Book Review: Kaushiki Sanyal and Rajesh Chakrabarti, Shaping Policy in India: Alliance, Advocacy, Activism

Date01 December 2018
Published date01 December 2018
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Reviews 753
endorsed the continuity of English for 15 years as the official language and the
acceptance of Hindustani (in Devanagari script) as the connecting language
(p. 155). He does not prefer to cite Article 343 which lays down that Hindi (which
was spoken by slightly over 24 per cent and not Hindustani) in Devanagari script
shall be the official language and English may continue as the official language
even after 15 years if the parliament so decides. He depreciates the incorporation
of Article 351 which directs the Union for development of the Hindi language
on the ground that it discriminates among languages (though Articles 29 and 30
guarantee the right of the linguistic minorities).
The book assesses the proactive role and indeed contribution of the Election
Commission, though its role in India’s constitutional democracy particularly
since 1993 needed larger treatment. However, the success story of the Election
Commission in the 2006 state election in West Bengal has been illustrated well.
The role of the Indian judiciary, the comptroller and auditor general and
method of amendment to the Constitution of India as illustrative of discharging
their illustrative constitutional responsibilities have been examined thoroughly.
However, the issues of appointment and ethics of judges have not been discussed
in detail. The author’s suggestion that the office of the governor is also to be
understood in keeping with the prevalent socio-economic and political context
and his discussion of ‘new localism’ are innovative.
All in all, the book is a sort of reference book in parts which focuses itself
throughout on its own line of looking at the problem. It does not waver from the
perspective and provides details only where the perspective demands.
L.N. Sharma
Former University Professor
Department of Political Science, Patna University, Patna
Kaushiki Sanyal and Rajesh Chakrabarti, Shaping Policy in India: Alliance,
Advocacy, Activism. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2017, 373
pp., `950.
The book Shaping Policy in India by Kaushiki Sanyal and Rajesh Chakrabarti
is a timely intervention in the field of public policy research at a juncture when
constructive political deliberation and negotiation are at its nadir. Simultaneously,
public policy study has created a buzz in the field of political science and public
management in India. The arena of policymaking is increasingly assumed to be
primarily a task of specialists, technocrats and managers, followed by ritualistic
stamp of legislature consisting of the people’s representatives.
It is in this context that I will review the book by Chakrabarti and Sanyal.
As the title itself conveys, the authors emphasise the study of public policy in
India as revolving around three political processes, that is, alliance, advocacy and
activism. Alliances operate at the level of social movements. Advocacy is at the

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