01 February 2018

The Constitution of India


A Contextual Analysis

This book provides an overview of the Indian Constitution by situating it within its broader socio-political context. It focuses on the overarching principles and the main institutions of constitutional governance that the world's longest written constitution inaugurated in 1950. The nine substantive chapters of the book deal with specific aspects of the Indian constitutional tradition as it has evolved across seven decades of its existence as an independent nation. Starting with a focus on the pre-history of the constitution and its making, the book moves onto an examination of the structural features and actual operation of principal governance institutions, including the executive and the parliament, the institutions of federalism and local government, and the judiciary. An unusual feature of Indian constitutionalism is the role played by technocratic institutions such as the Election Commission, the Comptroller and Auditor General, and a set of new regulatory institutions, most of which were created since the 1990s. A considerable focus of the book is on provisions relating to rights and issues of multiculturalism. The final chapter deals with the important issue of constitutional change in India. The book employs a narrative form to describe the twists, turns, and challenges confronted across nearly seven decades of the operation of the constitution. It departs from conventional Indian constitutional scholarship by placing less emphasis on constitutional doctrine (as evolved in judicial decisions delivered by the High Courts and the Supreme Court). The focus, instead, is on highlighting the political bargains and extra-legal developments that have influenced constitutional evolution. Written for a general audience that is interested in understanding the complex yet fascinating challenges posed by constitutionalism in India, the book's unconventional approach to some standard issues will stimulate the more seasoned student of constitutional law and politics. (Series: Constitutional Systems of the World) [Subject: Constitutional & Administrative Law, South Asian Law, Comparative Law]






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