The Emergence of the Delhi Sultanate
By Sunil Kumar
It studies the history of the various factors that led to the rise of the Delhi sultanate through the 13th century. The sultans of Delhi were slaves who became generals in the armies of the Afghan ruler Muizz al-Din Ghuri. This is a definitive book on the slave kings.
The Languages of Political Islam
By Alam Muzaffar
This book looks at why and how the Persian language became so important for the Mughals as a political tool. Muzaffar explains how the Mughals, who spoke Turkish, were forced to embrace Persian.
Islam and Healing
By Seema Alavi
I like the way this book presents the various medicinal and healing practices of India. It explores Indian society through its indigenous medicine and healing systems.
By Paula Richman
It’s Ramayana from multiple points of view—that of Sita and the untouchables of Madhya Pradesh demanding political separatism are just two of them. A single epic takes on diverse meanings in these essays.
The Last Mughal
By William Dalrymple
The way Dalrymple has put together the events of 1857 is fascinating and we get a detailed and convincing portrait of the last days of Mughal culture. He also brings out the effects of British colonialism, communalism and the final breakdown of cultural synthesis between the Mughals and British Indian society.