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Books on Indian Politics

Posted by Admin on October 19, 2014 | Comment

Indian politics is one stimulating subject that has motivated authors to delve deep into the past, chronicle the events of yesterday and pen down the revelations based on years of research. Be it the pre-independence era or the post-colonial politics, some exceptionally well-documented and insightful books have created an enduring place in the readers’ heart.

Books on Indian Politics

Books on Post-Independent Indian Politics

Tumult, frequent change of leadership and political pandemonium pretty much sum up the first few decades of Indian independence. There are a handful of books that aptly captured the mood and the discourse of the period.

“Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence,” written by Jaswant Singh, is one of the controversial yet widely read books on Indian politics, including the Partition of India. The book led to Singh’s expulsion from the BJP but not before it had communicated to the readers that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies were greatly responsible for the Partition.

In his book “Nehru: The Making of India,” MJ Akbar chronicled the “personal bravery as well as the foibles of India’s first prime minister.” His book is also a kind of an answer to those who squarely put the blame on Nehru’s Socialism for keeping India backward for long.

Another seminal work in this field is historian Ramachandra Guha’s “India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy.” Besides winning the 2011 Sahitya Akademi Award, the book also left an indelible impression on its readers by the virtue of its incisive details and research work on the course that India charted for itself after it gained independence.

Paul R. Brass had made a comprehensive analysis of the political, economic, and social changes and crises during the ensuing decades of independence in his book “The Politics of India Since Independence.” The book is considered an earnest attempt to identify the leadership deficit and fractured mandate on economic growth that relegated the nation’s position in the world.

Books on Contemporary Indian Politics

Natwar Singh’s ‘One Life is Not Enough,’ which revealed sensitive developments that happened during the UPA regime, belongs to a particular genre of political books that have tried to brought to the fore the not-so-rosy aspects of running a government, especially a coalition one. Sanjaya Baru’s “The Accidental Prime Minister” belongs to the same clan.

Perplexed by the governance paralysis and unnecessary conservatism in dealing with external affairs, some of the top political analysts and policymakers teamed up to contribute for the book, “Getting India Back on Track: An Action Agenda for Reform.” This is a collection of detailed essays wherein experts have recommended policies to resolve domestic and foreign issues and provided a road map for the government to take the growth engine forward.

Another book that stands on an equal footing is the “Uprising 2011- Indians against Corruption.” It has archived the events leading to the public uprising and the trajectory of the anti-corruption movement led by social activist Anna Hajare. The book gives a thumb-nail view of the historical awakening of the Indian society, to take the readers through the struggle chronologically as it was being reported.

One of the most widely recommended books on contemporary politics is Gurcharan Das’ “India Unbound”, which is a blend of “memoir, economic analysis, social investigation, and political scrutiny” in an attempt to understand Indian polity. The book covers a span of more than 50 years starting from the independence to the beginning of the 21st century.

Holding a mirror to the political and economic conditions of India in the coalition era, the economist Bimal Jalan authored a complete page-turner “Emerging India: Economics, Politics and Reforms”. The book takes us through India’s growth from the post-liberalisation era (early 1990s) to the contemporary times. He reasoned how the growth of regional parties affected policy formulation. The book also noted various challenges of coalition politics that have plagued different departments of the government.