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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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A Nation's Progress

A Nation's Progress

(p.633) Chapter 31 A Nation's Progress
Working a Democratic Constitution

Granville Austin

Oxford University Press

During the brief fifty years that Indians have held the reins, they have governed themselves successfully against awesome odds. The seamless web woven by the Constituent Assembly into the Constitution for the nation — establishing the institutions and spirit of democracy, pursuing a social revolution to better the lot of the mass of Indians, and preserving and enhancing the country's unity and integrity — is intact, having recovered from the terrible distortion of the Emergency. Distortions such as overzealous pursuit of one strand or laxness toward another continue to be produced by the country's conditions and culture and by human frailty. Still, representative democracy is popular and firmly established and that the Constitution has become ‘the authentic reference scale for political behaviour’.

Keywords:   India, representative democracy, social revolution, Constituent Assembly, Emergency, Indian Constitution

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