Edited by Neera Chandhoke and Praveen Priyadarshi, Contemporary India addresses issues facing the nation-state and civil society from diverse perspectives: those of political science, sociology, economics and history.
The book is thematically divided into three parts?Economy, Society, and Politics?and includes discussions on topics as wide-ranging as poverty, regional disparities, policies, social change and social movements, the elements of democracy, dynamics of the party system, secularism, federalism, decentralization, and so on. The common thread of democracy, which strings together different aspects of contemporary India, serves as the framework of understanding here and underlies discussions in all the chapters.
The book includes 23 original, well-researched and up-to-date chapters by authors who teach different courses in the social sciences. Without compromising on the complexity of their arguments, the authors have used a lucid, conversational style that will attract even readers who have no previous knowledge of the topics. The contributors have also provided a glossary, questions and further readings lists with students' examination needs in mind.
Part I: Economy
- Basic Features of the Indian Economy in 1947 Samir Kumar Singh
- The Evolution of Development Strategy Since Independence Ambuja Kumar Tripathy
- Some Important Constituents of Economic Policy Samir Kumar Singh
- Regional Disparities, Poverty and Food Insecurity Satyajit Puhan
- Human Development: Health and Education Neera Chandhoke
- Science and Technology Policy: IT and Social Change Neha Khanna
- The Changing Social Structure in Contemporary India N. R. Levin
- The Explosion of the 'Middle Class' Sujit Mahapatra
- Catalysts of Social Change: Adult Franchise and Education Ravi Nandan Singh
- Social Movements and the Mass Media Bindu Menon
- Social Mobility and Changes in Occupational Structure Wasudha Bhatt
- Social Movements: Challenges and Opportunities Silky Tyagi
- The Nature and Functioning of Democracy Swaha Das and Hari Nair
- The Parliamentary System: An Evaluation Kumar Rahul
- Democracy: Social and Economic Dimensions Praveen Priyadarshi
- The Changing Nature of the Party System Pushpa Kumari
- The Nature of Coalition Politics Sanjeev Kumar
- Why Is Secularism Important for India? Neera Chandhoke
- Contemporary Debates on Nationalism Mohinder Singh
- Dimensions of Indian Federalism Rajesh Kumar
- Democratic Decentralization and Panchayati Raj Moitree Bhattacharya (Mukhopadhyay)
- The Changing Nature of Public Administration Suranjita Ray
- India in the Global Strategic Environment Satyajit Mohanty
Neera Chandhoke is Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi, and Director of the Developing Countries Research Centre, University of Delhi. She received her MA (1968) and her PhD (1984) from the University of Delhi. Her main teaching and research interests are political theory, comparative politics, and the politics of developing societies with special focus on India. She has authored The Conceits of Civil Society (2003, Delhi: Oxford University Press); Beyond Secularism: The Rights of Religious Minorities (1999, Delhi, Oxford University Press); and State and Civil Society: Explorations in Political Theory, 1995 (Delhi, Sage), and has edited Mapping Histories (2000, Delhi: Tulika); Grass-Roots Politics and Social Transformation (1999, Delhi: University of Delhi Press); Understanding the Post-Colonial World (1995, published under the auspices of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi). Professor Chandhoke regularly contributes articles to national and international journals and to Indian newspapers on contemporary themes. Praveen Priyadarshi is pursuing his PhD in development studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is also a research associate with the Crisis States Research Centre, LSE. He is presently on leave from teaching political science at Zakir Husain College (Evening), University of Delhi. His interests are in the history of political institutions in India and their relation with development processes. He has published papers in journals such as Economic and Political Weekly and Social Science Research Journal.
... offers a gripping and critical narrative on the country's social and political processes, and takes up for discussion many issues of contemporary significance like social change and mobility, coalition politics, secularism, middle class, health, education and IT. [It] is an essential read for students and researchers of Indian economy, society and politics. ?J. Prabhash, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Kerala ... a timely volume that puts politics at the centre. ... The contributors study the interweaving of politics as a process with multiple facets of social and economic change. An indispensable work for the specialist and the intelligent lay reader alike. ?Mahesh Rangarajan, Professor of Modern Indian History, Department of History, University of Delhi ... a welcome addition to the vast body of literature available on the theme. The chapters ... are well conceived and structured. They provide useful insights for a better understanding of contemporary developments and trends relating to the Indian economy, polity and society. ?M. J. Vinod, Professor, Department of Political Science, Bangalore University ... an excellent collection of articles meant for undergraduate and post-graduate students, scholars, academics and journalists. It can become an excellent reference book, too. ?Muzafar H. Assadi, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Mysore The division of the book into the three parts ... brings out and reflects political science's disciplinary need of expanding its contours to capture the multifaceted dynamics of contemporary India. The book will go a longer way than satisfying the needs of its basic target group. ?Amartya Mukhopadhyay, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Calcutta The book has been written using a framework that will aid critical thinking about Indian society. A commendable effort towards creating good textbooks for university students in India. ?Virginius Xaxa, Professor, Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi [This book] seeks to take stock of both India's progress in establishing and refining democracy, and also the extent to which this has yielded satisfactory outcomes. The contents of the book are interdisciplinary with lucid expositions, and the outcome is refreshing. ?Ashish Saxena, Senior Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Jammu ... well written with a clear thrust on analysing in a simple, lucid manner the three most important segments of contemporary India. A striking feature of the book is its analysis of the past and the present of Indian society and politics with equal ?lan.... [T]his book has combined historicity with today's India in a splendid manner. ?Aneek Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Presidency College, University of Calcutta [The book has] not only succeeded in unpacking, deconstructing and re-inventing profane and sublime aspects of contemporary India, but [has] also produced an extremely readable, engaging and perceptive textbook for college/university students and general readers. ... Each author weaves a brilliantly lucid narrative without any clich?s or prejudices. The book passionately, eloquently and insightfully traverses the geographies of power, politics and development, evoking as much admiration as awe. ?Ashwani Kumar, Associate Professor, Center for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies, School of Social Sciences, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai ... present[s] twenty-three well-written chapters that are not only informative but also meticulously researched. It offers a host of engaging vignettes into the shaping of modern India. [It is] an essential read for undergraduate students pursuing degrees in humanities and the social sciences. It also deserves to be read as a foundation text by those undertaking various professional courses, such as engineering, journalism and management. ?Manish K. Thakur, Assistant Professor, Public Policy and Management, IIM Calcutta ... a winning combination of facts and analysis on some of the most salient facets ... of contemporary India. Admirable for its clarity and readability, it is sure to be a prized collection for any serious student of India. ?Ashok Acharya, Reader, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi ... a comprehensive text catering to the demands of undergraduate students and general readers who are interested in knowing the working of the Indian economy, democracy and sociological changes that have taken place in the country. ?Poonam Kanwal, Reader, Department of Political Science, Janki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi This is a wide-ranging collection that addresses the tumultuous experience of Indian democracy. [T]his book will help in understanding why democracy, despite many hurdles, still works in India and how it influences Indian politics. ?Partho Datta, Reader, Department of History, Zakir Husain Evening College, University of Delhi This volume ... is useful and has relevance not only for students, but also for the general readers who are interested in contemporary issues that influence the nation today. The merit of the chapters lies in discussing complex issues in a manner that will help in the pedagogic exercise. Written by teachers who are actively involved in the classroom teaching, the text is lucid and has an interdisciplinary approach.... The contradictions brought out in the democracy and the democratic system of India will help students to think in a critical manner. ?Ranjeeta Dutta, Lecturer, Department of History and Culture, Jamia Millia Islamia