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Books on India

List 1:

1. The Idea of India – Sunil Khilnani – a keen effort to analyze modern Indian history and understand why and how India works as a secular democracy.

2. India – from Midnight to Millennium – Sashi Tharoor – Another superb and updated effort in line with Sunil Khilnani’s. A bit liberal for some, but wonderfully written and captures the modern, liberal indian ethos brilliantly.

3. In spite of the Gods – The strange rise of modern India – by Edward Luce

4. India Unbound – Gurucharan Das Continue reading Books on India

Books on India

Some good books on India

1. The Discovery of India, by Jawaharlal Nehru (nonfiction).
2. India Unbound, by Gurcharan Das (nonfiction).
3. The Devil’s Wind, by Manohar Malgaonkar (fiction).
4. Freedom at Midnight, by Dominic Lapierre and Larry Collins (nonfiction).
5. On the Grand Trunk Road, by Steve Coll (nonfiction).
6. May You be the Mother of a Thousand Sons, by Elizabeth Bumiller (nonfiction).
7. Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God, by Jonah Blank (nonfiction).
8. Motiba’s Tatoos, by Mira Kamdar (nonfiction).
9. An Area of Darkness, by V. S. Naipaul (nonfiction).
10. India After Gandhi, by Ramachandra Guha (nonfiction).

And, 11, “Mother India India: A Political Biography of Indira Gandhi,” by Pranay Gupte (nonfiction).

In addition to above list:

1. “We are like that Only” by Rama Bijapurkar (Penguin) – on marketing in today’s India
2. “The Indians” by Sudhir & Katharina Kakar (Penguin) – social psychology
3. “Branding India-An Incredible Story” by Amitabh Kant (Collins Business) – a case study on “Incredible India” campaign
4. “Handmade in India” by Aditi & MP Ranjan (Cohands & Mapin) – an encyclopaedic tome on India’s craft tradition
5. “The Earthen Drum” by Pupul Jayakar on India’s crafts
6. “Chasing the monsoon: A modern pilgrimage through India” by Alexander Frater
7.”Butter chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in small town India” (Travelogue) by Pankaj Mishra
8. “Temptations of the West: How to be modern in India, Pakistan….” (Travelogue) By Pankaj Mishra
9. “Autobiography of an Unknown Indian” by Nirad C. Chaudhuri

One of the best collection of novels on India is the Gandhi Quartet by a much celebrated but not too well known writer, Chamana Nahal. These include:

1) Azadi (Freedom). New Delhi, Arnold-Heinemann, and Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1975; London, Deutsch, 1977.

2)The Crown and the Loincloth. New Delhi, Vikas, 1981.

3)The Salt of Life. New Delhi, Allied, 1990.

4)The Triumph of the Tricolour. New Delhi, Allied, 1993.


V. S. Naipaul’s Books on India on India (India-an area of darkness, India a Million Mutinies)are confront the grim realities of India, no romanticizing…
Will Durant A Case for India (banned at one time by the British)
Count Keyserling The travel Diary of a Philosopher (has a part on India as well as China, Japan and US)
Kitab-e-Yamini –a shocking tale of how Turks came into India
Francois Bernier–Travels in the Mogul Court–eyewitness account of Frenchman shows how the court lead to the poverty of India–no schools, no Universities, high taxation of peasants just built palaces for themselves
Andre Wink–exposes the truth about Islam in India without holding an ideological bias
Arun Shourie Eminent Historians
Al Beruni’s India–displays Muslim bias but you can learn a lot from his book as he was a great scholar
Books by Tagore–although much is lost in Engligh translation
Kalhan–History of Kashmir–first Indian historian on India. Tanslated by Aurel Stein