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Independence Day Bookshelf

August 15th, celebrated annually commemorating the nation’s Independence from the British forces is a day to celebrate one’s freedom. This Independence Day, we have a selection of hand-picked books that will surely lift your patriotic spirits!
Here we have books exploring the origins of India to the internal political workings of the nation. These are bound to hold your interest in the most engaging way. From the ancient history of India, to the importance of this history on a global level, these books span the growth of India and its journey of becoming one of the biggest economic powers in the world.
Take a look at our list!

  1. The Penguin History of Early India: From the Origins to ad 1300 (rejacketed edition)

Romila Thapar’s historical tribute to Indian history and the rich culture and heritage of ancient India, the book explores India’s past quite vividly, helping readers to visualize the formation of a nation and how it grew and flourished over generations. Beginning from the prehistoric era, it explores the good and bad of every era. Charting the emergence of all the great dynasties of India, the book also enumerates what it meant for India. This book offers a refreshing take on prehistoric India.

  1. India’s Legal System: Can it be Saved?

With the second-largest legal profession in the world, India gives little confidence to the common man. In this book, India’s renowned constitutional expert and Senior Supreme Court lawyer Fali S. Nairman looks for possible reasons for the delays and chronic impediments in the judicial system. He discusses some of the key issues such as inequality and affirmative action, providing real cases as illustrations of the on-ground situations.

  1. The Idea of India

This exciting book by Sunil Khilnani addresses the paradoxes and ironies that have surrounded the project of inventing India. India was a project which gave Indians a considerable amount of political freedom, carrying their huge democracy to the verge of being Asia’s greatest free state, but there were many Indians that were left in poverty. With the project of India being in jeopardy bevause of divisive religious nationalism, Sunil Khilnani provokes this question: Can the original idea of India survive its own success?

  1. Letters for a Nation: From Jawaharlal Nehru to his Chief Ministers 1947-1963

Chronicling the letters that Jawaharlal Nehru wrote to the heads of the country’s provincial governments in October 1947, this book constitutes the careful selection of among 400 letters. These letters span momentous world events and the many crises and conflicts the country faced during the first sixteen years after Independence.

  1. 10 Judgments that Changed India

Listing Supreme Court’s ten crucial judgments that have played a part in the turning the Indian democracy and redefined our daily lives, this book explores themes such as custodial deaths, reservations and environmental jurisprudence. Written by one of India’s most respected lawyers, Zia Mody, this book provides an understanding of India’s legal system and the foundations of our democracy.

  1. Non-stop India

In the book, Mark Tully captures voices of the nation. As India is likely to become one of the vital economies of this century, there are many unresolved questions about the sustainability of such growth and its effect on the stability of the nation. Spanning from the survival of India’s languages and protection of wildlife, to the nation’s thriving industries and colourful public affairs, this book draws an unforgettable image of this emerging superpower.

  1. Incarnations: A History of India in 50 Lives

Sunil Khilnani in this book fills the space that is between the Indian history and its myths, stories and moral epics, by recapturing the human dimension of how the world’s largest democracy came to be. Bringing to foray the emperors, warriors, philosophers, film stars and corporate titans – this book gives insight to dilemmas that extend from ancient times to our own.

  1. Indian Railways: The Weaving of a National Tapestry

Describing the growth of Indian railways from the 1830s to Independence, Bibek Debroy and his co-authors explore how the railway network was built, the challenges it went through, and how it finally became a lifeline that still connects and makes the nation.

  1. Bollywood Boom: India’s Rising Soft Power

National award-winner Roopa Swaminathan recounts the spectacular growth and success of Bollywood worldwide in the twenty-first century. From Amitabh Bachchan and Raj Kapoor enjoying their fame only in selected areas of Russia, East Europe and Africa, to the Oscar-nominated Lagaan, Bollywood has come a long way for us all to see. This book shows how Bollywood contributes to the country’s real income, tourism and also enhances the global standing.

  1. Left, Right and Centre: The Idea of India

This book brings together diverse views from people across a wide spectrum of life-politicians. Approaching its 70th year of Independence, India and its people continue to struggle with multitude of issues: a few from the Left, a considerable sum form the Right and yeat a lot from the Centre. Nidhi Razdan opens a window to understanding India that largely remained untold and unknown for a long time.

  1. India’s Most Fearless: True Stories of Modern Military Heroes

The accounts of the soldiers of Army, Air force and Navy in their extreme moments, Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh cover fourteen true stories of extraordinary courage and fearlessness, Giving a glimpse into the kind of heroism our soldiers display in hostile conditions and under grave provocation
    12.  India and the World: Catalogue of the Exhibition

Creating a dialogue between the world and India through a fascinating array of artefacts, this books talks about the evidence of human history in India and how that compares with the other parts of the world. Questions like – the difference between Ashoka’s inscriptions when compared with the public inscriptions of other emperors, the imagination of the divine by different civilizations and many more.


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