Despite the State
Why India lets its people down and how they cope
The story of democratic failure is usually read at the level of the nation, while the primary bulwarks of democratic functioning—the states—get overlooked. This is a tale of India’s states, of why they build schools but do not staff them with teachers; favour a handful of companies so much that others slip into losses; wage water wars with their neighbours while allowing rampant sand mining and groundwater extraction; harness citizens’ right to vote but brutally crack down on their right to dissent. Reporting from six states over thirty-three months, award-winning investigative journalist M. Rajshekhar delivers a necessary account of a deep crisis that has gone largely unexamined.