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Working a Democratic ConstitutionA History of the Indian Experience$
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Granville Austin

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195656107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195656107.001.0001

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(p.4) Prologue
Working a Democratic Constitution

Granville Austin

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the events that led to the Constituent Assembly that drafted the world's longest democratic constitution, which began its work in New Delhi in December 1946. It also describes the book's main parts. Part I covers the period from the Constitution's inauguration in 1950 until 1966. These were the Nehru years. Part II covers the beginning of Indira Gandhi's long years as Prime Minister. Part III deals with the period of the internal emergency and unitary government that has come to be called Indira Gandhi's Emergency. Part IV recounts the events when Gandhi called elections in 1977 only to be defeated. It also describes the formation of the Janata Party. Part V covers Gandhi's return to office to Rajiv Gandhi becoming Prime Minister upon his mother's assassination. Part VI discusses national unity and integrity and the constitutional machinery for centre-state relations. Part VII concludes the book.

Keywords:   Constituent Assembly, India, New Delhi, Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister

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