Books You Can Read If You Are Interested In Indian Politics

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If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.

–  Maya Angelou

India’s social fabric is complex and so is the political landscape that claims to represent the people’s voice. Here are a few interesting books about Indian politics ranging from the conception of the nation to the evils plaguing it decades after independence.

India After Gandhi By Ramachandra Guha

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A modern history of Independent India that compiles all the major glories as well as setbacks to the world’s largest democracy. From land issues in Kashmir and the North-east to wars with China and Pakistan. From drafting of the constitution to the first general elections.
It serves as the perfect read to catch up on 60 years of this rollercoaster ride (the book was published in 2007).

Annihilation Of Caste By B.R. Ambedkar

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An undelivered speech on the permeability of caste and how can the caste system be annihilated. It looks at the overt presence of caste and how it disadvantages minorities socially and economically. He questions the religious scriptures and the treatment of women in them.
A scathing text he later published and distributed independently when denied the platform to deliver it.

Nationalism By Rabindranath Tagore

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You must have heard the term ‘nationalism’ being thrown around on TV debates and social media. But, what does the term mean? How is the nationalism of the east different from that of the west? This seminal text gives you a lot of ideas and questions to think about the terms in meaning and relevance. 

When Crime Pays: Money And Muscle In Indian Politics By Milan Vaishnav

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A third of MPs elected in 2014 have pending criminal cases. For one-fifth of the total elected MPs, the charges are serious. The book explores why people vote such individuals into power. It makes for a very interesting read on the intrinsic connection of rampant crime, compromised law and order system, and flouting politicians. 

Life Among The Scorpions: Memoirs Of A Woman In Indian Politics By Jaya Jaitly

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The politician looks back at the good and the bad in her journey, comparing it to living among stinging scorpions. Moreover, she talks about surviving the Indian political scene as a woman, putting up with timid egos of her fellow male party members, and fighting for the patronage of arts and crafts.

We hope that these books invigorate you to find out more about the history and politics of the nation.