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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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The Social Revolution and the First Amendment

The Social Revolution and the First Amendment

(p.69) Chapter 3 The Social Revolution and the First Amendment
Working a Democratic Constitution

Granville Austin

Oxford University Press

This chapter opens by giving the general background of property issues followed by their treatment in the First Amendment. It discusses the First Amendment's provisions relating to property, focusing on agricultural property and the nationalization of commercial and industrial property. The Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the government legislation and rules changing property relations and removing the ‘man-made inequalities’ of which Vice-President Radhakrishnan had spoken. Remedy again was sought in amending the Constitution. At the heart of the confrontation were issues crucial in any democracy, and especially in India's, with its hierarchical social system, its predominantly agricultural economy, and its vital interest in the seamlessness of the web: individual interest against the national interest; government's role in reforming society; and conflicts between ‘law’ and ‘justice’. The chapter concludes with the amendment's provisions that deal with remedial treatment for disadvantaged citizens, variously called positive discrimination and compensatory discrimination.

Keywords:   agricultural property, industrial property, positive discrimination, compensatory discrimination, India, Vice-President Radhakrishnan

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