7 Highly Recommended  Books on Indian Politics, thank us later! 

There is no scope of being apolitical. Here are the 7 books that will help you in understanding Indian Politics

You cannot say that I don’t do politics if you are choosing to stay silent. So to say, silence is a political statement and can turn the tables of a nation’s politics. Intentional silence is a played politics and silence out of apolitical understanding is subliminal, yet politics. The present times are such that the personal is political, there is no scope for you to say, politics don’t interest them. And you comfortably choose to stay in the apolitical bubble, then, politics might conspire to affect not just you, but the nation too.

So, it would be unnecessary to re-emphasize the importance of knowing and having a political opinion in the present context, and for that, you need to read, think, and act politically. Here are the books that one must read to understand Indian Politics –

1. Seven Decades of Independent India: Ideas And Reflections Vinod Rai & Dr Amitendu Palit  (Eds.)

Did we make our dream of democracy come true in the way our founding fathers wanted us to? Has the government changed ordinary people’s lives for the better? As for economic growth, where is India? Vinod Rai and Dr Amitendu Palit collected and edited several essays and culminated them into the book, ‘Seven Decades of Independent India’ to answer these questions. The book is a collection of accounts and comments of experts on several topics like the electoral process, defence, agriculture, political science, etc. The book should definitely be your pick if you want to know the achievements and mistakes of Indian Governments till now. 

2. When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics Milan Vaishnav (HarperCollins)

Indian Politics has been seen to have a long-standing relationship with violence. We have several leaders with criminal records, holding a position of power in politics, overshadowing the Indian Democracy. ‘When Crime Plays’, can be seen as an extensive analysis of why political parties choose to pick such candidates. It deeply analyzes the psychology of voters, why voters elect and re-elect such candidates. With researches and interviews of international dignitaries and extensive field, the book strongly comments on the impact of such “criminal” lawmakers on Indian democracy.

Read more: 5 books every Journalist-to-be should read to understand India

3. Why India Votes – Mukulika Banerjee

The title of this book is as fascinating as the question itself, “Why India Votes?”. Mukulika Banarjee’s book, ‘Why India Votes’ is an extensive and fascinating account of the Indian electorate, made through a series of ethnographic surveys conducted across the country — Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Kerala, Maharashtra,  Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. It talks about the opinions and mindset on thinking politically and their idea and understanding of democracy.

(Indian Politics: Books that you need to know)

4. The Modi Effect Lance Price

The 2014 elections were the largest elections ever conducted in human history and Narendra Modi happens to win those elections. Considering the claims of him being a ’chaiwallah’, and the transformation to becoming a Prime Minister of India, the book accounts for Modi’s triumph journey to the Prime Minister’s office. The book came just after a year of Narendra Modi’s victory and hence was titled The Modi Effect. The books are based on the conversations between writer, Lance Price and Modi, and the accounts of people who have supported Modi in his journey to PMO. It discusses anything and everything about the ideas, faiths, believes, and opinions of Modi as a leader of BJP. It’s a fascinating analysis of how vast amounts of money function together to achieve a single political target.

5. The Saffron Tide: The Rise of the BJP Kingshuk Nag 

Kingshuk Nag’s Saffron Tide is an extensive and comprehensive biography of BJP, from its building up as Bharatiya Jana Sangh to its rebellious victory in the 2014 elections. Nag has extensively talked about how the BJP struggles to shed its reputation of being a Hindu-only party, and how it is planning to reform its course in the coming years. This book is a significant account of the inside out of one of the biggest political party of India, The BJP, and their rise. It is certainly named as The Saffron Tide because that is what empowers the kind of nationalism BJP propagates.  

6. Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century Shashi Tharoor

This book comes out from the brains of one of the finest diplomats of not just the country but the world, Shashi Tharoor, and it is all about diplomacy. The book revolves around the idea of how Indian Diplomacy has come off a point and age forecasting needs to focus on the millennium. Tharoor has studied the international relations of the country, points out the soft power, and offers his new, grand strategy for the nation, i.e. moving beyond non- alignment and perform multi-alignments. This book is diplomatic, satirical and is one of the finest write-ups of Indian Authors.

7. The Free Voice: On Democracy, Culture and the Nation Hardcover Ravish Kumar

As the name suggests, the book talks about the democratic right to express oneself. And, it comes from the pen of none other than Ravish Kumar, one of the finest journalists of India, known for his upright understanding of freedom of media,[I], and freedom of speech and expression. The book comments on how free expression and individual liberty in India appears to be under serious threat.

Apart from these, there are several books on the recent CAA-NRC mass protest which are lined up to come in the market soon. Read these books, improve your understanding of Indian politics, and thank us later.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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