Part I: Democratic Principles and Their Applications in India
Sudarsan Padmanabhan Democracy as Antinomy: Procedural versus Substantive N.L. Rajah Electoral Issues and the Constitution of India S.Y. Quraishi Voter Education: Importance and Impact Arvind Sivaramakrishnan, Chris Terry and Katie Ghose Proportional Representation
Part II: Political Processes
N. Gopalaswami The Election Commission of India and General Elections M.G. Devasahayam India’s Democracy—Lost and Regained Jagdeep Chhokar Reforming Politics and Elections through Legal Changes Trilochan Sastry Voters and Good Governance
Part III: The Practice of Democracy
Wendy Singer Representing Women —Voting Rights and Women Legislators R. Azhagarasan Democracy as Emancipatory Politics Josephine Anthony and Sudarsan Padmanabhan Gender Equity in Education among Muslims in India A.V. Balasubramanian Organic Agriculture and India’s Food Security Chamundeeswari Kuppuswamy India’s New Intellectual Property Policy: Passive Sovereignty Arappor Iyakkam The Practice of Democracy: Chennai Floods, 2015 Index
Indian Democracy: Contradictions and Reconciliations provides a vivid presentation of major facets of democracy in India. It aims to explore how Indian democracy has functioned, with reference to its theoretical foundations, institutional mechanisms and procedures, and political practices.
The book starts with a close analysis of the Constitution of India, which provides the theoretical validation for democratic politics and serves as a reflective and regulative ideal. It highlights the way adherence to democratic principles and nurturing of strong institutions have helped India negotiate and often reconcile contradictions such as caste inequalities, linguistic and ethnic identities, majority–minority divide, gender bias and divergences in the conception of democracy itself. Furthermore, the book delineates significant improvements in the maintenance of accurate electoral registers, enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct and use of electronic voting machines, considerable reductions in violence and intimidation in the recent decades, which have together contributed to strengthening the Indian voter’s confidence in democratic processes. This edited book will prove indispensable for all those who are interested in a close understanding of democracy in India.