The Beginning of the Idea

Sarbani Sen

in The Constitution of India

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780198071600
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080045 | DOI:
The Beginning of the Idea

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This chapter examines how the idea of popular sovereignty and its relation to constitutionalism developed as a result of inter-generational discourse in Indian political thought during the pre-founding colonial period. This development was protracted. Each step forward into the realm of new ideas that occurred during the Moderate period, or under Gandhi or Nehru, was either followed or preceded by periods of conscious attempts at putting together pieces of contemporary thought and experience with seemingly discrete and unrelated ideas from India's political and intellectual past. Popular engagement in discourse theorizing on ideas of self-government, and active resistance against British rule during Extremist and Gandhian experiments in organizing mass political movements involved a direct and revolutionary exercise of sovereign power by the people.

Keywords: popular sovereignty; constitutionalism; Indian constitution; colonial period; political theory

Chapter.  8791 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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