Cover: India’s Founding Moment: The Constitution of a Most Surprising Democracy, from Harvard University PressCover: India’s Founding Moment in HARDCOVER

India’s Founding Moment

The Constitution of a Most Surprising Democracy

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$45.00 • £36.95 • €40.50

ISBN 9780674980877

Publication Date: 02/04/2020

Text

240 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

World

How India’s Constitution came into being and instituted democracy after independence from British rule.

Britain’s justification for colonial rule in India stressed the impossibility of Indian self-government. And the empire did its best to ensure this was the case, impoverishing Indian subjects and doing little to improve their socioeconomic reality. So when independence came, the cultivation of democratic citizenship was a foremost challenge.

Madhav Khosla explores the means India’s founders used to foster a democratic ethos. They knew the people would need to learn ways of citizenship, but the path to education did not lie in rule by a superior class of men, as the British insisted. Rather, it rested on the creation of a self-sustaining politics. The makers of the Indian Constitution instituted universal suffrage amid poverty, illiteracy, social heterogeneity, and centuries of tradition. They crafted a constitutional system that could respond to the problem of democratization under the most inhospitable conditions. On January 26, 1950, the Indian Constitution—the longest in the world—came into effect.

More than half of the world’s constitutions have been written in the past three decades. Unlike the constitutional revolutions of the late eighteenth century, these contemporary revolutions have occurred in countries characterized by low levels of economic growth and education, where voting populations are deeply divided by race, religion, and ethnicity. And these countries have democratized at once, not gradually. The events and ideas of India’s Founding Moment offer a natural reference point for these nations where democracy and constitutionalism have arrived simultaneously, and they remind us of the promise and challenge of self-rule today.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: Why We Act: Turning Bystanders into Moral Rebels, by Catherine A. Sanderson, from Harvard University Press

Getting through a Crisis

How do we respond when a crisis occurs? And how do we know what to do? Catherine Sanderson, a renowned psychologist who has done pioneering research on social norms and the author of Why We Act: Turning Bystanders into Moral Rebels, tells us that we tend to look to each other for answers—and that’s why it’s important we model proper behavior for those around us. In October of my senior year at Stanford, I was in a

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.