20 Books on Indian Politics To Understand It From Start to End

We’re All In This Together!

Sanjana Iyengar

Feb 18, 2021|5 min read


When we hear the term politics, we usually consider the government, politicians and political parties. For a country to have an organized government and work as per specific guidelines, we require a certain organization.

Books on Indian Politics

This is where politics comes in because it essentially forms the government. Every country, group and organization use politics to instrument various ways to arrange their events, prospects and more.

We have many scholars, historians and political scientists commenting and researching on Indian politics. As citizens of our country, we must be well educated, informed and aware of our government’s operations and executions.

Here’s a list of 20 Books on Indian Politics for you to get an insight into the topic

1) How India Became Democratic

How India Became Democratic is one of the most famous books on Indian politics by Ornit Shani gives us an idea about the preparation of the electoral roll based on universal adult franchise in our country.

2) Seven Decades Of Independent India: Ideas And Reflections

This is one of the most important books on Indian politics because it reflects on the India of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, by portraying rare and candid insights from some of the most distinguished practitioners, experts, scholars of India.

3) India Emerging: From Policy Paralysis To Hyper Economics

This book on Indian politics by Aarohi Sen and Sandip Sen narrates a compelling story about the data and statistics of the Indian  markets, stock markets, credit ratings and fuel inflation

4) When Crime Pays: Money And Muscle In Indian Politics

Through this detailed eye-opening study by Milan Vaishnav, we learn about political campaigns in the form of interviews with candidates, party workers, and voters, large surveys, and an original database on politicians backgrounds that offer the first comprehensive study of an issue that has implications for the study of democracy and the co-existence of crime and democratic processes in Indian politics.

5) The Saffron Tide: The Rise Of The BJP

The Saffron Tide: The Rise Of The BJP is the most current and first comprehensive biography of the Bhatiya Janta Party and this book on Indian politics can be read by all those interested in the party's philosophy, its origins and its future.

6) 24 Akbar Road: A Short History Of The People Behind The Fall And The Rise Of The Congress

This book on Indian politics by Rasheed Kidwai closely follows the rise and fall of the Congress party from its time of establishment in the year 1885.

7) Jobonomics: India’s Employment Crisis And What the Future Holds

In this book on Indian politics, Goutam Das highlights the social and political consequences of unemployment and underemployment.

8) Indira Gandhi – Tryst With Power

This book is a critical biography of Indira Gandhi penned by her cousin Nayantara Sahgal.

9) The Accidental Prime Minister

The Accidental Prime Minister is a book on Indian politics, a memoir that narrates the term of Mr Manmohan Singh as the PM through the eyes of Mr Sanjaya Baru, his media advisor.

10) Why India Votes

Why India Votes? Is an account of the Indian voting system by Mukulika Banerjee. This book on Indian politics explains the  Indian electorate through a series of comprehensive ethnographic explorations conducted across the country

11) India After Gandhi: The History of World's Largest Democracy

This book on Indian politics by historian Ramchandra Guha throws light on the history of India after it gained independence from the British.

12) The Free Voice: On Democracy, Culture and the Nation 

The Free Voice: On Democracy, Culture and the Nation by Indian journalist Ravish Kumar discusses Freedom of speech and explains why debate and dialogue are perceived with hate and intolerance in India.

13) India: From Midnight to the Millennium

India: From Midnight to the Millennium is a book on politics written by the Indian politician and International diplomat, Dr Shashi Tharoor. The discusses a wide range of topics like democracy in India, caste, the partition of India, Indira Gandhi but most importantly the nation’s transition from a socialist economy to a free-market economy.

14) Our Moon Has Blood Clots: The Exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits

Our Moon has Blood Clots: The Exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits is a memoir by Indian author Rahul Pandita wherein he focuses exodus of Kashmiri Hindus in the late 1989 and early 1990.

15) To The Brink And Back: India 1991 Story

This famous book on Indian politics is an insightful account of the events surrounding the 1991 economic reforms programme coming into force for the first time on the eve of the silver jubilee of India’s economic liberalization

16) The Emergency: A Personal History

The book is a personal reflection of the author- Coomi Kapoor on The Emergency, declared by Indira Gandhi in 1975 wherein she suspended democracy and civil liberties, on the Kapoor and her family.

17) Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence

This book on Indian politics by Jaswant Singh-Former Finance Minister of India is written on Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the politics associated with the Partition of India.

18) The Paradoxical Prime Minister: Narendra Modi And His India

This book on Indian politics written by Shashi Tharoor is based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  The Paradoxical Prime Minister criticises, examines and questions the tenure of the Modi government.

19) The Modi Effect 

This book on Indian politics by Lance Price gives information on Modi’s campaign, his rise to power on the international stage and his efforts and success in presenting India on the global front.

20) Half - Lion: How P.V. Narasimha Rao Transformed India

This biography of P.V. Narasimha Rao by Vinay Sitapati poses as the ideal book on Indian politics as it focuses on how India went from being submerged with violent insurgencies and economic crisis to having a successful economy under a powerful leader who was initially unloved by his people and mistrusted by his party

Politics and politicians and the policies and rules implemented by the government account for a majority of the country’s growth in terms of its economy, trade and its relations with other countries. To opinionate on, contribute to and question the various activities of our government, one must have a clear picture of its functioning.

The above-mentioned books on Indian politics by famous personalities from and outside India will surely give us an idea about the various terms and phrases related to India’s growth and development. These books are a must-read for all those who are interested in political science and economics.

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Sanjana Iyengar

Passionate writer. Find what you love and let it kill you ~ Charles Bukowski



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