Paperback Pickings

New light on an old problem

By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 24.06.11

New light on an old problem

Battleground Telangana: Chronicle of an agitation (HarperCollins, Rs 299) by Kingshuk Nag is a timely offering that explores the core issues related to the Telangana movement. Telangana, formerly ruled by the Nizam, had refused to be a part of Andhra Pradesh because the local population harboured fears of being displaced by educated and enterprising migrants from the coastal areas. The fear led to the inception of a movement for statehood which, however, lost steam over time. But with the creation of smaller states in other parts of India, it resurfaced with a greater force. An undecided Centre, fearful of a political backlash, has kept the issue hanging. Nag argues that to find an answer to Telangana, several knotty questions need to be addressed. For instance, on which side of the fence should Hyderabad be located? Is it possible to bridge the cultural divide that separates the people of Telangana from those in Rayalseema? Nag’s dispassionate analysis throws new light on an old problem.

The Business of Cricket: The Story of Sports Marketing in India (Collins Business, Rs 299) by Shyam Balasubramanian and Vijay Santhanam traces the emergence, and then the gradual dominance, of marketing in sport. Sunil Gavaskar was an early recipient of the market’s bounties. Since then, with the liberalization of the Indian economy which brought in its wake increased television coverage and brand endorsement, sportsmen, cricketers in particular, have been reaping a far richer harvest. The authors delve into various issues — elements integral to sports marketing, the ways and means of expanding the market, and so on. They also dwell on why successful sportsmarketing is synonymous with cricket. But the question of sports marketing changing the ethics of games such as cricket needed to be explored more deeply.

Desire named development (Penguin, Rs 199) by Aditya Nigam argues in favour of substantive changes in India’s policies, economy and cities so as to mitigate the cruel impact of capitalism on vulnerable sections. At a time when farmers are fighting pitched battles against the State to hold on to their land in various parts of India, Nigam’s prescription of cutting down consumption and encouraging social parity could be looked into as viable alternatives at the level of policy.