'An excellent overview of contemporary critical political thought in India. A superb resource for students and serious readers.'
Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University, USA and Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, India
'Indian Political Theory does much more than provide a perfect cognitive mapping of what its title says. It serves as a compass that allows us to orient ourselves in the pandemonium of Indian politics, wisely avoiding both traps of imitating Western models or of advocating a naive return to some imagined Indian tradition. The book is indispensable for all who want to understand the deepest political motivations of a growing superpower.'
Slavoj Žižek, Birkbeck College, UK
'Indian Political Theory is a welcome volume as it seeks to introduce the reader to the theoretical possibility that remains hidden in the system of ideas developed by thinkers like Babasaheb Ambedkar. In a fundamental sense the volume performs a moral function: it defines the completeness of Indian political theory on ethical grounds, with the demand of an egalitarian accommodation of subaltern thought.'
Gopal Guru, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
'This impressive critique of the idea of svaraj in Indian political thought deserves to be widely read.'
Talal Asad, CUNY Graduate Institute, USA
'Aakash Singh Rathore wrests the subject of political theory from the hands of self-centred and increasingly irrelevant Western thinkers and he democratizes it by anchoring it in the experience of the downtrodden masses of India: the Dalits. By re-reading Gandhi and Ambedkar, Professor Rathore rescues the concept of svaraj from Hindu nationalists and revives it to make it relevant to political theory - and to politics - today and in the future, in India and outside. This is a book of stunning ambition and great learning written in a style that is playful, confrontational and intellectually demanding. It should be read by all serious students of political theory, East and West.'
Torkel Brekke, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the University of Oslo, Norway
'In this fascinating work Aakash Singh Rathore explores the many dimensions of the concept of Swaraj within the broader context of Political Theory, Indian Political Theory specifically. Rigorous revaluation of the concept enables him to reassess the long-standing debate between universalism and particularism while negotiating creatively between western-centric theory and the indigeneity he champions. It is a priceless read.'
Neera Chandhoke, Visiting Professorial Fellow, Centre for Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
'Rathore acknowledges the efforts of a set of Indian scholars who have highlighted the inadequacies of dominant political theories. He bemoans that while the knowledge and experience of the West gets universal status, those of non-western politics, society, and culture are quickly prefixed and slotted in silos like "Indian" or "Chinese".'
‘Aakash Singh Rathore’s thoughtful book, Indian Political Theory: Laying the Groundwork for Svaraj, provides one of the most compelling versions of the first approach . . . He defends a decolonial position and argues that pre-modern revivalist positions will inevitably privilege transitions of indigenous elites.’
Episode 58, THE PRAGATI PODCAST If Swaraj is your birthright, do you have it? What does Swaraj even mean? Do we have different concepts of self-rule? And how do we even spell the word — sva or swa? Click here to listen: A Thin Svaraj
Part One: What Political Theory is Meant to Do 1. The Thick and Thin of Svaraj 2. Political Theory and Comparative Political Theory 3. What is Indian Political Theory?
Part Two: The Inadequacy of Trans-Atlantic Political Theory 4. Theories of "Our" Condition: Habermas and the Post-Secular Turn 5. Theories of "Our" Oppression: Žižek and the Critique of Human Rights 6. Theories of "Our" Liberation: Rawls, Sen, and the Romance of Global Justice 7. An Unkindness of Theories: Trans-Atlantic Marxism, Post-Structuralism, and Post-Colonial Ethnographies
Part Three: Preconditions for Svaraj 8. Tradition, Hybridity, Equality 9. Gandhi and Ambedkar 10. Dalit Svaraj