Book Review: ‘Because India Comes First’ by Ram Madhav

An excellent read on Indian Polity, Nationalism, and identity.


Book Title: Because India Comes First: Reflections on Nationalism, Identity and Culture
Author: Ram Madhav
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-8196911317
Date Published: Mar. 5, 2024
Price: INR 315

Because India Comes First by Ram Madhav Book Cover

Book Review

Published by Rupa Publications, “Because India Comes First: Reflections on Nationalism, Identity and Culture” by Ram Madhav offers 53 chapters, examining themes such as democracy, culture, and foreign policy, and addressing India’s past, present, and future. Ram Madhav, a prominent figure within the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and a think tank, provides a unique perspective on India’s socio-political evolution.

Madhav’s writing stands out for its clarity, depth, and adept weaving of India’s rich cultural heritage with contemporary issues. He explores the intersection of traditional values with modern challenges, striking a balance that resonates with Gandhi’s vision of open windows in a sturdy house. Through engaging narratives and analyses, Madhav examines the role of key figures in Indian history and politics while also addressing current debates on national policies and their implications. His essays on the feminization of strength and courage and the critical examination of India’s strategic culture and constitutional awareness underscore the enduring relevance of India’s civilizational ethos in shaping a modern, progressive society.

In dissecting the political landscape, Madhav candidly navigates the BJP’s ideological moorings and its governance ethos under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The essays elucidate the party’s stance on various national issues, including the contentious debates surrounding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the abrogation of Article 370, and the concept of Akhand Bharat. Madhav’s critique of oppositional politics, coupled with his insights into India’s foreign policy and strategic imperatives, reveal a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics at play in shaping India’s path on the global stage.

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Because India Comes First: Reflections on Nationalism, Identity and Culture” emerges as a seminal work for anyone keen on understanding the intricate web of India’s political, cultural, and societal fabric. Ram Madhav, with his erudite commentary and analytical prowess, invites readers to explore the depths of India’s identity and aspirations. This collection is not just an academic or political exploration; it is a narrative of India’s journey towards realizing its potential in an ever-changing world.

It is a compelling read, offering a mosaic of perspectives that challenge, inform, and inspire, making it a crucial addition to the discourse on India’s future direction. Whether one aligns with Madhav’s views or not, the book opens a window to engage with the diverse and dynamic dialogues shaping India.

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