National Constitution Society Convention | IIHS, Bangalore | Welcome and Introduction
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 includes the welcome and introduction of the event by CLPR Executive Director, Jayna Kothari.
Find the Agenda for the event below:
National Constitution Society Convention
at the Indian Institution of Human Settlements, Bangalore
23rd November 2018
08.15 am – 09.00 am: Breakfast
09.00 am – 09.15 am: Welcome and Introduction
09.15 am – 10.15 am: Session I – Why Does Indian Constitutional & Political History Matter?
The Constitution of India, 1950 was shaped by several legal and political processes through the 19th/20th century. This session will assess how an awareness of this long history of the Constitution is critical for a rigorous understanding of our contemporary moment.
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
10.15 am – 11.15 am: Session II – Supreme Court’s Push for Equality
2018 has been the year where equality cases have come the fore in the Supreme Court. This panel will explore the role of social movements and civil society actors who have initiated some key cases and assess how the Court has addressed their concerns.
Hasina Khan, Founder Member, Bebaak Collective
Akkai Padmashali, Founder, Ondede; Transgender Rights Activist
Jayna Kothari (Moderator), Executive Director, Centre for Law and Policy Research; Senior Advocate, Karnataka High Court and Supreme Court of India.
11.15 am – 11.30 am: Tea
11.30 pm – 12.30 pm: Session III – Gender and Sexuality in the Supreme Court
In 2018 the Supreme Court has contended with the tension between the individual right to equality and the rights of religious denominations to manage their religious affairs. This tension was at the core of India’s founding moment and has once again become politically dominant. This panel will explore if the Court has reconciled these tensions appropriately.
Flavia Agnes, Co-Founder, MAJLIS; Women’s Rights Lawyer
Arvind Narrain, Founding Member, Alternative Law Forum; Human Rights Lawyer and Activist
Arun Thiruvengadam (Moderator), Professor, Azim Premji University
12.30pm – 01.30 pm: Session IV – The 21st Century Indian Constitution
The Indian constitution has successfully endured the hurly burly of Indian politics for 7 decades. However, it faces significant challenges from the core and the margins of Indian political life. This panel will explore why a vital and inclusive constitutional culture is essential for the Constitution to survive the 21st Century.
Babloo Loitongbam, Executive Director, Human Rights Alert
Sanjay Jain, Associate Professor, ILS Law College
Sudhir Krishnaswamy (Moderator)
01.30 pm – 02.15 pm: Lunch
02.15 pm – 03.15 pm: Session V – A National Constitution Society for India: The Need for Student Action
Across the world students have been at the forefront of political movements for justice and progressive social change. The Constitution will need to engage young minds and aspirations to endure the 21st Century. This Panel will explore the role of a student culture in deepening the values of liberal constitutionalism in India.
Babu Mathew, Visiting Professor, National Law School of India University; Trade Union Activist
Badrinarayan Seetharaman (Discussant), Co-Founder, Gathr
03:15 pm – 03:45 pm: Tea
03.45 pm – 05.00 pm: Session VI – Organizing a National Constitutional Society: Structure and Agenda
While there have been several initiatives to create student activity to advance constitutional understanding at various academic institutions, there has been no national organization in this field. This panel will explore the relevance of a ‘National Constitutional Society’ and different models of organizational structure and potential agendas for such a society.
Vineeth Krishna, Centre for Law and Policy Research
Kruthika R, Centre for Law and Policy Research
Siddharth Chauhan, Assistant Professor, NALSAR University of Law
05.00 pm – 05.15 pm: Final Remarks and Vote of Thanks
5.15 pm – 5.45 pm: High Tea
05.45 pm – 06.45 pm: Student Delegates Plenary Session
07.15 pm – 09.00 pm: Convention Dinner