Indian Political Thought: A Reader, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Indian Political Thought

A Reader, 1st Edition

Edited by Aakash Singh Rathore, Silika Mohapatra


310 pages

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Paperback: 9780415562942
pub: 2010-06-30
Hardback: 9780415562935
pub: 2010-06-30

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This Reader provides a comprehensive introduction to the study of contemporary Indian political theory. Tracing the development of the discipline and offering a clear presentation of the most influential literature in the field, it brings together contributions by outstanding and well-known academics on contemporary Indian political thought. The Reader weaves together relevant works from the social sciences — sociology, anthropology, law, history, philosophy, feminist and postcolonial theory — which shape the nature of political thought in India today. Themes both unique to the Indian political milieu as well as of universal significance are reflected upon, including tradition, secularism, communalism, modernity, feminism, justice and human rights. Presenting a canon of names and offering a framework for further research within the broad thematic categories, this is a timely and invaluable reference tool, indispensable to both students and scholars.


'In our time of globalization, people in the West are increasingly looking beyond the limits of the West for insights and teachings. It is very important and fascinating to find out what is happening today in India in terms of political philosophy. This Reader is timely and very much needed as there is simply no comparable text available. The group of texts presented bring together simply the most outstanding and most well known Indian political thinkers today. It is in fact a "who's who" in contemporary Indian political thought.'

Fred Dallmayr, Notre Dame University, USA

'A significant attempt to construct a foundational text for contemporary Indian political thought, this volume meets a deeply felt need. Singh and Mohapatra have put together a first rate Reader that will challenge, educate and provoke. It will serve as an indispensable source of reference to students and teachers alike.'

Shashi Tharoor, former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations

Table of Contents

Foreword. Introduction: What is Indian Political Thought? Aakash Singh and Silika Mohapatra Part 1: Provocation 1. The Poverty of Indian Political Theory Bhikhu Parekh Part 2: Evocation 2. Gandhi's Ambedkar Ramachandra Guha 3. The Quest for Justice: Evoking Ghandi Neera Chandhoke 4. Tagore and His India Amartya Sen Part 3: Secularization 5. Is Secularism Alien to Indian Civilization? Romila Thapar 6. Secularism Revisited: Doctrine of Destiny or Political Ideology? T.N. Madan 7. The Distinctiveness of Indian Secularism Rajeev Bharghava Part 4: Communalization 8. The Blindness of Insight: Why Communalism in India is about Caste Dilip M. Menon 9. In Search of Integration and Identity: Indian Muslims since Independence Mushiral Hasan 10. Sikh Fundamentalism: Translating History into Theory Harjot Oberoi Part 5: Modernization 11. Gandhi, Newton and the Enlightenment Akeel Bilgrami 12. Scientific Temper: Arguments for an Indian Enlightenment Meera Nanda 13. Outline of a Revisionist Theory of Modernity Sudipta Kaviraj Part 6: Reconstruction 14. Reconstructing Childhood: A Critique of the Ideology of Adulthood Ashis Nandy 15. Subaltern Studies as Postcolonial Criticism Gyan Prakash 16. The Commitment to Theory Homi Bhabha Part 7: Emancipation 17. Justice of Human Rights in Indian Constitutionalism Upendra Baxi 18. Emancipatory Feminist Theory in Postcolonial India Ratna Kapur 19. Righting Wrongs Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Part 8: Conclusion 20. The Poverty of Western Political Theory: Concluding Remarks on Concepts like ‘Community’ East and West Partha Chatterjee

About the Editors

Aakash Singh is Research Professor at the Center for Ethics and Global Politics, Luiss University, Italy. His scholarly interests range from comparative political philosophy to liberation theology and applied critical theory.

Silika Mohapatra is Research Scholar in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Delhi, India. Her research interests include classical metaphysics, phenomenology, semiotics and the ethics of self and society.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies