This book presents a comprehensive overview of the contemporary experiences of democracy in India. It explores the modes by which democracy as an idea, and as a practice, is interpreted, enforced, and lived in India’s current political climate.

The book employs ‘case studies’ as a methodological vantage point to evolve an innovative conceptual framework for the study of democracy in India. The chapters unpack a diverse range of themes such as democracy and Dalits; agriculture, new sociality and communal violence in rural areas; changing nature of political communication in India; role of anti-nuclear movements in democracies; issues of subaltern citizen’s voice, impaired governance and the development paradigm; free speech and segregation in the public sphere; and, the surveillance state and Indian democracy. These thematic explorations are arranged in an engaging sequence to offer a multifaceted narrative of Indian democracy especially in relation to the recent debates on citizenship and constitutionalism.

A key critical intervention on contemporary politics in South Asia, this book will be essential reading for scholars and researchers of political studies, political science, political sociology, comparative government and politics, sociology, social anthropology, public administration, public policy, and South Asia studies. It will also be of immense interest to policymakers, journalists, think tanks, bureaucrats, and organizations working in the area.

chapter |25 pages


The question indeed is democracy

chapter 3|10 pages

Electoral campaign as a performative plebiscite

Mapping the changing nature of political communication in India

chapter 5|16 pages

People, protected areas and political parties

A study of two protest movements in Odisha

chapter 7|12 pages

Regional movements in democracy

The case of Telangana

chapter 9|13 pages

From Jan Sunwai to social audit

Trust, contention, and ‘workable democracy’

chapter 12|12 pages

Making sense of democracy

Musahars of Eastern Uttar Pradesh

chapter 13|12 pages

Political mobilisation of Muslims in Kerala

Towards a communitarian becoming of democracy

chapter 14|17 pages

Conceiving scientific expertise democratically

A study of Western Ghats ecological controversy

chapter 15|19 pages

Free speech, democracy and the ‘hidden persuaders’

Segregation in the public sphere

chapter 16|11 pages

Regulatory reforms in electricity sector

Systemic change or sabotage?

chapter 17|22 pages

In pursuit of personal data

A survey on state surveillance and democracy in India