Meghnad Desai was born in Vadodara, Gujarat, and received his BA and MA degrees from the University of Bombay. He went to the US in 1961 where he completed a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. He taught economics from 1965 to 2003 at the London School of Economics, where he now holds the post of Professor Emeritus. He has authored over twenty books and 200 articles, including The Rediscovery of India published by Penguin India in 2009. Meghnad Desai has been an active member of the British Labour Party since 1971. He was made Lord Desai of St Clement Danes in 1991 and awarded the Bharatiya Pravasi Puraskar in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2008. He divides his time between London, Delhi and Goa.
Meghnad Desai reflects on Indian democracy as it completes seventy years of colourful, eventful and energetic parliamentary existence. Pulling no punches, Desai looks at the history and evolution of Indian democratic institutions, pinpointing their achievements, but also their repeated failure to live up to the standards envisaged by the nation's founders. Drawing on his own career as a Labour peer in Britain's House of Lords, Desai has the rare understanding and familiarity with the process of politics, and is able therefore to identify its universal features and zoom in on its uniquely Indian aspects. This is a candid, reflective and unsparing view of the precepts and practice of Indian politics. It traces at the evolution and growth of identity politics, coalition governments and single-party rule and the differing political narratives of the north and the south. The Raisina Model is a critical and frequently uncomfortable meditation on India's contemporary political culture.