How India became democratic: Citizenship and the making of the Universal Franchise

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


How India Became Democratic explores the greatest experiment in democratic human history. It tells the untold story of the preparation of the electoral roll on the basis of universal adult franchise in the world's largest democracy. Ornit Shani offers a new view of the institutionalisation of democracy in India, and of the way democracy captured the political imagination of its diverse peoples. Turning all adult Indians into voters against the backdrop of the partition of India and Pakistan, and in anticipation of the drawing up of a constitution, was a staggering task. Indians became voters before they were citizens - by the time the constitution came into force in 1950, the abstract notion of universal franchise and electoral democracy were already grounded. Drawing on rich archival materials, Shani shows how the Indian people were a driving force in the making of democratic citizenship as they struggled for their voting rights.

Original languageAmerican English
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages284
ISBN (Electronic)9781107705722
ISBN (Print)9781107068032
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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