5 Indian Books you should read to understand India

  1. "Up against darkness" by Medha Bhaskaran: This book provides a profound insight into the lives of marginalized communities of sex workers in India and how Indian heroes are fighting it.
  2. "Last Among Equals: Power, Caste & Politics in Bihar’s Villages": This book, written by an Indian author, examines the intricate dynamics of power, caste, and politics in rural Bihar. By delving into the grassroots level, the author offers a deep understanding of how caste influences the political landscape and social structure in the region. Through vivid anecdotes and meticulous research, the book provides valuable insights into the socio-political complexities of rural India.
  3. "Poor Economics: Rethinking Poverty and the Ways to End It" by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo: Written by two Nobel laureates in economics, this book presents a fresh perspective on poverty alleviation. The authors employ rigorous empirical research to challenge conventional wisdom and propose innovative solutions to combat poverty. By examining real-life case studies and conducting randomized control trials, Banerjee and Duflo offer valuable insights into the root causes of poverty and effective strategies for its eradication.
  4. "Bottle of Lies" by Katherine Eban: This investigative book sheds light on the pharmaceutical industry in India and raises important questions about the quality and safety of generic drugs. Through extensive research and interviews, Katherine Eban uncovers cases of fraud and deception, revealing the darker side of the pharmaceutical industry. The book provides a thought-provoking analysis of the challenges faced by the Indian drug manufacturing sector and its global impact on healthcare.
  5. "Journeys through Babudom and Netaland: Governance in India" by TSR Subramanian: Although I haven't personally read this book, it is known for its insightful exploration of governance in India. TSR Subramanian, a former bureaucrat, offers a firsthand account of the functioning of the Indian bureaucracy and the challenges faced by administrators. Through his experiences and observations, the author provides valuable perspectives on governance, policy-making, and the intricacies of the Indian administrative system.

Additional Recommendations/Currently reading:

Chup: Breaking the Silence About India’s Women

Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India's Poorest Districts - P Sainath

Dongri to Dubai: Six decades of the Mumbai mafia - Hussain Zaidi

The Great Arc: The Dramatic Tale of How India was Mapped and Everest was Named

The Bloomsbury Handbook of Indian Cuisine (Second book on Indian cuisine by the Author)