I learned a lot about the recent history of this intriguing country from this book. Much of the coverage is devoted to political history and many of the other topics that are discussed, e.g. wars with Pakistan and China, communal violence, economic development, secessionist movements etc are also framed in a political context. Content that I particularly enjoyed reading about included: the development of the constitution, establishment of the federal structure, the relationship between free India and the Princely States, caste and adivasi conflict, and the response to the refugee crisis arising from partition.
`India after Gandhi' is well written, entertaining and packed full of references. In some places the author does appear to adopt a rather partisan position with respect to relations with Pakistan. However, he also very forcefully portrays the challenges faced by the Muslim minority in the country, whom it may be suggested have been the principal victims of the half century of Indo-Pak tension.
I have also read John Keay's `India: A History' and feel that `India After Gandhi' is a far better choice for those seeking an understanding of the country and it's people.