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Part II Negotiating Constitutionalism, Ch.7 Constitutional Identity

Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution

Edited By: Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla, Pratap Bhanu Mehta

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 13 August 2020

This chapter examines the concept of constitutional identity as it applies to the Indian Constitution. It first considers the problem of constitutional identity, with particular emphasis on the preservative function of the constitution. It then explains how the constitution acquires an identity that emerges dialogically and represents a combination of political aspirations and commitments reflective of a nation’s past. It also explores the static and dynamic perspectives on identity with regard to the transformational agenda of Indian constitutionalism, along with the underlying politics of constitutional identity and the judiciary’s articulation of the meaning of constitutional identity. The chapter concludes by reviewing two highly controversial cases that have important implications for India’s constitutional identity.

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