The author raises several key questions relevant to Indian politics, including:
•?Why has India succeeded in making a relatively peaceful transition from colonial rule to a resilient, multi-party democracy in contrast to her neighbours?
•?How has the interaction of modern politics and traditional society contributed to the resilience of post-colonial democracy?
•?How did India’s economy – moribund for several decades following independence – make a breakthrough into rapid growth, and, can India sustain it?
•?And finally, why have collective identity and nationhood emerge as the core issue of India in the 21st century?
Introducing the novice to India, this accessible, genuinely comparative account of India’s political evolution also engages the expert in a deep contemplation of the nature of strategic manoeuvring within India’s domestic and international context. In addition to pedagogical features such as text boxes, a set of further readings is provided as a to guide readers who wish to go beyond the remit of this text.
The Handbook is structured around four main topics: political change, political economy, the diversity of regional development, and the changing role of India in the world. Chapters examine how and why democracy in India put down firm roots, but also why the quality of governance offered by India’s democracy continues to be low. The acceleration of economic growth since the mid-1980s is discussed, and the Handbook goes on to look at the political and economic changes in selected states, and how progress across Indian states continues to be uneven. It concludes by touching on the issue of India’s international relations, both in South Asia and the wider world.
The Handbook offers an invigorating initiation into the seemingly daunting and complex terrain of Indian politics. It is an invaluable resource for academics, researchers, policy analysts, graduate and undergraduate students studying Indian politics.
Reinventing India offers an analytical account of the history of modern India and of its contemporary reinvention. Part One traces India's transformation under colonial rule, and the ideas and social forces which underlay the deliberations of the Constituent Assembly in 1946 to consider the shaping of the post-colonial state. Part Two then narrates the story of the making and unmaking of this modern India in the period from 1950 to the present day. It pays attention to both economic and political developments, and engages with the interpretations of India's recent history through key writers such as Francine Frankel, Sudipta Kaviraj and Partha Chatterjee. Part Three consists of chapters on the dialectics of economic reform, religion, the politics of Hindu nationalism, and on popular democracy. These chapters articulate a distinct position on the state and society in India at the end of the century, and they allow the authors to engage with the key debates which concern public intellectuals in contemporary India.
Reinventing India is a lucid and eminently readable account of the transformations which are shaking India more than fifty years after Independence. It will be welcomed by all students of South Asia, and will be of interest to students of comparative politics and development studies.
The significance of the analyses goes beyond how much these questions find place in the campaign, or how much they would impact the electoral results. These have and would continue to be essential themes in Indian politics for some time. They would influence the country’s politics, its leaders, parties and institutions and would be interrogated in political, policy and social science circles in the foreseeable future. They would in turn be impacted, redefined and perhaps transformed by political dynamics and social pressure.
The first attempt of its kind to analyse the impact of certain emerging trends in politics on upcoming elections anywhere in the world, this book will be a useful addition to election studies and policy making in general.