India's Living Constitution: Ideas, Practices, Controversies

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Zoya Hasan, Eswaran Sridharan, R. Sudarshan
Anthem Press, 2005 - History - 446 pages
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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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Contents

Preface
Notes on Contributors
Introduction Civilization Constitution Democracy
The Impossibility of Constitutional Justice Seismographic Notes on Indian Constitutionalism
The Indian Constitution and Democracy
The Nation and the State in India A Difficult Bond
Indias Secular Constitution
How Has the Proliferation of Parties Affected the Indian Federation? A Comparative Approach
Individual and Group Rights A View From India
Sex Equality Liberty and Privacy A Comparative Approach to the Feminist Critique
The Pursuit of Social Justice
The Long Halflife of Reservations
The Expected and the Unintended in Working a Democratic Constitution
The Origins of the Electoral System Rules Representation and Powersharing in Indias Democracy
Decentralization and Local Government The Second Wind of Democracy in India
The Politics of Presence and Legislative Reservations for Women

Stateness and Democracy in Indias Constitution
The Inner Conflict of Constitutionalism Judicial Review and the Basic Structure

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About the author (2005)

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.

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