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The Ultimate Bharat Book Binge

This Republic Day, join us for a thoughtful exploration through books unveiling India’s rich history. From tales of strength to political insights, we’re delving into stories that define our nation. Get ready for a reflective reading journey as we celebrate the essence of Republic Day.

Let The Ultimate Bharat Book Binge begin!

1947-57 India Birth of a Republic
1947-57 India Birth of a Republic || Chandrachur Ghose

The first decade after India’s independence, 1947-1957, was probably the most crucial in the nation’s history. Opening a window to this period, this book weaves a story out of the complex ideas and events that have largely remained beneath the surface of public discourse. The transfer of power, the framing of the Constitution and the formation of the governance machinery; the clash of ideas and ideologies among parties and personalities; the beginning of the disintegration of the Congress and the consolidation of political forces in the opposition; Nehru’s grappling with existential problems at home and his quest for global peace; the interplay between democratic ideals and ruthless power play-all these factors impinged on each other and shaped the new republic in its formative decade.

 

You Must Know Your Constitution
You Must Know Your Constitution || Fali S. Nariman

26 November 1949 marks the date when the longest constitution in the world was formally adopted to guide the largest democracy in the world. It effectively transformed the British Dominion of India into one nation—the independent Republic of India. The supreme law of the land set forth the workings of Indian democracy and polity, and its provisions aimed to secure justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity for the people of India. As drafted and as conceived, the constitution makes provision for a functioning democracy and not an electoral autocracy, and this is how it has to be worked. It is therefore imperative for all citizens to familiarise themselves with its provisions.

 

Modi and India
Modi and India || Rahul Shivshankar, Siddhartha Talya

In 2014, the BJP, under the leadership of Modi, won a clear majority in the Lok Sabha elections. The National Democratic Alliance’s triumph ended a nearly two-and-a-half-decade run of mostly messy coalition governments. In 2019, the BJP further improved its tally, cementing its parliamentary majority and its ability to ring in transformational laws and policies. Most of the initiatives taken by the Modi-led NDA have been aimed at positioning Bharat as a ‘Vishwa Guru’—an exemplar of moral righteousness, a pluralistic democracy led by dharma and drawing sustenance from the wellspring of an eternal Hindu universalism.

 

Middle of Diamond India
Middle of Diamond India || Shashank Mani

Middle of Diamond India proposes a revolutionary idea – that India has long ignored its largest and most talented segment, citizens in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 districts, its Middle.

The book reveals the hidden stories of those in its Middle who have been ignored owing to their location and language. By examining India’s revolutionary past, its culture, its citizens, its innovators, and its spirit, the book illuminates this Diamond shaped India.

 

The Great Flap of 1942
The Great Flap of 1942 || Mukund Padmanabhan

The Great Flap of 1942 is a narrative history of a neglected and scarcely known period—between December 1941 and mid-1942—when all of India was caught in a state of panic. This was largely a result of the British administration’s mistaken belief that Japan was on the verge of launching a full-fledged invasion. It was a time when the Raj became unduly alarmed, when the tongue of rumour wagged wildly about Japanese prowess and British weakness and when there was a huge and largely unmapped exodus (of Indians and Europeans) from both sides of the coastline to ‘safer’ inland regions. This book demonstrates, quite astonishingly, that the Raj cynically encouraged the exodus and contributed to the repeated cycles of rumour, panic and flight. It also reveals how the shadow of the Japanese threat influenced the course of nationalist politics, altered British attitudes towards India and charted the course towards Independence.

 

Babasaheb
Babasaheb || Savita Ambedkar, Nadeem Khan

Born into a middle-class, Sarasvat Brahmin family, Dr Sharada Kabir met and got to know Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar as a patient riddled with life-threatening diseases, and eventually married him on 15 April 1948, getting rechristened as Savita Ambedkar. From the day of their wedding to the death of Dr Ambedkar on 6 December 1956, she aided him in some of his greatest achievements-drafting the Constitution of India, framing the Hindu Code Bill, writing some of his most celebrated books, including The Buddha and His Dhamma, and leading millions of Dalits into Buddhism. Following his death, she was hounded into obscurity by some of Dr Ambedkar’s followers, who saw her as a threat to their political ambitions. She re-emerged into public life in 1970 and got back to working on the mission to which her husband had devoted his life-the welfare of the Dalit community. Her autobiography, Dr Ambedkaraanchya Sahavaasaat, was first published in Marathi in 1990.

 

Madam President
Madam President || Sandeep Sahu

 

Madam President is the first-ever comprehensive and authentic biography of Droupadi Murmu, the fifteenth President of India, by senior journalist Sandeep Sahu. Murmu’s long and eventful political journey is a story of true perseverance and inspiration. Having battled early years of struggle in securing quality education, being struck by a series of personal tragedies such as the loss of her husband and two sons in quick succession,
and suffering electoral victories and losses, Murmu has risen through her circumstances with grace, fortitude and resilience that make her the well-revered leader she is today.

These Seats are Reserved
These Seats are Reserved || Abhinav Chandrachud

Reservation or affirmative action is a hugely controversial policy in India. While constitutionally mandated and with historians, political scientists and social activists convinced of its need, many resist it and consider it as compromising ‘merit’ and against the principle of equality of opportunity.

In These Seats Are Reserved, Abhinav traces the history and making of the reservation policy.

 

M.K.Nambyar
M.K.Nambyar || K.K. Venugopal

It is rare to see a lawyer from a district court occupy centre stage in the Supreme Court but M.K. Nambyar achieved this remarkable feat. Starting his practice in a district court in Mangalore, M.K. Nambyar rose to become an eminent constitutional lawyer. Written by his son K.K. Venugopal, a legal luminary himself, this biography provides a fascinating account of Nambyar’s life. It not only describes the man but also recapitulates India’s legal history from the pre-Independence era. The book includes some landmark cases argued by Nambyar that have significantly contributed to the development of constitutional law in India such as A.K. Gopalan v. State of Madras and I.C. Golak Nath v. State of Punjab, where he sowed the seeds of the ‘basic structure’ doctrine. These cases continue to guide and inspire lawyers and judges today.

Court on Trial
Court on Trial || Aparna Chandra, Sital Kalantry, William H.J. Hubbard

The Indian Supreme Court was established nearly seventy-five years ago as a core part of India’s constitutional project. Does the Court live up to the ideals of justice imagined by the framers of the Indian Constitution? Critics of the Supreme Court point out that it takes too long to adjudicate cases, a select group of senior advocates exercise disproportionate influence on the outcome of cases, the Chief Justice of India strategically assigns cases with an eye to outcome, and the self-appointments process-known as the collegium-is just another ‘old boy’s network’. Building on nearly a decade of original empirical research, Court on Trail examines these and other controversies plaguing the Supreme Court today. The authors provide an overview of the Supreme Court and its processes which are often shrouded in mystery, and present data-driven suggestions for improving the effectiveness and integrity of the Court.

 

Breaking the Mould
Breaking the Mould || Raghuram Rajan, Rohit Lamba

In Breaking the Mould, the authors explain how we can accelerate economic development by investing in our people’s human capital, expanding opportunities in high-skilled services and manufacturing centred on innovative new products, and making India a ferment of ideas and creativity. India’s democratic traditions will support this path, helped further by governance reforms, including strengthening our democratic institutions and greater decentralization.

Delve deep into what India’s 72nd Republic Day truly represents with these books

The Constitution of India came into effect on 26th January, 1950. As we celebrate India’s 72nd Republic Day, let’s dig deeper to understand the journey till this day in 1950, and our journey since then.

Here is a list of books from various authors, including Abhinav Chandrachud, Ramachandra Guha, Khushwant Singh, Sagarika Ghosh, K.R. Narayanan and many more! What’s more, there are titles for the little ones as well!

 

Republic of Rhetoric
Republic of Rhetoric || Abhinav Chandrachud

Exploring socio-political as well as legal history of India, from the British period to the present, this book brings to light the idea of ‘free speech’ or what is popularly known as the freedom expression in the country. Analysing the present law relating to obscenity and free speech, this book will evaluate whether the enactment of the Constitution made a significant difference to the right to free speech in India. Deeply researched, authoritative and anecdotal, this book offers arguments that have not been substantially advanced before.

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How India Became Democratic
How India Became Democratic || Ornit Shani

How India Became Democratic explores the greatest experiment in democratic human history. It tells the untold story of the preparation of the electoral roll on the basis of universal adult franchise in the world’s largest democracy. Ornit Shani offers a new view of the institutionalisation of democracy in India, and of the way democracy captured the political imagination of its diverse peoples.

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Makers Of Modern India
Makers of Modern India || Ramachandra Guha

Makers of Modern India is a detailed source for information about the country’s political traditions. The republic of India had a very tumultuous beginning and the author shows you how 19 political activists were instrumental in the evolution of this country. The author goes beyond a description of the people by including extracts of the speeches they have written. Each phase of the freedom movement and the following years of independent India are shown through the written works produced by these 19 individuals.

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Democrats and Dissenters
Democrats and Dissenters || Ramachandra Guha

A major new collection of essays by Ramachandra Guha, Democrats and Dissenters is a work of rigorous scholarship on topics of compelling contemporary interest, written with elegance and wit.

The book covers a wide range of themes: from the varying national projects of India’s neighbours to political debates within India itself, from the responsibilities of writers to the complex relationship between democracy and violence.

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The Idea Of India
The Idea Of India || Sunil Khilnani

This long essay makes an eloquent and persuasive argument for Nehru’s idea of nationhood in India. At a time when the relevance of Nehru’s vision is under scrutiny, this book assumes a special significance.

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The Discovery of India
The Discovery of India || Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru wrote the book The Discovery of India, during his imprisonment at Ahmednagar fort for participating in the Quit India Movement (1942 – 1946). The book was written during Nehru’s four years of confinement to solitude in prison and is his way of paying an homage to his beloved country and its rich culture.

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India’s Legal System
India’s Legal System || Fali S Nariman

India has the second-largest legal profession in the world, but the systemic delays and chronic impediments of its judicial system inspire little confidence in the common person. In India’s Legal System, renowned constitutional expert and senior Supreme Court lawyer Fali S. Nariman looks for possible reasons. While realistically appraising the criminal justice system and the performance of legal practitioners, he elaborates aspects of contemporary practice, such as public interest litigation, judicial review and activism.

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The Case That Shook India
The Case That Shook India || Prashant Bhushan

On 12 June 1975, for the first time in independent India’s history, the election of a prime minister was set aside by a high court judgment. The watershed case, Indira Gandhi v. Raj Narain, acted as the catalyst for the imposition of the Emergency. Based on detailed notes of the court proceedings, The Case That Shook India is both a significant legal and a historical document.

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The Great Repression
The Great Repression || Chitranshul Sinha

The Indian Penal Code was formulated in 1860, three years after the first Indian revolt for independence. Where did this law come from? How did it evolve? And what place does it have in a mature democracy? Concise, incisive and thoughtful, The Great Repression by Chitranshul Sinha, an advocate on record of the Supreme Court of India, tells the story of this outdated colonial-era law.

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The Burden Of Democracy
The Burden Of Democracy || Pratap Bhanu Mehta

After nearly seven decades of its existence, there is a pervasive feeling that India’s democracy is in crisis. But what is the nature of this threat? In this essay, republished now with a new foreword from the author, Pratap Bhanu Mehtare minds us what a bold experiment bringing democracy to a largely illiterate and unpropertied India was.

Optimistic, lively and closely argued, The Burden of Democracy offers a new ideological imagination that throws light on our discontents. By returning to the basics of democracy it serves to illuminate our predicament, even while perceiving the broad contours for change.

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The End Of India
The End Of India || Khushwant Singh

Analysing the communal violence in Gujarat in 2002, the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, the burning of Graham Staines and his children, the targeted killings by terrorists in Punjab and Kashmir, Khushwant Singh forces us to confront the absolute corruption of religion that has made us among the most brutal people on earth. He also points out that fundamentalism has less to do with religion than with politics. And communal politics, he reminds us, is only the most visible of the demons we have nurtured and let loose upon ourselves.

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India’s Struggle For Independence
India’s Struggle For Independence || Bipin Chandra & Others

India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipin Chandra is your go to book for an in-depth and detailed overview on Indian independence movement . Indian freedom struggle is one of the most important parts of its history. A lot has been written and said about it, but there still remains a gap. Rarely do we get to hear accounts of the independence from the entire country and not just one region at one place. This book fits in perfectly in this gap and also provides a narration on the impact this movement had on the people.

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Why I Am a Liberal
Why I Am a Liberal || Sagarika Ghose 

 

The stamping out of difference, the quelling of diversity and the burial of argument is, in fact, most un-Indian. Anyone who seeks to end that dialogue process is ignoring Indianness and patriotism. The liberal Indian argues for the rights of the marginalized in the tradition of Gandhi for trust, mutual understanding and bridge-building. Real patriotism lies in old-fashioned ideas of accommodation, friendship and generosity; not in force, muscle flexing and dominance. Why I Am a Liberal is Sagarika Ghose’s impassioned meditation on why India needs to be liberal.

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In The Name Of The People
In The Name Of The People || K R Narayanan

In the Name of the People brings together K.R.Narayanan’s most important writings spanning five decades, from his first published article in 1954 to the Republic Day speech of 2000. In these pieces, he covers a diverse range of topics, from Indo–US ties and India–China relations to human development, Islam in India and women in politics; from the benefits of the parliamentary system and the need to build democracy from the grassroots to the role of education and technology in development and the importance of a sustainable environment.

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Vichhoda
Vichhoda || Harinder Sikka

Bibi Amrit Kaur’s life is literally torn apart in the 1947 riots. She’s now in a different country with a different identity. She accepts this new life gracefully and begins a new chapter. She gets married and has two children. Life, however, has something else in store for her. It breaks her apart. Again.

This time the pain is unbearable.

But the hope that she will reunite with her children and be whole again keeps her alive. And she doesn’t let the bitterness cloud her days, becoming a beacon of hope and courage for all.

From the bestselling author of Calling Sehmat comes another hitherto untold story of strength, sacrifice and resilience.

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Sixteen Stormy Days
Sixteen Stormy Days || Tripurdaman Singh

Sixteen Stormy Days narrates the riveting story of the First Amendment to the Constitution of India-one of the pivotal events in Indian political and constitutional history, and its first great battle of ideas. Drawing on parliamentary debates, press reports, judicial pronouncements, official correspondence and existing scholarship, Sixteen Stormy Days challenges conventional wisdom on iconic figures such as Jawaharlal Nehru, B.R. Ambedkar, Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel and Shyama Prasad Mookerji, and lays bare the vast gulf between the liberal promise of India’s Constitution and the authoritarian impulses of her first government.

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Ambedkar’s Preamble
Ambedkar’s Preamble || Aakash Singh Rathore

 

Although Dr Ambedkar is universally regarded as the chief architect of the Constitution, the specifics of his role as chairman of the Drafting Committee are not widely discussed. Totally neglected is his almost single-handed authorship of the Constitution’s Preamble, which is frequently and mistakenly attributed to B.N. Rau rather than to Ambedkar.
This book establishes how and why the Preamble to the Constitution of India is essentially an Ambedkarite preamble.

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Vision for a Nation
Vision For A Nation || Ashish Nandy, Aakash Singh Rathore

What is the nation? What is the idea of India? Whose India is it, anyway?
This inaugural volume in the series titled Rethinking India aims to kickstart a national dialogue on the key questions of our times. It brings together India’s foremost intellectuals, academics, activists, technocrats, professionals and policymakers to offer an in-depth exploration of these issues, deriving from their long-standing work, experience and unflinching commitment to the collective idea of India, of who we can and ought to be. Vision for a Nation: Paths and Perspectives champions a plural, inclusive, just, equitable and prosperous India, committed to individual dignity as the foundation of the unity and vibrancy of the nation.

Let’s not leave the children out! Here is a list of books for your children.

We, The Children Of India
We The Children Of India || LeIla Seth 

Former Chief Justice Leila Seth makes the words of the Preamble to the Constitution understandable to even the youngest reader. What is a democratic republic, why are we secular, what is sovereignty? Believing that it is never too early for young people to learn about the Constitution, she tackles these concepts and explains them in a manner everyone can grasp and enjoy. Accompanied by numerous photographs, captivating and inspiring illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Bindia Thapar, and delightful bits of trivia, We, the Children of India is essential reading for every young citizen.

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The Constitution of India for Children
The Constitution Of India For Children || Subhadra Sen Gupta

Every 26th January, people gather on New Delhi’s Rajpath amidst a colourful jamboree of fluttering flags, marching soldiers and dancing children. What is celebrated on this day is at the heart of our democracy-the magnificent Constitution of India.

The document didn’t only lay down the law but united India with a vision that took two years, eleven months and seventeen days to realise. Subhadra Sen Gupta captures the many momentous occasions in Indian history that led to its making in The Constitution of India for Children. Populated with facts and dotted with cheerful illustrations, this book provides answers to innumerable questions asked over the years.

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The Puffin History Of India (Vol.1)
The Puffin History Of India (Vol.1) || Roshen Dalal
The Puffin History Of India (Vol. 2)
The Puffin History Of India (Vol. 2) || Roshen Dalal

These books trace the fascinating story of the social, political, cultural and economic development across the high points of Indian history-from the earliest times to the British conquest, the Nationalist movement and, finally, the triumph of Independence. The informal, engaging style and the colourful descriptions of people, events and cultures provide a comprehensive picture of what life was like in India up to 1947. Informative, well researched and containing a host of illustrations and maps, this amazing reference guide helps bring the past to life for students and young readers like never before.

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India A To Z
India A To Z

What was India’s very own desi dino called? How did India’s currency come to be named the rupee? Which Indian glacier is the highest battleground in the world? Who wrote the world’s first grammar book? If questions like these make you curious about incredible India, here is a bumper info-pedia packed with fascinating facts, terrific trivia and colourful cartoons on just about everything in India, this book encourages interest in a wide range of subjects.

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My India
My India || A.P.J Abdul Kalam

My India: Ideas for the Future is a collection of excerpts from Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s speeches in his post presidency years. Drawn from Dr Kalam’s addresses to parliaments, universities, schools and other institutions in India and abroad, they include his ideas on science, nation-building, poverty, compassion and self-confidence.

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