Understanding the Politics and Ideology of Indian Secularism: The Dharma Dispatch Reading List

Understanding the Politics and Ideology of Indian Secularism: The Dharma Dispatch Reading List

Perhaps it’s only in post-independence India that a single political family ushered in a cynical culture of winning elections based not on native civilizational, cultural, and human values but on something called secularism. Although tomes have been written on this and wealthy careers and political empires established by parroting it, this secularism continues to rebel against a concrete, unambiguous definition. Therein lies both its dark beauty and the terminal danger that it has posed to the Indian civilization. The most accurate definition of Indian secularism is this: appeasement of the worst and the most fanatical elements in the Muslim and Christian community at any cost.

It is equally true that even before Independence, a vast array of thinkers, scholars, freedom fighters, and philosophers had clearly seen through the sheer inappropriateness of secularism and had written and spoken about the evils that its application in India would engender. After Independence, such warnings were issued regularly even in extremely hostile conditions especially after the Marxists and the Congress party became bedmates and free expression of ideas was stifled in the country. That Stalinist climate is thankfully now, largely non-existent.

However, a systematic, ordered, rigorous, and disciplined body of discourse that throws light on and provides clear diagnoses and solutions to the aforementioned sham secularism has not been developed during the same seven-decade period. There have been brilliant individuals who have done exceptional work in this domain but these have largely been scattered. Thus, after seventy years, when the Marxists have vacated the building, we witness a spectacle where the new occupants appear to be largely groping in the dark. Ideally, there should have been a well-structured curriculum, an academic discipline or course to take the ideas of such exceptional work forward. This isn’t to say that no work is happening but there is a highly-noticeable lacuna.

Therefore, for what it is worth, and for those who wish to get a solid understanding of the politics and ideology of Indian Secularism, The Dharma Dispatch presents a partial reading list categorized by author. Modelled after our widely-appreciated reading list for 2019.

Note: Obviously, this is only a partial list that adheres to a broad topical framework. Additionally, this list includes only books and compilations written in English. There is an equal if not greater number of books, essays, monographs, etc in Indian languages on the subject. That will form the topic of a future project.

Happy Reading!

Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy

Essays in National Idealism
Bugbear of Literacy
Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power in the Indian Theory of Government

Aravindan Neelakandan and Rajiv Malhotra

Breaking India

Aurobindo Ghosh

Early Cultural Writings
The Need in Nationalism and Other Essays
The Renaissance in India
The Spirit and Form of Indian Polity
India’s Rebirth
Autobiographical Notes and Other Writings of Historical Interest

Arun Shourie

A Secular Agenda
Eminent Historians
The World of Fatwas
Harvesting Our Souls
Missionaries in India
Only Fatherland
Falling Over Backwards

Ashok Mehta and Achyut Patwardhan

The Communal Triangle in India

Bhimrao Ambedkar

Thoughts on Pakistan
Ranade, Gandhi and Jinnah
States and Minorities
India and Communism

B.D. Basu

Rise of the Christian Power in India

Bimanbehari Majumdar

History of Political Thought

Bipin Chandra Pal

Speeches of Sri Bepin Chandra Pal (Delivered at Madras)
Memories of my Life and Times
Nationality and Empire

Blunt W.S

India under Ripon

David Frawley

Arise Arjuna: Hinduism and the Modern World
How I Became a Hindu: My Discovery of Vedic Dharma
Hinduism and the Clash of Civilisations
Awaken Bharata
Gods, Sages and Kings: Vedic Secrets of Ancient Civilization

Dhananjay Keer

Savarkar and His Times


The Beautiful Tree:Indigenous Indian Education in the Eighteenth Century
Despoliation and Defaming of India: The Early Nineteenth Century British Crusade
India Before British Rule and the Basis for India’s Resurgence:

Harsh Narain

Jizyah and the spread of Islam
The Ayodhya Temple-Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources

Hunter W.W.

The Indian Musalmans

Indra Prakash

Hindu Mahasabha

Jatinder K Bajaj and M.D. Srinivas

Annam Bahukurvita: Recollecting the Indian Discipline of
Growing and Sharing Food in Plenty

Religious Demography of India (coauthor: A.P. Joshi)

Kewal Punjabi

The Indomitable Sardar

Kishori Saran Lal

The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India
Indian Muslims: Who are they
The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India
Muslim Slave System in Medieval India
Theory and Practice of Muslim State in India
The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims (Contributor)

Koenraad Elst

Decolonizing the Hindu Mind
Ram Janmabhoomi Vs. Babri Masjid: A Case Study in Hindu-Muslim Conflict
Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society
The Saffron Swastika (in two volumes)
Negationism in India: Concealing the Record of Islam

K.Y. Nariman

Whither Congress

Meenakshi Jain

Rama and Ayodhya
Flight of Deities and Rebirth of Temples: Episodes from Indian History

Michel Danino

The Lost River: On the Trail of the Sarasvati
Indian Culture and India’s Future

Dr. N.S. Rajaram

Profiles in Deception: Ayodhya and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Secularism: The New Mask of Fundamentalism
Nationalism and Distortions in Indian History

Pattabhi Sitaramayya

The History of the Indian National Congress

Philip Spratt

Blowing up of India

Radha Rajan

Eclipse of the Hindu Nation
NGOs, Activists and Foreign Funds – Anti-Nation Industry

Ram Swarup

Let us Fight the Communist Menace

The Hindu View of Education
The Word as Revelation: Names of Gods
Understanding Islam through Hadis
Woman in Islam
Hindu View of Christianity and Islam
Cultural Alienation and Some Problems Hinduism Faces
Christianity, an Imperialist Ideology (with Major T.R. Vedantham and Sita Ram Goel)

Shrikant Talageri

The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis
The Aryan Invasion Theory: A Reappraisal

Sita Ram Goel

Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them (in two volumes)
The Calcutta Quran Petition (Compiler and General Editor)
Defence of Hindu Society
Freedom of Expression: Secular Theocracy Versus Liberal Democracy
Perversion of India’s Political Parlance
The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India
Genesis and Growth of Nehruism
Heroic Hindu Resistance to Muslim Invaders
Hindu Society Under Siege (Compilation)
History of Hindu-Christian Encounters
Muslim Separatism: Causes and Consequences

How I became a Hindu

Suhas Majumdar

Jihad: The Islamic Doctrine of Permanent War

Surendranath Banerji

Speeches and Writings

Sankaran Nair

Gandhi and Anarchy

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Hindu Sanghatan, its Ideology and Immediate Programme

What do you think of this list? As always, please send an email if you wish to suggest any other books that you feel needs to be added to the list.  

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