As the Constitution turns 70, a crop of new books attest to the growing relevance of India’s founding document in the nation’s public life
On 26 January 1950, India’s Constitution came into effect—drafted by B.R. Ambedkar among others—as the foundational text of its polity. It’s hard to tell if the makers of the modern nation state anticipated the urgency of the document 70 years on. As public protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) intensify, the Constitution is being repeatedly invoked all across the country. The Preamble is being read out in different languages at gatherings, the sanctity of its first principles is being upheld as protection against the CAA and NRC. Yet, the Constitution was—and still is—far from a perfect entity, as a recent crop of books attest.