THE IDEA OF NEW INDIA: Essays in Defence of Critical Thought


ISBN 9789350026915


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ISBN 9789350026915


This engaging book clearly details the dilemmas that contemporary India faces and the controversies that accompany the many policies advocated to address them. By rising above partisanship, Pramod Kumar deftly demonstrates the fault lines in post Independence India’s political and economic systems. The author pursuasively argues that more democracy, and not less, can shine a light on the route India should take for a more prosperous future. – Dipankar Gupta, Sociologist.

An insightful and analytical treatise of the forces during Indian politics. A provocative write up on the difference between the Nehruvian nation-building and Modi’s New India project. A persuasive analysis of the electoral machine and its implications for the shaping of a democratic, justice-oriented and inclusive polity and society. An innovatice contribution to the emerging governance paradigm in response to continuous dialogue between the stae, the civil society and the post-colonial mindest. The scope of governance has been redefined in the context of shift from a mixed economy to a market economy; from secular nationalism to cultural nationalism and, from non-aligned to more integrated globalized system. It is an exquisitely reasoned essays on issues relevant to everyday life. – S.Y. Quraishi, Former Chief-Election Commissioner of India

The idea of ‘New India’ has acquired a new currency. The dominant grammar of politics dilutes the critical impulse and deters the expression of alternate politics. The interpretive possibilities have been replaced by a reactive exchange. Technology is presented as a panacea, rather than just a facilitator. Legitimacy and normative dignity for these ideas is acquired by redefining the role of the institutions and also through constitutional amendments. A major intellectual effort is required to reformulate public policy, governance systems and social relations to balance the opposite claims of market efficiency and economic growth with social equity and justice. These issues have been critically discussed by Pramod Kumar in three interrelated essays.

The first essay examines the nature, scope and limitations of democracy; the second essay looks critically at the states’ response and identifies the limits of the political interventions; the third essay is an attempt to capture the interplay of the politico-economic fault lines with the social architecture. It also provides sufficient inputs for the reinvention of the state in response to the challenges posed by the market and the need for genuine social justice.

Pramod Kumar is Director, Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), Chandigarh. Prof. Kumar received his PhD from Panjab University on Violence in Indian Politics. He became Director of Institute for Development and Communication in 1992. He Chaired Commissions on Governance Reforms for the States of Punjab and Haryana. His work focuses on three interrelated themes in the domain of Social Development, Citizens’ Social Security and Safety Nets; Politics of Development for Conflict Management and Resolution; and Practice of Democracy Through Empirical Methodologies and Analysis of Public Policy. He is a recipient of the prestigious Homi Bhabha Award for the year 1988‑1990 and is an author of many books and scholarly articles.


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