The growing power of business and the increasing rhetoric of the culturalreligious ideology of Hindutva have been the focus of the recent scholarly ventures seeking to explain the persistent undemocratic tendencies in India. The book argues that this traditional and pervasive analytical framework has failed to unravel the deep-rooted societal causes of the growing degeneration in political institutions. What is missed out is the increasing concentration of power in the hands of the hereditary governing class. Inheritance, Hierarchy and Caste: Origins of Political Decay in India shows how the elite-pursuit for controlling societal power, retaining hierarchy and perpetuating inheritance is making use of ideology and, thereby, undermining the democratic spirit in India and reshaping the state itself. The book underlines the realistic significance of the effective representation of the governed classes and analyses how it is critical for bringing pragmatism to the relation between the institutional and functional aspects of the democratic consolidation in India.
Dhananjay Soindaji Wanjari, IRS Officer, and the Additional Director and Faculty of the Planning and Research Division at the National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur, India.