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The Indian National Congress: An Analytical Biography

Authors (s): Om P. Gautam (Author)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: viii+400p., Tables; Figures; Appendices; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.
Pub. date: 01.01.1985, 1st ed.
Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation
Language (s): English
Bagchee ID: BB777
List price: US $ 67,00
Bagchee price: US $ 60,30
You save: (10.00%)
Member price: US $ 54,27 info

Overview for The Indian National Congress: An Analytical Biography

The Indian National Congress is one of the oldest political party in the world and the oldest in Asia. Most works on the Congress are essentially historical narratives. Political studies of the Congress are is the behavioural framework and most deal with the post-independence Congress at state and local levels. There is no standard work that combines the pre and post independence periods and analyses the Congress from both historical and political perspectives. The present volume by Dr. Gautam combines both these perspectives and thus fills a gap in our knowledge about India’s dominant party. Situating the Congress, the mainstream of the Indian Nationalist movement, in the overall pre and post-independence process. Dr. Gautam in his broad sweep deals with social and political modernization, social mobilization and the emergence of social and political associations in the nineteenth century culminating in the birth of the Congress in 1885. Customary wisdom has described the early Congress as a pressure group which Gandhi converted into a mass movement and which became a political party after independence. The book rejects this somewhat neat and simplistic division and argues that the early Congress was a political movement aimed at changing the basic character of the Raj. During the Gandhian phase in addition to becoming a mass nationalist movement the Congress also showed signs of becoming an incipient political party. The book highlights this multifaceted character of the Congress. Its blueprint for post independence India as also its role as the dominant party in shaping the post-independence political and party systems has been analysed using polarized pluralism as the model. The Congress was the principal national building agency during the pre and post independence periods. The book elaborates the Congress’ model and strategies for nation building including the resolution of ethnic conflict and its conception of secularism. Analysis of linguistic politics underlines the strength and weaknesses of these models. Dr. Gautam’s analysis of the circumstances leading to the declaration of ‘emergency’ and the break up of the Congress in 1977, the emergence and break up of the Janata Party and the return of the Congress to power in 1980 is objective and neutral. Although written from an academic stand-point, it is hoped that the book will equally attract general readers interested in India’s nationalist movement and present politics.
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