An Indian Political Life Charan Singh and Congress Politics, 1957 to 1967 by Professor Paul R. Brass


An Indian Political Life Charan Singh and Congress Politics, 1957 to 1967 by Professor Paul R. Brass

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.


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

About the Author

Paul R Brass is Professor (Emeritus) of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has published numerous books and articles on comparative and South Asian politics, ethnic politics, and collective violence. His work has been based on extensive field research in India during numerous visits since 1961. He has been a University of Washington faculty member and Professor, Department of Political Science, and The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies since 1965. He received his BA in 1958, Government, Harvard College; his MA in 1959, Political Science, University of Chicago; and his PhD in 1964, Political Science, University of Chicago. His teaching specializations include: comparative politics (South Asia), ethnicity and nationalism, as well as collective violence. Prof. Brass has received Fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, 1994-95; Faculty Research Fellowships, American Institute of Indian Studies: 1993, 1982- 83, 1973, 1966-76; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 1972-73; Grants for Research on South Asia, American Council of Learned Societies and Social Science Research Council, 1966-67, 1973-74, 1977-78, 1982-83, amongst others. In 2008, Brass received the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Emeritus Fellowship. In 2012, Professor Brass was awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship grant for the academic year 2012-13, which allowed him to carry out further research in India during his stay of nine months. During that period he was affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Developing societies, Delhi.

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508 pages


Professor Paul R. Brass
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Publication date

27th September 2012



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