India: Political Parties Material

Scope and Content

Manifestos, speeches, pamphlets, leaflets, letters, newsletters, journals, posters, and miscellaneous election material at national, state and youth levels issued by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, the Akhil Bhartiya Ramarajya Parisada, the Association of Indian Communists of Great Britain, the All India Forward Bloc, the All India Kisan Sabha, All-India Ramarajya-Parishad, the All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, the Bombay Pradesh Congress Committee, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Congress Seva Dal, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Four Party Alliance, the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, the Gujarat Sanyukta Sadachar Samiti, independent candidates, the Indian National Congress, the Indian National Congress (I), the Indian National Congress (O), the Indian National Congress (U), the Indian National Youth Movement, the Indian Youth Congress, the Janata Dal, the Janata Party, the Jammu and Pradesh Congress Committee, the Kashmir Democratic Union, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee, the Lok Dal, the Mysore Pradesh Congress Committee, the Orissa Provincial Congress Committee, the Praja Socialist Party, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, the Revolutionary Communist Party of India, the Radical Democratic Party, the Republican Party of India, the Revolutionary Socialist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Republican Party, the Shiv Sena, the Samyukta Socialist Party, the Swatantra Party, the Telangana Congress Party, and the United Left Front.

Administrative / Biographical History

Though some of the material here does date back to the latter period of British rule, the majority is from the 1950s-1980s and is concerned with the India that emerged from independence and partition . The ramifications of the circumstances in which the new republic was born are present in much of the party literature here, in terms of the relationship with Pakistan, the struggle between secular and non-secular ideas of the state and the attempt to maintain a position of non-alignment during the Cold War. Other recurring themes are the issues of the dominant role of the Congress Party (with all the subsequent implications for Indian democracy that this entailed), and the seemingly intractable problem of widespread poverty. Also of interest are the materials dealing with the communist parties, with much early debate centring on the contradictions of theoretically anti-parliamentary organisations operating in the democratic sphere - brought to the fore in Kerala with the formation of the first elected communist ministry in the world in 1959 - and later arguments dealing with the repositioning of these still powerful parties given the collapse of the Soviet Bloc.


Alphabetically by party, and then in rough chronological order.

Access Information

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education.

Acquisition Information

Institute of Commonwealth Studies


The Political Archives Project was a 2.5 year project to catalogue political archive material held in the libraries of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas to the University and present it as a cohesive virtual collection. The project was successfully completed in July 2005. Descriptions of all the documents may be found by searching the library catalogue at, or via the Political Archives website:

Other Finding Aids

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Custodial History

The ICS political parties collection was begun in 1960-1961, with special emphasis being placed on primary material such as party constitutions, policy statements, convention reports and election manifestos. Since then, the main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to political parties throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant. More recently material has been collected by means of downloading documents from the websites of the major parties.


Further accruals are expected, some in electronic form.

Related Material

See also India: Trades Unions Material (TU.II) and India: Pressure Groups Material (PG. II), as well as Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Group Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.

Geographical Names