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India's Living Constitution

India's Living Constitution

Ideas, Practices, Controversies

Edited by Zoya Hasan, E. Sridharan, R. Sudarshan

An examination of the ideas, practices and controversies surrounding the Indian Constitution.

Paperback, 464 Pages


January 2005

£21.99, $34.95

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About This Book

India became independent in 1947 and, after nearly three years of debate in the Constituent Assembly, adopted a Constitution that came into effect on 26 January 1950. This Constitution has lasted until the present, with its basic structure unaltered, a remarkable achievement given that the generally accepted prerequisites for democratic stability did not exist, and do not exist even today. Half a century of constitutional democracy is something that political scientists and legal scholars need to analyze and explain. This volume examines the career of constitutional-political ideas (implicitly of Western origin) in the text of the Indian Constitution or implicit within it, as well as in actual political practice in the country over the past half-century.


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Author Information

Zoya Hasan is Professor of Political Science, Centre for Political Studies, and Director of the Women's Studies Programme, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

E. Sridharan is Academic Director of the University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India, New Delhi.

R. Sudarshan is Senior Governance Advisor to the UNDP in Indonesia, and has worked for the UNDP since 1991, heading divisions in the India Office dealing with public policy and human development.


Anthem South Asian Studies

Table of Contents

Preface; Notes on Contributors; INTRODUCTION: 1. Introduction: Civilization, Constitution, Democracy; I. OVERVIEW: 2. The (Im)possibility of Consitutional Justice: Seismographic Notes on Indian Consitutionalism; 3. The Indian Consitution and Democracy; 4. The Nation and the State in India: A Difficult Bond; II. ORGANIZING PRINCIPLES: 5. India's Secular Consitution; 6. How Has the Proliferation of Parties Affected the indian Federation?: A Comparative Approach; 7. 'Stateness' and Democracy in India's Constitution; 8. The Inner Conflict of Constitutionalism: Judicial Review and the 'Basic Strucutre'; III: RIGHTS AND JUSTICE: 9. Individual and Group Rights: A View From India, 10. Sex Equality, Liberty, and Privacy: A Comparative Approach to the Feminist Critique; IV. EQUITY: 11. The Pursuit of Social Justice; 12. The Long Half-Life of Reservations; V. INDIA'S POLITY: 13. The Expected and the Unintended in Working a Democratic Constitution; 14. The Origins of the Electoral System: Rules, Representation, and Power-Sharing in India's Democracy; 15. Decentralization and Local Government: The 'Second Wind' of Democracy in India, 16. The 'Politics of Presence' and Legislative Reservations; Index

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