Reinventing India: Liberalization, Hindu Nationalism and Popular Democracy
December 2000, Polity
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
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.
Map 1 Territorial growth of the East India Company, to 1843.
Map 2 Contemporary India.
Part 1: The Invention of Modern India.
Chapter 1: The Light of Asia? India in 1947.
Chapter 2: 'Sovereign, Democratic, Federal, Socialist, Secular': the Invention of Modern India.
Part Two: Contesting Modernity.
Chapter 3: the 'Tall Men' and the 'Third way': Nehru, Patel and the Building of Modern India.
Chapter 4: Jealous Populism, Crises and Instability: Indira's India.
Chapter 5: Drifting Towards Catastrophe: The Powerlessness of the Congress.
Chapter 6: 'Elite Revolts': Reforming and Reinventing India in the 1990s.
Part Three: The Reinvention of India.
Chapter 7: The Dialectics of Reform: the State and Economic Liberalization.
Chapter 8: The Guilty men? Militant Hinduism and the Politics of Anti-Secularism.
Chapter 9: Transfers of Power? Subaltern Politics, Sites of Empowerment and the Reshaping of India's Democracy.
Chapter 10: Conclusion.
Draws on a wide literature during the discussion of politics and economics including history, anthropolgy and sociology texts making it truly inter-disciplinary
Develops a new line on the state and civil society in India
Draws on the authors' fifty years of joint field experience in North and South India
Written in an accessible and approachable way
"This is a superb analysis of India's changing political economy
from the 1940s to 2000. The authors sustain a clear and compelling
argument while negotiating a thicket of contentious issues related
to politics and the state at different levels, democracy, class
structures, modes of accumulation, development, ideologies and
religions. Essential reading for all scholars who have an interest
in these subjects." David Potter, The Open University
'This is a useful book. The authors should be congratulated for
providing a comprehensive treatment of a complex and fast changing
political economy. The book can be used with profit for upper
division courses dealing with post-independence India.'
"This is a Superb book, deserving readers from several
fields." Canadian Journal of Sociology Online
"Those who are seriously interested in acquiring an
understanding of contemporary India are recommended to tackle this
scholarly text." Progress in Human Geography
"Interesting to the student of contemporary democracies, and i found reading them in conjunction very illuminating. When there is such an excellent body of English Language Literature on contemporary India society one wonders why it is that so many sociology students in the west will complete their studies without ever having read an article or picked up a book written on the 'world's largest democracy'." Journal of the British Sociological Association