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An Indian Political Life

An Indian Political Life
Charan Singh and Congress Politics, 1957 to 1967

First Edition
  • Paul R. Brass - Professor (Emeritus) of Political Science and International Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
Critical Acclaim

November 2012 | 512 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
This volume traces the course of development of Charan Singh's discontent in the Congress, which aided by the antagonism on the part of Nehru and his daughter towards him, and the decline of the Congress as the dominant party in Uttar Pradesh, led ultimately to his defection to form a new political party and, at last, to achieve his goal of becoming chief minister of UP.

Like the earlier volume, this book is based primarily on the author's personal relationship with Charan Singh during his political career and early access to his massive political files and the author's own personal interviews with politicians, other public persons, peasants, and others over 50 years, up to the present. It also provides an account of the chief ministership of Sucheta Kripalani—a political outsider catapulted to the top by the power struggles of fractious factions—and at the same time explores against the backdrop of regionalism in UP the considerable yet little-known role played by Charan Singh in issues of states reorganization for northern India.

This book is the second volume of a multi-volume work on The Politics of Northern India: 1937 to 1987.


Chronology of Principal Events in the Life of Charan Singh

Regional Political Economy: Western and Eastern Districts

Delhi Suba and Other Demands for the Reorganization of Uttar Pradesh (1946-Present)

Big Industrialists and Big Dams: Agriculture vs. Industrial Development Before and After the Rihand Dam (1957-59)

The Resignation Speech That "Never Came Off"

Interval: Fall of the Sampurnanand Government (1959-62) and the First Government of C B Gupta (1960-63)

The Fall of the First Government of C B Gupta (1963)

Sucheta! (1962-65)

Crisis and Sabotage: The State Employees' Agitation and the UP Government (1964-68)

Groupism and Venality in the Congress (1963-66)

The Forms of Corruption

Disintegration of the Congress

Appendix A: Day-by-day Account of the State Employees’ Strike in Uttar Pradesh: 14 July 1966 to 28 July 1967

Appendix B: Brief Biographies of and Interviews with Persons Mentioned Prominently in Volume II




The book is well organised in terms of content and context. It is an important milestone in accessing the contemporary politics of consists of interesting appendices.... The immense research and time invested in detailing of each and every argument makes the book an important work for understanding the nuances of north-Indian politics. The sources used make the work unbiased and authentic to a large extent...due to the documentation of facts the book becomes close to the bone. It is a must read for those whose to understand the various layers of politics, how politicians work, corruption, nepotism, and the grip of sycophancy.
Economic & Political Weekly

His style is unique, focusing on the second rung of leaders who played a vital role in the pre-independence period and immediately thereafter. [At a time when] state politics [is] becoming an important sub-set of national politics, such leaders at the second tier of our polity need to be given more attention lest posterity might forget them and their contributions to nation-building.

Professor A.K. Verma, in The Book Review

This study is decidedly sympathetic to Charan Singh but Brass also provides plenty of criticisms which lend credibility to the analysis...Brass offers us a bleak view of UP Politics—and abundant evidence to justify is hard to imagine anyone ever matching the exhausting account that Brass provides.

Pacific Affairs

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ISBN: 9788132109471