Aakash Singh Rathore’s Indian Political Theory is a cry for a “svaraj in ideas”. Svaraj here is understood as autonomy and self-determination in both content and direction of political theory in India. There is some agreement among scholars in the non-Western world that political theory as it exists today is primarily based on the experiences of (limited parts) the West and has no reference to the context, concerns or problems of societies markedly different. Rathore attempts to take this critique forward and his book is a brave attempt to re-found the discipline of Indian political theory.
Rathore acknowledges the efforts of a set of Indian scholars who have highlighted the inadequacies of dominant political theories. He notes that the concepts and categories developed in Europe do not necessarily help us understand the social and political experiences of the ordinary Indian. He bemoans that while the knowledge and experience of the West gets universal status, those of non-western politics, society, and culture are quickly prefixed and slotted in silos like ‘Indian’ or ‘Chinese’.