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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

HT Picks: The most interesting books of the week

This week’s reading list features a book on Balochistan, another on sedition laws in India, and a volume of recipes from Muslim kitchens across India.

books Updated: Aug 17, 2019 10:19 IST
HT Team
HT Team
Hindustan Times
This week’s good reads includes a study of Balochistan, an examination of India’s sedition laws, and a volume of recipes from Indian Muslim kitchens.
This week’s good reads includes a study of Balochistan, an examination of India’s sedition laws, and a volume of recipes from Indian Muslim kitchens.(HT Team)


359pp, Rs 899; HarperCollins
359pp, Rs 899; HarperCollins

Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province, is a complex region fraught with conflict and hostility, ranging from an enduring insurgency and sectarian violence to terror strikes and appalling human rights violations.

In his third book on Pakistan, Tilak Devasher analyses why Balochistan is such a festering sore for Pakistan. With his keen understanding of the region, he traces the roots of the deep-seated Baloch alienation to the princely stat of Kalat’ s forced accession to Pakistan in 1948. This alienation has been further solidified by the state’s rampant exploitation of the province, leading to massive socio-economic deprivation.

Is the Baloch insurgency threatening the integrity of Pakistan? What is the likelihood of an independent Balochistan? Has the situation in the province become irretrievable for Pakistan? Is there a meeting ground between the mutually opposi g narratives of the Pakistan state and the Baloch nationalists? Devasher examines these issues with a clear and objective mind backed by meticulous research that goes to the heart of the Baloch conundrum.*


262pp, Rs 499; Penguin
262pp, Rs 499; Penguin

An accessible and valuable document about the history of the sedition law in India.

The Indian Penal Code was formulated in 1860, three years after the first Indian revolt for independence. It was the country’s first ever codification of offences and penalties. But it was only in 1870 that Section 124A was slipped into Chapter VI(‘Of Offences against the state’) defining the offence of ‘sedition’ in a statue for the first time in the history of common law.

When India became independent in 1947, the Constituent Assembly expressed strong reservations against sedition as a restriction on free speech as it had been used as a weapon against freedom fighters, many of whom were a part of the Assembly. Nehru vocally opposed it. And yet, not only has Section 124A survived, it has been widely used against popular movements and individuals speaking up against the establishment.

Where did this law from? How did it evolve? And what place does it have in a mature democracy? Concise, incisive and thoughtful, The Great Repression by Chitranshul Sinha, an advocate on record of the Supreme Court of India, tells the story of this outdated colonial era law.*


211pp, Rs 450; Hachette
211pp, Rs 450; Hachette

A delectable trove of stories and recipes, Daastan-e-Dastarkhan unravels the history and traditional cooking techniques of 30 intimate dishes from the culinary heritage of Muslim communities across India. In this evocative journal , MasterChef India contestant and consultant chef Sadaf Hussain invites you to gorge on Bihari kebabs during Eid, discover the influences of the spice trade in vegetarian dishes from the coastal Mappila cuisine and learn about a lost recipe born out of competitions between chefs during the Nizami era.

With easy-to-follow recipes adapted for today’s kitchens, this book encourages you to recreate mouth watering delicacies of old, and weaves the tale of a community that is as varied as its food. *

*All copy from book flap

First Published: Aug 16, 2019 18:49 IST

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