Radical Constitutional Amendments

Granville Austin

in Working a Democratic Constitution

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780195656107
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080397 | DOI:
Radical Constitutional Amendments

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Amending the Constitution in pursuit of the social revolution was the domestic political motif of 1971. Furious debate surrounded essential constitutional issues of personal liberty and the public good and constituent powers. Four constitutional amendments, two of them radical, gave specific form to disputes simmering since the Constitution was inaugurated and bubbling since 1967. It was not only the Prime Minister's faction of the Congress Party that supported her programme of amendments — indeed, many of its members were more radical than she. This chapter discusses the constitutional amendments they produced. The citizenry had voted for Mrs Gandhi and garibi hatao in the hope that their lot might improve. But the Prime Minister's interest and that of many of her supporters was in political-economic theory, in constitutional change, and in the wielding of power — although they sincerely intended the constitutional changes to have immediate effects.

Keywords: Indian Constitution; personal liberty; social revolution; constitutional democracy; Indira Gandhi; constitutional change

Chapter.  10684 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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