Incisive, pithy and optimistic, this volume is a welcome introduction to contemporary India and reaffirms the strength of Indian democracy in the coming millennium.
The story of the forging of contemporary India, the world's largest democracy, is a rich and inspiring one. This volume, a sequel to the authors' best-selling India's Struggle for Independence, analyses the challenges India has faced and the successes it has achieved over the last five decades, in the light of its colonial legacy and century-long struggle for freedom. In doing so, it shows how unique the Indian experience is in the Third World - combining development with democracy and civil liberties.
With great insight and clarity the book describes how against great odds the Constitution was framed by seeking the widest possible consensus, as also how the Nehruvian political and economic agenda and basics of foreign policy were evolved and developed. Essential to the quest for consolidation of the nation was the integration of the princely states, the linguistic reorganization of the states, the integration of the tribals into the mainstream and the countering of regional imbalances.
Among the other contentious issues considered here, with all their implications for the present situation, are India's foreign policy, party politics in the Center and the states, the Punjab problem, the growth of communalism, and anti-caste politics and untouchability. There are detailed analysis of the Indian economy, including the reforms since 1991, the wide ranging land reforms and the Green Revolution.
These, along with the objective assessments of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Jayaprakash Narayan, Lal Bhadur Shastri, Rajiv Gandhi, Vishwanath Pratap Singh and Atal Behari Vajpayee constitute a remarkable overview of a nation on the move.
Biipin Chandra was born in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. He was educated at Forman Christian College, Lahore, and at Stanford University, California. He was Professor of Modern History at Jawaharlal Nehru (JNU), New Delhi, where he is currently Professor Emeritus. Prof Chandra is the author of several books on nationalism, colonialism, and communalism in modern India.
Mridula Mukherjee was educated at Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi and at JNU. She is Professor of Modern Indian History at the Center for Historical Studies, JNU. Her areas of special interest are agrarian history, peasant movements and the national movement.
Aditya Mukherjee was educated at St. Stephen's College, Delhi, and at JNU. He is Professor of Contemporary Indian History at the Center for Historical Studies, JNU. His research interests are in modern business history and capitalist development, and contemporary economy and politics.