Cover: Transforming India: Challenges to the World's Largest Democracy, from Harvard University PressCover: Transforming India in HARDCOVER

Transforming India

Challenges to the World's Largest Democracy

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Product Details


$40.00 • £32.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674050662

Publication Date: 09/09/2013


352 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

10 halftones, 4 maps

Not for sale in Indian subcontinent

The book tells the story of democracy’s evolution in India from the 1950s and makes the excellent point that, over the past two decades, India has changed from a country dominated by a single nationwide party into a robust multiparty, federal union. The regionalization of the nation’s political landscape has decentralized power, given communities a distinct voice and deepened India’s democracy.—Gurcharan Das, The Wall Street Journal

Bose lucidly analyzes India’s ‘decentered democracy,’ in which power lies increasingly with the state governments… The willingness of most Indians to commit to multiple social identities has produced a distinctive form of democratic politics. In revealing both the violence and the vitality of India’s democracy, Bose sees the country’s future prosperity and stability as anything but assured.—Andrew J. Nathan, Foreign Affairs

Bose surveys the trajectory of India’s democracy in the nearly seven decades since the country won its independence from the British. He does a masterly job of showing the political transformation from a powerful central government exercising a ‘top-down authority’ over the states and with the dominance of a single party (the Congress Party) to the emergence of several regional parties. Today these mass-based regional parties and their leaders are significant players; they decide who governs at the center. Bose argues that this change in the political scene is evidence of ‘a robust democracy.’ Other subjects explored are the political odyssey in West Bengal from partition to the present and the rise and fall of three generations of Maoist insurgencies in India. The section on Kashmir provides sound historical context for the events in this troubled area… Bose’s work fills in the connections needed to understand the political complexities of India’s democracy.—Ravi Shenoy, Library Journal

Bose offers a crisp and sweeping discussion of the political history of India from its independence in 1947 to the dilemmas and challenges it faces today… The author’s discussion of the scattered but persistent Maoist movement(s) in India, and the alienation and subnationalist stirrings evident in some provinces (particularly Kashmir), is rich and evocative… The discussion is always nuanced, the judgments sound, and the language elegant.—A. Ahmad, Choice

Transforming India is a fast-paced and absorbing account by a first-rate author. Bose is a superb guide through the intricacies of India’s democracy and a sober witness to the extraordinary challenges it faces. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the future for political liberty in one of Asia’s great civilizations. A terrific book.—Nur Yalman, Harvard University

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