“Sir, which books would you recommend to understand Indian politics better?”
To that ever-green question, an academic has an answer.
On his Twitter handle, Anand Pradhan, the well-regarded associate professor at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, has listed 20 books that will serve student-journalists well.
Indeed, will serve journalists and journalism teachers well.
1. India after Gandhi: Ramachandra Guha
2. Congress after Indira: Zoya Hassan
3. Party Competition in India states: Suhas Palshikar, KC Suri & Yogendra Yadav (ed)
4. Battles half won: Prof Ashutosh Varshney
5. The Great March of Democracy: Dr S.Y. Quraishi
6. Ideology and Identity: Pradeep K. Chibbar & Rahul Verma
7. When Crime Pays: Milan Vaishnav
8. How the BJP Wins: Prashant Jha
9. Election that Changed India 2014: Rajdeep Sardesai
10. Kanshiram, Leader of Dalits: Badri Narayan
11. Behanji– A political Biography of Mayawati: Ajoy Bose
12. Costs of Democracy: Devesh Kapur & Milan Vaishnav
13. Caste in Indian Politics: Rajni Kothari
14. Politics in India: Rajni Kothari
15. Understanding Caste: Gail Omvedt
16. Handbook of Politics in Indian States: Prof Sudha Pai (ed)
17. The Oxford Companion to Politics in India: Nirja Gopal Jayal & Pratap Bhanu Mehta
18. Hindu Nationalism — A reader: Christophe Jaffrelot
19. India’s 2014 Elections: Paul Wallace (ed)
20. Everyday Communalism: Sudha Pai
The list is by no means exhaustive, or the last word, but it is a starting point for young student aspiring for a career in journalism.
With about 75 days for elections, 20 books to read means a book every three days?