On Sunday, January 21 at 4:30 p.m., Greenwich Library partners with the Yale Alumni Association of Greenwich to bring Yale Professor Rohit De to Greenwich Library. De will discuss India’s Living Constitution. The event will be held in the Library’s Cole Auditorium.
On 26th January 1950, the Indian people gave to themselves a republican constitution. In the words of the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, India entered into a life of contradictions. While in politics it recognized the principle of one man and one vote, social and economic structures continued to deny the principle of one man one value. How would India resolve these contradictions?
While most postcolonial constitutions failed or were replaced multiple times, the Indian constitution defied the odds and thrived, dominating public life and popular imaginations. What made this remarkable achievement possible? How did a document written in English, representing principles that were not part of the lived experience of most Indians, emerge as a popular document? The talk will sketch a biography of the Constitution and address contemporary issues the Indian republic faces.
Rohit De is a lawyer and historian of modern South Asia and focuses on legal history of the Indian subcontinent and the common law world. Professor De’s book The People’s Constitution: Litigious Citizens and the Making of Indian Democracy (forthcoming 2018) explores how the Indian constitution, despite its elite authorship and alien antecedents, came to permeate everyday life and imagination in India during its transition from a colonial state to a democratic republic. De received his Ph.D from Princeton University, where he was elected to the Society of Woodrow Wilson Scholars. His dissertation won the Law and Society Association Prize for best representing outstanding work in law and society research in 2013. He was the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for History and Economics and a fellow of Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge before coming to Yale in 2014. De received his law degrees from the Yale Law School and the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.
Co-sponsored by Yale Alumni Association of Greenwich (YAAG) and Greenwich Library. Open to all at no charge, thanks to the contributions of YAAG members and the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees. Registration is recommended on the Library’s website at www.greenwichlibrary.org.