Parochialism in Indian constitutional reasoning

John, Mathew (2018) Parochialism in Indian constitutional reasoning. Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America, 51 (3). pp. 332-351.

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The legitimate source of governmental power in modern constitutional democracies is traced to a people. Drawing on this tradition of founding political power, the Indian Constitution is a radical attempt to secure the consent of the Indian people to transform its colonized and traditional society. However, in what manner would the institutional imagination and practices of the Indian Constitution give concrete shape to a people in whose name this agenda for transformation would be carried out? In a Constitution committed to the protection of individual freedom one would assume that a commitment to equal freedom of all citizens would anchor its constitutional aspirations. By extension this would also mean that no one social group would be permitted to embody the people as a whole. However, by examining the organization and practice of religious freedom in the Indian Constitution this paper will argue that there is a parochial vision of the people ensconced in India’s liberal Constitution that is disposed to conceiving the people by entrenching parochial identities like Hindus and Muslims. This problem of the institutional entrenching of identities is elaborated through the adjudication of the dispute over the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid dispute at Ayodhya. However, even while describing the entrenching of these parochial identities, the paper attempts to argue that this parochial imagination runs contrary to social intuitions on the nature of identity and identification in Indian society.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Governmental Power | Modern Constitutional Democracies | Indian Constitutional
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr Sombir Dahiya
Date Deposited: 05 May 2022 04:27
Last Modified: 05 May 2022 04:27
Official URL:


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