Democracy on the Road
Nominated | Book Awards 2020 | English Non-fiction
Democracy on the Road
On the eve of a landmark general election, Ruchir Sharma offers an unrivalled portrait of how India and its democracy work, drawn from his two decades on the road chasing election campaigns across every major state, travelling the equivalent of a lap around the earth. Democracy on the Road takes readers on a rollicking ride with Ruchir and his merry band of fellow writers as they talk to farmers, shopkeepers and CEOs from Rajasthan to Tamil Nadu, and interview leaders from Narendra Modi to Rahul Gandhi.
No book has traced the arc of modern India by taking readers so close to the action. Offering an intimate view inside the lives and minds of India's political giants and its people, Sharma explains how the complex forces of family, caste and community, economics and development, money and corruption, Bollywood and Godmen, have conspired to elect and topple Indian leaders since Indira Gandhi. The ultimately encouraging message of Ruchir's travels is that, while democracy is retreating in many parts of the world, it is thriving in India.
Ruchir Sharma is a global investor and a writer. He is currently a contributing opinion writer with the New York Times. His most recent book, The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World, was released in June 2016 and instantly became a New York Times bestseller. His 2012 book, Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles, debuted as the number one bestseller in India, and earned Sharma the Tata Literature Live! First Book Award for 2012. Breakout Nations also made it to the Wall Street Journal hardcover business bestseller list, and was chosen by Foreign Policy as one of its '21 Books to Read in 2012'.
Packed with nuance and detail of the many Indias that make India (Vogue)
A must read in this election season! (Nandan Nilekani)
A must, must, must and very 'mast' read! Insightful and deliciously wicked (Shobhaa De)
An immediate must-read. A definitive one-volume on the modern India (Tom Keene, Bloomberg’s Editor-at-large)
A high-speed, breezy drive through two decades of electoral politics (Bloomberg Quint)
Ruchir Sharma's insights on the Indian polity are absorbing thanks to portraits that are raw and real (Hindu Business Line)
Sharma's account of his travels offers a fascinating insight into the quixotic characters populating India's political landscape....(he) is a diligent, informed and sympathetic guide. (Prospect Magazine)
Sharma's ability to weave in the personal and political; grasp the big picture trends from the micro events and conversations; and immersion into Indian electoral battles make this a valuable read. (Prashant Jha, Hindustan Times)
Featuring interviews with Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi, this part-travelogue, part-analysis decodes the throbbing heart of India's democracy. (Livemint)
A fluently written, insightfully observed and expertly analysed account of 25 years of travelling through India during elections. (Sagarika Ghose)
His finest book. (Vir Sanghvi)
Wonderful to have someone speak about elections with all the enthusiasm that only an Indian election can throw up. (Rajdeep Sardesai)
Rich with anecdote and insight ... For a quarter of a century, Ruchir Sharma has been doing in India what political pundits should have done in the US, the UK and France to understand Donald Trump, Brexit and the gilets jaunes protesters: he has left the big cities and listened to voters in the mofussil or provincial parts of the subcontinent. Above all, the trips allowed Sharma and his companions to predict and understand the rise of the Bharatiya Janata party's charismatic Narendra Modi, the collapse and later revival of the Congress party under the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, and the enduring influence of regional politicians such as Nitish Kumar in Bihar and the late J. Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu. (Victor Mallet, Financial Times of London)
Illuminating road trip ... remarkable political travelogue ... Sharma's account of his travels offers a fascinating, front row account of the combustible mix of religion, caste and poverty that is Indian politics. (Oliver Balch, Prospect magazine UK)
Each chapter is an interesting read as it gives a sneak peak into the behind-the-scenes story of each election’ (Free Press Journal)
‘A political aficionado’ (Outlook)