Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Elangovan on the making of India's Constitution

 We missed this one in 2019, when Arvind Elangovan (Wright State University) published Norms and Politics: Sir Benegal Narsing Rau and the Making of the Indian Constitution, 1935-50 with Oxford University Press. From the publisher: 
During the twilight of British rule in India, Sir Benegal Narsing Rau (1887–1953),
was sought after by the ruling elites—both British and Indian—for his immense knowledge of the nature and working of the constitutions of the world as well as his reputation for being just and impartial between competing political interests. Yet, Rau’s ideas and his voice have largely been forgotten today. By examining Rau’s constitutional ideas and following their trajectory in late colonial Indian politics, this book shows how the process of the making of the Indian constitution was actually never separated from the politics of conflict that dominated this period. This book demonstrates that it is only by foregrounding this political history that we can simultaneously remember Rau’s critical contributions as well as understand why he was forgotten in the first place.
 Table of Contents after the jump: 
I Introduction 1 
II Provincial Autonomy and Its (Anti)Colonial Limits, 1935–8 34 
III Conundrum on the Eve of Decolonization: Politics of Constitutionalism, 1945–6 68 
IV Rau’s Constitutional Solutions to the Political Conundrum 122 
V Moment of Utopia: Rau and a Constitution above Politics 163 
VI A Civil Servant’s Adieu: The Burden of History in the ‘Conscience’ of the Indian Constitution, 1946–50 193 
VII Conclusion 237 
Further information is available here.
--Mitra Sharafi