Friday, 21 September 2018

Best Books on Indian Political System

Indian political system is a vast topic. And often it becomes difficult to know what all is part of this subject.

Few topics that seem to highlight the most under Indian Political System are:
  • Nationalism
  • Partition
  • Constitution
  • Political Parties
  • Communalism
  • Coalition Politics
  • Caste and Reservations
  • Social and Gender based Movements
However, the problem of students begin when it comes to marking what to read that is relevant for getting a stronghold over the past and present of Indian Political System.

Today I am listing those books that are timeless and are one of the most recommended books for students who want to study Indian Political System.

The Politics of India Since Independence

Paul R. Brass

Brass narrates the story of India's parliamentary style of government, the challenges it faces and the ideology of the major leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi, V.P. Singh and others. The book also highlights some crucial issues pertaining in India like Hindu-Muslim tension, linguistic conflict, caste, etc.

In Pursuit of Lakshmi: The Political Economy of the Indian State

Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph

Lakshmi is an Indian Goddess of wealth and aptly so the book focusses on the economy and economic performance of India. The authors take into consideration the contrasting fact of India which is developing yet underdeveloped. The books touches upon issues of social mobilizations, organized labour, private capital, state capacity and how is the distribution of economic benefits in India done.

India: Government and Politics in a Developing Nation

Robert L. Hardgrave and Stanley A. Kochanek

The book narrates the story of 60 years of India, the political and socio-economic changes that it underwent and the challenges faced inbetween. In 10 chapters, the authors have dealt with several issues pertaining to globalization and development of India, British rule and nationalism, parliamentary form of government, federalism and Indian politics, interest-based politics, coalition parties, economic history and performance, and national security through India's foreign policy.

The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation

Granville Austin

One of the classic reads, this book is most loved by all those who are interested in knowing about the history of the Indian constitution, its philosophy and ideology. The book is very informative yet makes the reader easy to digest the gamut of information contained in it.  The author makes a focus on the numerous influences behind constitution building.

Working in a Democratic Constitution: A History of the Indian Experience

Granville Austin

Another most recommended book by the same author on Indian constitution, charts the journey of the Indian constitution and the challenges it faced.

Politics and Ethics of the Indian Constitution

Rajeev Bhargava

The book interrogates the ideologies behind the Indian constitution and how are they relevant to the existing times.

Democracy and Discontent: India's Growing Crisis of Governability

Atul Kohli

Analyzing the period from 1960-1980, the author argues on the crisis in political order and stability that has hindered the economic development of India.

Power and Contestation: India since 1989

Nivedita Menon and Aditya Nigam

The book begins with Nehruvian Consensus and how the idea of a modern nation rose. Caste and religion did play a role but economic globalization could not be stopped from making inroads into India. The book appreciates India's quest for democracy and argues that despite the turbulence India set itself on the path of new political relations and enter as a global player.

Social Movements in India: Studies in Peasant, Tribal and Women's Movement

M.S.A. Rao

One of the important books on social movements. It talks about peasant class, backward class, sectarian movements, tribal movements and women's movements. The author argues on ideology behind organized movements and the kind of social transformation it brought.

Social Stratification

Dipankar Gupta

Another book focussed on social classes and its dynamics on the Indian political system.

Secularism and its Critics: Themes in Politics

Rajeev Bharagava

The book is about secularism and how it is understood in the West and in India. The multiple essays by different authors debate secularism from ideological and practical point of view, and argue on the politics and religious tensions behind maintaining secularism in India.

The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s

Christophe Jaffrelot

The author makes a detailed study of the intermix of politics and religion, namely Hindu nationalism with the political parties of India. The Ayodhaya incident has been depicted as one of the instances that shows Hindu extremism. The book questions whether at all Indian secularism is true or not.

The Furies of Indian Communalism: Religion, Modernity and Secularization

Achin Vanaik

The author points out that in India both religion and state moves simultaneously and there can never be a distinction in their relationship especially in the context of understanding secularism in the Indian context. Vanaik brings in the arguments of Emile Durkheim, Charles Taylor and others who talk about identity.

The BJP and the Compulsions of Politics in India

Thomas Blom Hansen and Christophe Jaffrelot

A book that is primary focussed to account for the rise and challenges in the Indian political system of BJP.

India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Low Castes in North Indian Politics

Christophe Jafferlot

The author discusses democratization in India from the perspective of lower caste section of Indian diaspora and argues that since there is a rise of lower caste politicians it is a mark of a silent revolution.

Maoist and Other Armed Conflicts

Anuradha M. Chenoy and Kamal A. Mitra Chenoy

The authors pick up the issue of armed conflicts in India and explain that armed conflicts is the result of rights, justice, identity, social order, etc. Moreover, because of the ineffective state management, armed conflicts have turned states into militarization and has given rise to illicit economy. Interestingly, the book also brings in the issue of gender based violence such as domestic violence and how and why are women considered as community's honor.

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