India's democracy often receives extreme responses of exaggerated appreciation or enlarged criticism. It is necessary that public debates on democracy in India are based on a more informed analysis. This short introduction will help the reader to put the various debated issues in perspective and arrive at a critical appreciation of the endeavour called democracy. The book takes the reader through a tour of key issues of contestations and mobilization that have occupied the terrain of democratic politics in India. Calling India's democracy 'work in progress', this short tract draws attention to the central paradoxes of Indian democracy. While taking a long term view of democracy, the book is alive to the more contemporary challenges as well. Readers may agree or disagree, but they cannot ignore the central argument that while India's democracy wades through many paradoxes, it faces the challenge of distortion if majoritarian tendencies become pervasive and if the core feature of diversity is weakened. This book is a timely warning about the possibilities and distortions that democracy in India contains.