Structured thematically and chronologically, this work is a useful resource for students of political science, sociology and South Asian studies.
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.
Religious influence in contemporary politics offers a fertile ground for political-sociological analysis, especially in societies where religion is a very important source of collective identity. In South Asian societies religion can, and often has, provided legitimacy to both governments and those who oppose them. This book examines the emergence of the BJP and the ways in which its Hindu nationalist agenda has been affected by the constraints of being a dominant member of a coalition government. The collected authors take stock of the party's first full term in power, presiding over the diverse forces of the governing NDA coalition, and the 2004 elections. They assess the BJP's performance in relation to its stated goals, and more specifically how it has fared in a range of policy fields - centre-state relations, foreign policy, defence policies, the 'second generation' of economic reforms, initiatives to curb corruption and the fate of minorities.
Explicitly linking the volume to literature on coalition politics, this book will be of great importance to students and researchers in the fields of South Asian studies and politics.