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date: 22 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the making of the Indian Constitution from a comparative perspective, with particular emphasis on some of the significant and innovative aspects of the drafting process. After discussing constitution drafting in the post-colonial/post-World War II period, it considers the debate in the Indian Constituent Assembly over what it means to be an Indian and how the Constitution should facilitate political unity in the face of immense cultural, religious, and national diversity. It then explores some of the innovative constitutional strategies developed by the Indian framers to reconcile the deep disagreements among the Indian public regarding the religious, national, and linguistic identity of the State with the principles of democracy. These strategies include constitutional incrementalism, the deferral of controversial decisions, ambiguity, and non-justiciability.

Keywords: constitution drafting, constitutional incrementalism, deferral, democracy, Indian Constituent Assembly, Indian Constitution, national identity, non-justiciability, religious identity, linguistic identity

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