National Constitution Society Convention | IIHS, Bangalore | Session I

November 23, 2018

In 2018, the Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bangalore (CLPR) initiated a network of Constitution societies in schools and colleges across India to be known as the National Constitution Society (NCS). Through its institutional chapters and a central Society, it looks to critically engage with India’s constitutional inheritance.

In November 2018, CLPR organised a one-day All India National Constitution Society Convention that brought together student delegates from institutions across the country along with academics, lawyers and activists. This one-day event presented Student Delegates with the opportunity to critically engage with the history and contemporary relevance of the Indian Constitution and develop a plan to preserve, protect and promote constitutional values in the 21st century. Towards the end of the Convention, in its Plenary Session, the delegates elected the first Student Board Members for the NCS. This video covers Session I of the event. Find the summary of the session below:

Session I – Why Does Indian Constitutional & Political History Matter?

Sucheta Mahajan, Professor and Chairperson, Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Sudhir Krishnaswamy (Discussant), Managing Trustee, Centre for Law and Policy Research; Professor, Azim Premji University

Professor Sucheta Mahajan asserted that Constitution should be seen as emerging out of the freedom movement and not just a textual production of the Constituent Assembly. She pushed back against the narrative that the Constitution is a document drafted by a set of elites, who rather than represent the values of the people, merely borrowed Western ideas. She argued that the members of the Constituent Assembly “were giving form to ideas, practices, imaginings in the public sphere”.