ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A History of Political Parties in India

Political Parties, Party Manifestos and Elections in India, 1909–2014 edited by R K Tiwari, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2019; pp xxi + 309, ₹1,495.

The book under review is a product of an Indian Council of Social ­Sciences Research (ICSSR) senior fellowship availed by (Retd) ­R K Tiwari of the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. It deals with the topic of political parties and their manifestos.

Since elections developed later than the formal structures of the government, even democratic government, with gradual extension of franchise earlier limited only to the nobility and clergy to wider sections of the society like the bourgeoisie and middle classes and working classes, their study took time in gaining currency in political science. Political parties grew even later than the first ­onset of elections, and early political elites and founding fathers—George Washington, Lord Bolingbroke, M K Gandhi, Jayaprakash Narayan, M N Roy, etc—expressed strong anti-faction/anti-party sentiments as divisive instruments of social and national unity. Even when parties appeared on the scene, first in parliamentary chambers and then in civil society, interest groups, pressure groups, and parties came to be regarded as infrastructures rather than structures of government and governance. Nevertheless, in liberal democratic political theory, both elections and political parties finally came to acquire primary and crucial importance.

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Updated On : 4th Jun, 2020

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