Politics and Society in India
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India inherited a system of representative and responsible government from Britain, a large part of which was incorporated in the new constitution of independent India. But in the early 1960s it was already becoming clear that this political system could not long continue without change; and the probability is that the change would be considerable. A system deriving its inspiration from a homogenous, tight little nation-state like Britain could scarcely fit a sub-continent of heterogeneous elements like India.
Already, under a deceptively smooth surface, important changes in the nature of Indian political life were taking place. Originally published in 1963, the purpose of these collected studies was to explore, in the rapidly changing situation, the intimate relationship of Indian politics and society and to indicate the ways in which the deeper social and political currents were moving. As an aid in assessing the degree of change in the modern political life of India, several studies of traditional attitudes towards politics in the Hindu and Muslim empires are included, along with an assessment of the central meaning of the fundamental British statement of policy in the Montagu Declaration of 1917. Against this background, the greater part of the volume discusses the practices and trends of the previous few years.
Table of Contents
Introduction. 1. Some Fundamental Political Ideas of Ancient India A. L. Basham 2. Traditional Muslim Views of the Nature of Politics P. Hardy 3. The ‘ulamā’ in Indian Politics W. Cantwell Smith 4. Caste and Politics in South Asia C. Von Fürer-Haimendorf 5. The Politics Behind the Montagu Declaration of 1917 S. R. Mehrotra 6. Politics and Society in Contemporary Orissa F. G. Bailey 7. Municipal Elections: A Central Indian Case Study A. C. Mayer 8. India’s Political Idioms W. H. Morris-Jones 9. Tradition and Experiment in Forms of Government Hugh Tinker. Index.
C. H. Philips