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Norms and PoliticsSir Benegal Narsing Rau in the Making of the Indian Constitution, 1935-50$
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Arvind Elangovan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199491445

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199491445.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 January 2022

A Civil Servant’s Adieu

A Civil Servant’s Adieu

The Burden of History in the ‘Conscience’ of the Indian Constitution, 1946–50

(p.193) VI A Civil Servant’s Adieu
Norms and Politics

Arvind Elangovan

Oxford University Press

Contrary to Rau’s ideas, the framers of the Indian constitution, however, were deeply influenced by the political history that preceded the meeting of the Constituent Assembly. As a result, the framers privileged not only Fundamental Rights but also the postcolonial State and the latter’s right to intervene for the cause of social justice. Interestingly, the idea that mainly underscored this act of privileging was not so much to come together to create a state by submitting individual wills (as theorized by social contract theorists, for instance) but rather there was a deep mistrust between the different political interests that were at work in the Constituent Assembly. Thus, by the time of the drafting of the Indian constitution, political history played a dominant role, with norms giving way to a history of politics.

Keywords:   Constituent Assembly, Fundamental Rights, postcolonial State, social justice, mistrust, political history, norms

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