India is the world’s largest democracy and its second most populous country. This course introduces core issues in the study of modern Indian politics. We trace India's journey to Independence; the consolidation of democracy in the early decades; the relationship between the state and the economy; the state’s institutional architecture; how political parties and electoral campaigns operate; the threats posed by corruption, criminality and dynastic politics; the role of caste and religion in shaping politics; the political and economic consequences of economic liberalization; elections; and the recent rise of right-wing hindutva in the country. The focus is on building knowledge and understanding of the Indian case. But we will also consider to what extent India’s experience is reflective of more general theories of politics, and how they might change because of what India can teach us. Class sessions will be interactive, with plenty of opportunity for group discussion. The reading list is diverse and draws from political science, sociology, history, and anthropology.