Book Review: ‘Chambers Book of Indian Election Facts’ by Kingshuk Chatterjee and Subrek Biswas

Interesting fact book

Book Title: Chambers Book of Indian Election Facts
Author(s): Kingshuk Chatterjee and Subrek Biswas
Publisher: Hachette India
Number of Pages: 576
ISBN: 978-9357313292
Date Published: Apr. 22, 2024
Price: INR 450

Chambers Book of Indian Election Facts by Kingshuk Chatterjee and Subrek Biswas Book Cover

Book Review

Chambers Book of Indian Election Facts” by Kingshuk Chatterjee and Subrek Biswas is a comprehensive and meticulously researched work that serves as a valuable resource for understanding the intricate history of Indian elections. The book is divided into three parts, covering the age of Congress dominance (around 1952-77), the age of political fragmentation (1977-99), and the age of ascendancy of the BJP (roughly 1999 onwards). This chronicle of modern Indian elections aims to provide a repository of important facts about electoral politics in India, without any ideological bias.

  • The Age of Congress Dominance (1952–77): This section examines the formative years of Indian democracy, where the Indian National Congress held sway over the political landscape. It details the party’s strategies, electoral victories, and the socio-political context that allowed for such dominance.
  • The Age of Political Fragmentation (1977–99): The authors explore the period marked by the rise of regional parties and the weakening of the Congress’s hegemony. This era saw the emergence of coalition politics and the increasing importance of regional issues and identities in national elections.
  • The Age of Ascendancy of the BJP (1999 onwards): The final part of the book discusses the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party as a significant political force, analyzing its electoral strategies, key victories, and the broader ideological shifts in the Indian electorate.

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The authors, Chatterjee, a historian, and Biswas, a journalist, combine their expertise to present facts and trivia about Indian elections, including lesser-known events and figures that have shaped the country’s political fabric. The authors have taken a fact-based approach, using reliable data sources and analyzing information without bias. They describe the content as “facts plus plus plus,” aiming to educate and entertain readers with both essential information and intriguing beyond-the-ballot events. The book covers all Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, offering readers a quick reference to Indian electoral history and intriguing insights beyond the ballot.

Chambers Book of Indian Election Facts” offers a comprehensive and unbiased reflection on India’s democratic process, enriched with anecdotes and essential facts like B.R. Ambedkar’s electoral defeats and the unique Goa referendum. Covering all Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections, this handbook is an indispensable quick reference for anyone interested in the intricacies of Indian elections and their historical context.

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