These essays examine the Constitution from the perspective of political theory. The contributors view the Constitution either as a political or as an ethical document, reflecting configurations of power and interests, or articulating a moral vision. They critically analyse various aspects of the Constitution, exploring issues of equality; freedom; citizenship; democracy; minority rights; and property and welfare; thus offering a balanced view on the potential, achievements, and limitations of the Indian Constitution. At the same time, they emphasize that there is a need to examine whether there is a disjunction between constitutional ideas and political practice.
This edition will be useful for scholars and advanced students of political theory, moral philosophy, law, politics, and history.
About the Author
Rajeev Bhargava is Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Outline of a Political Theory of the Indian Constitution Rajeev Bhargava 1
1 The Constitution as a Statement of Indian Identity Bhikhu Parekh 43
2 Gandhi and the Constitution: Parliamentary Swaraj and Village Swaraj Thomas Pantham 59
3 Institutional Visions and Sociological Imaginations: The Debate on Panchayati Raj Peter Ronald deSouza 79
4 Outline of a ‘Theory of Practice’ of Indian Constitutionalism Upendra Baxi 92
5 A Text Without Author: Locating the Constituent Assembly as Event Aditya Nigam 119
6 The Indian State: Constitution and Beyond Suhas Palshikar 143
7 Citizenship and the Indian Constitution Valerian Rodrigues 164
8 Citizenship and the Passive Revolution: Interpreting the First Amendment Nivedita Menon 189
9 Democracy and Constitutionalism Sanjay Palshikar 211
10 Constitutional Justice: Positional and Cultural Gopal Guru 230
11 Containing the Lower Castes: The Constituent Assembly and the Reservation Policy Christophe Jaffrelot 249
12 Affirmative Action for Disadvantaged Groups: A Cross-constitutional Study of India and the US Ashok Acharya 267
13 Religion and the Indian Constitution: Questions of Separation and Equality Gurpreet Mahajan 297
14 Passion and Constraint: Courts and the Regulation of Religious Meaning Pratap Bhanu Mehta 311
15 Rights versus Representation: Defending Minority Interests in the Constituent Assembly Shefali Jha 339
16 Minority Representation and the Making of the Indian Constitution Rochana Bajpai 354
Notes on Contributors 392