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A People's Constitution$
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Rohit De

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174433

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174433.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 26 May 2020

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
A People's Constitution
Author(s):

Rohit De

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691174433.003.0001

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the Indian Constitution. The Indian Constitution is the longest surviving constitution in the postcolonial world, and it continues to dominate public life in India. It did not descend upon the people; it was produced and reproduced in everyday encounters. From the earliest days of India's independence, citizens' political action influenced the court and reveals a long history of public-interest litigation driven by litigants rather than judges. However, despite the centrality of the Constitution to public and private lives in South Asia, it remains “ill served by historical imagination” and its history understudied. It is partly because Indian constitutionalism defies easy explanations. This book thus traces the process through which the Constitution emerged as the dominant field for politics, breaking new methodological ground by studying the Constitution through the daily interpretive acts of ordinary people as well as judges and state officials.

Keywords:   Indian Constitution, India, political action, public-interest litigation, Indian constitutionalism, postcolonial world, political action, Indian independence

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