India Needs an Actually New Constitution

Why India Needs a New Constitution.” is the title of the chapter I contributed to a Festschrift published in November 2016 by the Center for Civil Society in Delhi.

That idea rubs Indians the wrong way because Indians generally believe that the constitution is a fine work. Not that they have examined it for themselves. They think that it must be so because politicians praise the constitution and uncritically accept their verdict.

It is like the fable of the emperors new clothes, except in this case the people have not themselves seen the emperor in his new clothes. They have only heard of reports that the emperor has a new set of clothes, and experts who have seen the new clothes have declared them to be wonderful. The belief has been implanted in the people, and they will vehemently oppose any suggestions to the contrary.

I argue that the emperor’s new clothes are in fact his old clothes, and therefore the “new” clothes do an equally bad job of hiding his unsightly nakedness as his old clothes did.

To persuade you to read the chapter in the book Liberalism in India (link at the end), here are a few excerpts below.  Continue reading “India Needs an Actually New Constitution”