In this pioneering study of India as a vibrant and politically sustainable polity, Rajni Kothari covers considerable basic ground. Politics in India was first published in 1970 and marks a turning point in the evolution of the author’s intellectual contributions.
From the theoretical, historical, socio-cultural, and comparative matrices of Indian polity, this book ranges through strategies, concerns, and issues that strengthen and support India’s tried and tested political institutions and the agencies that promote the country’s national integration. Kothari’s superiority as a theorist and teacher is evident in this book. Its detailed analyses and commentary cover existing and emergent paradigms of Indian political life and action. It also deals with the politics of party system and coalitions, social infrastructure and balanced growth options, including India’s challenges and the greater role it envisages in subcontinental and international politics. The concluding chapter on “Future Perspectives” is Kothari’s helpful pointer towards this prospect.
In this second edition, the introduction by Prakash Sarangi highlights the significance of book as an important landmark and its relevance in contemporary times.
Politics in India: An Introduction
Context of political development. A comparative perspective.
Significance of the Indian “model”. Role of politics. The
challenge of simultaneous change. Problem of performance.
The Hindu social order. The Muslim impact. The British
impact. Political response. Charisma and reconstruction. The
communal problem and national integration.
Approach to Modernization
Significance of the antecedents. Approach to modernization.
Issues of center and periphery. Factors of change.
Decision-making on the Constitution. Issues of consolidation
and change. Center and periphery. Patterns of state politics.
viii Politics in India: An Introduction
Process of decentralization. Bureaucracy and political
development. Institutionalization and legitimacy.
Party System and Coalition-Making
Competitive dominance. Salient characteristics. Evolution
of the system. Identity and dissent. Social composition of
parties. Interest articulation. Role of protest.
Prevailing perceptions. Political dimensions of caste. Stages of
articulation. New forms of aggregation. Other ethnic groups.
Conclusion: process of reintegration.
Political Culture and Socialization
Perspective of History. Themes of political culture. Political
socialization. Modernization of tradition. Conclusion: a
Political Institutionalization and National Integration
Approach to performance analysis. Dimensions of
institutionalization. The demands of diversity. Conclusion:
democracy and national integration.
Political Economy of Development
The broad strategy of transformation. The goal of selfsustained
growth. Disequilibrium and development. Issues of
distribution and equity. Conclusion: crises and development.
Coping with the International Environment
Growth of a policy. Challenges to national integrity.
Changing context of international environment. Achieving
economic independence. A period of transition.
The Indian “model”. Emerging issue areas. Policy
perspectives. The next phase.