a chunk of the power vacuum that got created in the process. The advent of the European military power into India was to have a major impact on the military science in India, hitherto seriously lagging behind Europe.
The contribution of the French, particularly was significant in the training of Indian Sepoy units in the European fashion with gunnery drills, fortifications and basic infantry tactics figuring predominantly. The book traces this through the incisive observations and study conducted by Lt Gen Gurbir Mansingh who is a consultant with the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva and a visiting lecturer on International Humanitarian Law and the Laws of Armed Conflict.
The History of the Sikhs
By WLM’Gregor
Reprinted by Rupa and Co
Price: Rs495
Written by a British army surgeon who participated in the military campaign to consolidate colonial rule over Punjab, this mid 19th century document is more than a fascinating source book for a significant period of Sikh history. Rich in anecdotes and eyewitness accounts, it opens a window into the British mind and the manner in which the conquerors understood the people they tried to subdue and the land they conquered.
The Rupa reprint brings together both volumes of the original work: the first traces the biographies of the Sikh gurus and Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the second is a military account of the Anglo-Sikh war of 1845-46, penned in the very midst of battle.
Managing Healthcare Waste
A practical approach
By Lalit K Verma
Publisher: Knowledge World
Pages: 216
Price: Rs590.00
Hospital waste is a potent source of biological and chemical pollution. Initiatives taken so far for disinfection and management of hospital waste in India and other developing countries have failed to achieve desired aims and outcome. There are many reasons but primarily it is due to the fact that planners and healthcare providers tend to go for ‘end of pipeline’ solutions rather than apply a ‘system approach’.
The handbook is a result of two years research and study. Sufficient data has been collected and compiled. Success stories and case studies have been discussed and can be a useful tool for improved understanding on the subject for planners, healthcare professionals, students of hospital management, NGOs and agencies involved in training and awareness programmes.
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First Published: Fri, May 04 2007. 11 28 AM IST