Politics have always been a subject that stirs a great amount of debate all over the world. Especially in a country like India, it is of prime importance since the foundation of our nation was laid by terrific political leaders. Right from the time we gained independence, politics has played a big role in determining what goes about in our country. From the central to state elections, it has always been a grand affair with speculations on which party wins or losses. If you are a zealous follower of politics and take part actively in all the debates that stir up around your neighborhood or in your local new channels, then you are at the right place.
We have curated a list of best Indian books on politics that will help you to know more about our political system!
How India Became Democratic by Ornit Shani
Do you know how electoral rolls are made? Are you acquainted with the first drafting of electoral roll during the time of India’s independence? If you want the answers to these questions, then this book is for you. It takes you back to a time when our democracy was established and how everything else took place back then. It is one of the best Indian books on politics that presents our democracy in such a light.
How India became democratic also makes you familiar with the roots and causes of democracy in India. The book is well-researched and thoroughly engaging whereas the writing style may be a bit monotonous. But if you are interested in understanding our politics, then you’ll love it!
The Free Voice: On Democracy, Culture and the Nation by Ravish Kumar
In a country wherein liberty of the press and media is limited, Ravish Kumar stands still as a lone wolf who dares to raise serious questions about the ongoing situations in our country. Written in an extremely rustic tone, the same that he employs while speaking, this book is upfront and brutally honest. He has a keen understanding of our political system as well as the fear that it has instilled in all of us. And he leaves no stone unturned to lay importance on it all.
The Free Voice is a collection of his thoughts, some taken from his speeches or interviews. All in all, it is brilliant and one of the best Indian books on politics to exist in current times. It also tells you about your power as individuals in the making of a government. Crisp and raw, this is a must-read for all.
When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics by Milan Vaishnav
We live in a country wherein politics and crime share a symbiotic relationship and feel incomplete without each other. We, on the other hand, find it supremely normal and okay. N one questions it or has the audacity to do so. When Crime Pays goes on to explain all that is wrong in our political system and presents the true face of criminalization of politics in India. As a political scientist, Milan Vaishnav explores this subject through various sources including interviews of party members, recruiters, and voters.
It also throws light on party members recruiting familiar criminal faces to propagate their agenda of fear in the public. The main problem here is not a lack of awareness but the presence of it. If you are remotely interested in reading a good book on politics, this is for you.
The Modi Effect- Inside Narendra Modi’s Campaign to Transform India
How did a young boy who used to sell tea in trains elevated himself for the position of the highest paying job in the country? How did a boy from Gujarat become the face of India in true sense? Love him or hate him but you can not ignore him! From leading his party to the greatest victory in May 2014 to being on the front page of the US newspaper, Modi has transformed the face of India in his way.
Written from the perspective of a BBC journalist who is non-judgemental and claims to have not voted for Modi if given a chance, the reader explores the election campaign from a non-biased set of eyes. With the freedom to express his own opinions and criticize, Lance writes one of the best Indian books on politics.
Half-Lion: How P.V. Narasimha Rao Transformed India by Vinay Sitapati
Published in 2016, this book explores the life of the most underrated prime minister of India, P.V. Narasimha Rao. Through his book, Sitapati provides answers to numerous questions associated with the prime minister. From his unprecedented economic policies to schemes that led India towards a huge transformation, he did it all but with very little recognition for his deeds.
We also get a deep insight into his childhood to his expertise in 10 languages at once, his love affairs, and an unquestionable quest for loneliness. This political biography also talks about the controversial aspects of his life ranging from the Babri Masjid case to that of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. If you want to learn about Indian politics, please read this one.
The Saffron Tide by Kingshuk Nag
Kingshuk Nag chronicles the rise of the Bharatiya Janta Party from being a coalition in 1951 by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. Originated as Bharatiya Jana Sangh and then transformed to BJP in recent times. After taking on Indira Gandhi in 1977, it established its battleground in Indian politics. After the coalition broke in 1980, the party was reformed and it is how we know it today!
It was voted out in 2004 and remained the most influential alternative to Congress. But most of it all, BJP has always failed to clear its image of being a party dedicated to the Hindutva or the Hindus. From its downfall to its biggest victory in 2014, the book covers it all. One of the best Indian books on politics!
Unreal Elections by C.S. Krishna and Karthik Laxman
In our list of the best books on Indian politics, this book is like a breath of fresh air since it diverts away from the mundane and serious issues of politics and presents it in a funny and satirical light. Focusing on the most unreal elections that took place in 2014, we are acknowledged with the answers to super hilarious questions including why Modi’s favorite movie is the lion king and why Kejriwal can not get rid of his shawl even in summers.
This satirical and fictional take on our politics will make you laugh out loud and tickle your funny bones. Though the book seems quite stretched at times, it’s sure to engage you till the very end. The description is profound and utterly funny.
Seven Decades of Independent India- Ideas and Reflections by Vinod Rai and Amitendu Pandit
This book was published in 2018, one of the recent books on politics going by our list of best Indian books on politics. It emphasizes our country’s development in various aspects as it completes seven decades of its independence. Has it been successful in fulfilling all the aspirations of its citizens? Has democracy and its code of conduct been uplifted in our country or degraded? Such questions loom large in a country like India that is surrounded by complex socio-political issues at all times.
Along with a group of several esteemed personalities like D. Subbarao, ex-governor of RBI, Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman of NITI Ayog, the authors talk about the India of today and tomorrow. Multiple topics are covered by numerous personalities giving you a lot in a book.
Democracy on The Road by Ruchir Sharma
If you are new at diving into the subject of Indian politics, then this should be your first choice. This book by Ruchir Sharma walks you through 25 years of India’s development in its political scenario and much more. The book beautifully captures all the major events, themes, motifs, and trends that have shaped our political system in the past two decades. It also throws equal light on rural and underrated issues that you would be unaware of without this book.
Though it is a quick read, it seems monotonous at times and a bit stretched. Only if you seeking a basic knowledge of politics, this book is really helpful. Deeper sense of information and knowledge is not into play much in the book!
India Emerging: From Policy Paralysis to Hyper Economics by Sandip Sen and Arohi Sen
Published just about last year, this is the latest addition to our list of best Indian books on politics. The economy has a major role in transforming the face of a nation. In a country like India, populist politics is prevalent. Popularity is put on a pedestal and thus, voted for in favor. No matter if it benefits the economy or our people. Some popular choices tend to hurt the economy as well as the people. A poor economy leads to falling numbers and creates huge losses for the country in general.
In this book, the authors explore all the facets of the economy and the various things that influence or change it for the better or worse. Most of these economic decisions are influenced by political power which henceforth, creates havoc. If you want to know the relationship between the economy and politics in India, this is a must-read.
We hope that this list of best Indian books on politics provides you with an understanding of our political system and its functioning.
If you enjoyed this blog, you will also enjoy our blog on Best Indian biographies, here.