By Manju Gupta
Guru Gobind Singh ke Kavya mein Bharatiya Sanskriti (Hindi), Dr Dharmapal Maini, Suruchi Prakashan, Pp 148, Rs 150.00
Guru Gobind Singh is known for protecting the country’s dharma, culture, caste and nation. It was his life and works, which revived the spirit of nationalism among the disheartened Hindus and gave them the strength to live a life of respect, particularly at a time in the middle ages when the Indian society was plagued by divisive and disparate forces working at odds. There was an urgent need for a person who would work for political, social, religious, economic and literary uplift of the population.
After the end of King Harsha’s rule in India, then called ‘the golden bird’ due to its vast wealth of gold, silver, diamond and other jewels and natural resources, no Hindu king could take care of the country. It was plundered time and again by Muhammad Qasim, Mehmood Ghaznavi, Muhammad Ghori, the Sultans, the Lodhis and the Mughals. These latter rulers not only wanted to loot the country but spread their religion Islam too. Aurangzeb, a fanatic of the worst order, wanted to spread his kingdom over the whole of India and not only was he cruel to his own family, he did not let the Hindus rest in peace. It was in this era that Guru Gobind Singh took birth in Patna on December 26, 1666.
Once, when he was about five- to six-years old, he was playing with his friends. Since the Nawab of Patna was passing that way, the child Gobind Singh and his friends were told to bow down in front of the procession but Gobind Singh refused to comply. His mindset later showed the way on how his character would develop. He learnt to fight for justice on the basis of strength.
So since childhood, he worked with this aim and in his youth. He visited all the religious places like Varanasi, Allahabad, Ayodhya, Lucknow, Kanpur, Mathura, etc. on his way to Anandpur Sahib.
He founded the Khalsa Panth under which, to protect one’s religion, he advocated the need for five brave youth who were fearless, strong and ready to sacrifice their lives and he hid them in a tent. These included Dayaram, a Kshatriya from Lahore, Delhi’s Jat called Dharamdas, Mukkam washerman from Dwarika, barber from Vidar and a Harijan from Jagannathpuri. Gobind Singh gave them his message. These five came to be known as Panch Pyare and he entrusted them the responsibility of protecting the people and the society, dharma and the nation.
Aurangzeb, the Mughal ruler, became worried at this development and his forces laid siege to Anandpur for eight months. Gobind Singh’s two young sons were put to death by the Mughals. He could not recover from this shock and was stabbed by a Pathan.
The book says that his greatest contribution in life has been his Adi Granth, which contains Guru Teg Bahadur’s vani (verses). A number of Guru Gobind Singh’s verses are also included in this book under review.
(Suruchi Prakashan, Keshav Kunj, Jhandewalan, New Delhi – 110 055; www.suruchiprakashan.com)
A primer of economics
By Manju Gupta
Macroeconomic Policy Environment: An Analytical Guide for Managers, Shyamal Roy, Tata McGraw-Hill, Pp 334 (PB), Rs 425
Meant for professional managers working in both public and private sectors with little or no background of economics, the book tries to provide an understanding of how macro-economic policies work, and, in turn, how they impact the business environment.
Quite often one is intrigued why leading figures in the corporate world watch with more than passing interest what the Finance Minister announces on the day of the annual budget presentation or what the Reserve Bank of India Governor has to state during the quarterly monetary policy announcements. What are these leading managers of the industry looking for?
Managers have to cope with the economic environment at two levels – first at the firm (company) level where the business environment is driven primarily by the structure of the market and states the following economic principles which guide in decision making:
* The more competitive the market structure, the less influence a firm will have on prices as a means to improve the bottom line growth. A lowering of price will result in similar moves by the competitors, thus nullifying any price advantage for the firm. Any attempt at increase in prices will result in loss of customers in favour of competitors, once again defeating the main purpose.
In a highly competitive market structure, a firm or company must endeavour to achieve cost advantage by lowering its per unit cost of production vis-à-vis competitors and/or
* Be able to differentiate its product or service so that in the customer’s perception, the product or service of the firm or company offers more value than the competitors’ and who are thereby willing to pay a higher price or, at a give price, willing to buy more of the firm’s product/service.
At the second level, the managers have to cope with the economic environment. When a company makes decisions about new investments, certain assumptions are made.
This book will essentially serve as a textbook for managers and professionals.
(Tata McGraw Hill Education Publishers Ltd, B-4 Sector-63, Noida, UP-201 301; www.tatamcgrawhill.com)
Life of illustrious Indians
Veer Mataein: Krantiviron ki Mataon ke Udgar (Hindi), Sangita Pawar, Suruchi Prakashan, Pp 84 (PB), Rs 50
This is a collection of short stories on the lives of the illustrious sons of India as told through their respective mothers like Dwarikabai, Yeshu Bhabhi, Saraswati Bai, Jagdamba Devi, Roshanbi, Prabhavati, Vidyawati, Savitaben, Apurvadevi, Parvatibai, Jijibai, Sheelwati, Suryanarayan Amma, Mayawati and Rallidei.
Dwarikabai Chapekar was mother of three sons – Damodar, Balkrishan and Vasudev, who were hung for the alleged killing of British officer, Rand. When she is asked about her loss, she quotes Vir Shivaji who had said that if he had a fourth son, he would have given him also to the nation.
As Veer Savarkar lost his mother at a young age, it was his brother’s wife who took care of him and who used to suffer to see her son-like brother-in-law being mistreated at the hands of the British.
Vishnu Ganesh Pingle went to America to study further at Seattle University. Meanwhile he met Veer Savarkar and so he joined the freedom fighters on the ship named ‘Komagatamaru’ and returned to India with them. He joined Rash Bihari Bose in revolutionary activities against the British rulers.
Chandrashekhar Azad saw Gulab Singh being taken away by the police for singing Vande Mataram, so he pelted stones at the police and rushed back home. He was only a child then.
There are such incidents narrated from the lives of the other revolutionaries to show their valour and courage and their willingness to sacrifice their life for the sake of their motherland.
(Suruchi Prakashan, Keshav Kunj, Jhandewalan, New Delhi – 110055; www.suruchiprakashan.com)