ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Managing Cities

provision, sanitation, transportation, or Managing Cities maintenance of health, to say nothing of Metropolitan City Governance in India by Marina R Pinto; Sage Publications,

The first 40 pages of Marina Pinto’s Metropolitan City Governance in India almost dissuaded me from reviewing her book, so heavy were they with political science theory, too forbidding for a simple mind. In his foreword to the book, my distinguished former colleague, B G Deshmukh, hailed the toughest of those pages, the chapter on ‘Theoretical Perspectives’, as a “welcome addition to the documentation of this subject”, which leads to the “familiar democracy vs efficiency dilemma”. He obviously got far more out of those pages than I. I was too unlettered even to discover their relation to the rest of the book.

The book’s very title had intrigued me. Why ‘governance’?, a word to which Fowler’s Modern English Usage ascribes “the dignity of incipient archaism, its work being done, except in rhetorical or solemn contexts, by ‘government’ and ‘control’”. Was it some such significance that drove the author to devote nearly a sixth of her text to the views of people like Gneist, Mill, and Aristotle? My habitual doggedness served me well, though, and I discovered that Pinto had produced in the rest of the volume an excellent textbook for students of city government in India, to give them a concise account of the principal municipal laws that apply in the four metro cities. Page after page explains the details of those laws, the financial powers available at various levels, and so on.

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