The primary aim of this volume is to resuscitate political theory in India, evolve a form of political theory that is suitable for us, and to simultaneously open up Western political theory as it exists today. The study of the Constitution provides a platform on which extensive political deliberations and arguments over procedural and substantive issues relating to Indian society can be found. The volume provides discussions on equality, the idea of citizenship and property, notion of minority rights, conception of democracy and welfare found in the Constitution. It also asks questions like: Does the Constitution recognize all moral rights possessed by citizens? What importance does the Constitution accord to the rights that it recognizes? Is the section on duties consistent with the section on fundamental rights? If it is, then why do tensions between rights and duties still exist? Is it because the Constitution prescribes duties over and above rights? Is the Indian Constitution predominantly right-based? Does the Constitution support liberty, equality and fraternity in equal measure? The aim of the volume, thus, is to arbitrate between contesting interpretations of the many core values of our polity. It points to the need to examine whether or not serious disjunction exists between the constitutional ideals and its expression.
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Rajeev Bhargava is Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.
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