Thursday, May 16, 2019

Elangovan on B. S. Rao and the Indian Constitution

Arvind Elangovan, Wright State University published "Constitutionalism as Discipline: Benegal Shiva Rao and the Forgotten Histories of the Indian Constitution" in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 41:3 (2018), 605-20. Here's the abstract: 
Ironically, despite being acclaimed as one of the foremost biographers of the Indian Constitution, little is known about Benegal Shiva Rao (1891–1975) or his ideas about constitutionalism. By delving into Rao's published writings and his incomplete, unpublished autobiography, this essay reconstructs his idea of constitutionalism as one that primarily sought to discipline politics. However, I argue that such a view also leads to erasing the accounts of political conflict that comprise the history of the Indian Constitution. By analytically bringing together this curious triadic relationship between politics, constitutionalism and history, this essay explores how an isolated focus on constitutionalism leads to troubling historical amnesia.
Further information is available here

-Mitra Sharafi